Development of goat milk and meat value chains in Bihar and Uttar Pradesh
This paper (PDF) by ILRI analyses the value chain of goat mild and meat in Bihar and Uttar Pradesh, India. The dominant goat husbandry is a traditional low-input system with common grazing and lopped tree leaves being the major feed sources. Animal health care services are not reaching most goat farming communities. These issues together cause high mortality rates. Preventative vaccinations would be a first step to reduce mortality. Goats were adapted to harsh husbandry conditions. Improving the genetic potential would make sense only if feeding and heath care are improved. Goats are an important livelihood component for landless, marginal and small farmers and acts as a financial ‘safety net’. Productivity in the traditional system remains low. Stimulating the establishment of ‘commercial goat farmers’ is only moderately successful. Marketing and trading of goats in neither interfered with nor supported by the public sector. Nevertheless, goat farmers are generally well connected to markets through a wide network of traders. However, their bargaining position tends to be rather weak since most goat keepers sell only a few animals per year. The high degree of fragmentation in the goat sector would require a considerable amount of extension and advisory effort if individual farmers were to be targeted with intensified outreach programmes. Some NGOs are supporting farmer self-help organisations to reach large numbers of smallholders, mainly for women since they are mostly in charge of the goats. On the other hand, a ready market for goats exists and prices are expected to further increase. Any measure to increase productivity in the traditional goat sector will most likely contribute to poverty alleviation.