Trend, Market, Opportunity and Challenges of Goat Farming in Nepal
Goat (Capra hircus) is one of the important domestic animals of the Nepalese farming system and is known as the poor man’s cow. It belongs to the bovine family and closely related to sheep. It is also the most preferred domestic animal among all kinds of farmers as even landless and non-crop growing households also rear goats for household consumption and commercial purpose. It is one of the profitable and fast-growing livestock business in most parts of Nepal. Many people are attracted to goat farming due to the increase in meat demand. Besides, the meat production goats are a good source of milk, organic manure and wool. The milk of goats is preferred all over the world. The breed of goats like Sannen and Sarda are reared for milk production. Being the important farm component of farming systems, they are found in every geographical region of Nepal, however, there is a huge variation in the indigenous breed of goats available in different regions.
The indigenous breeds of goats found in Terai are generally Khari & Terai goats and the famous imported breeds are Boer goat is also growing well in Nepal.
- Extensive: They are not a commercial producer and have very less land for goat farming. The rear very few numbers of goat for the meat and manure purpose. They don’t have proper shed for goats.
- Semi–intensive: They are semi-commercial type farmers and don’t have technically well build shed but have a larger number of goats in their shed and they earn a good amount of profit with goat farming. They lack technical knowledge and technicians.
- Intensive: They generally have large numbers of goats with a lot of technically built goat shed, feed required concentrations and ration as well as highly nutritious fodder crops. They have access to a veterinary technician and their production purpose is solely meat.
Goat production is in increasing trend and the chevon production is also in the increasing trend. The domestic chevon production was 67,706 matric ton in year 1016 (CBS, 2018). According to CBS, 2018 the total goat population was 11,165,099 in 2016.
Source: CBS (2018)
Fig 2: Goat population and Chevon production in metric ton.
Demand and supply of goat meat in Nepal
Goat meat is preferred by all the castes of Nepal except Limbu. The demand for goat meat is increasing with the increase in population and urbanization of the country. Its demand is high during festival seasons. More than 50,000 goats’ heads are imported from India and other countries to fulfill the demand of 61,375 MT. This shows the increasing market scope of goat meat in Nepal.
Other products of the goat: Milk is one of the important products of the goat because it contains a high amount of calcium, phosphorus, chlorine and vitamins. It contains a high amount of vitamin B1 which is useful in relieving symptoms of stress. Goat’s milk has low sugar hence it is also good for those people suffering from diabetes it is low in cholesterol and high-fat content and can be a good replacement to cow & buffalo milk.
Wool and organic manure are other products that can be obtained and utilized. The breed of goat-like chyangra is the good source of wool production which is used to made local woolen products in our country.
Some of the common breed of goats in Nepal
Table 3: Table of goat breed found in Nepal
|S.N.||Name of breed||Geographical regions||Purpose of rearing||Availability|
|1||Khari||Hills and inner valley||Meat||56.2%%|
|2||Boer||Hills and terai||Meat & breeding|
|3||Jamunapari||Terai and mid hills||Meat|
|4||Sinhal||Hills and mountains||Meat||15.6%|
|5||Sannen||Terai||Milk & meat|
|7||Chyangra||High hills & mountains||Meat and wool||1%|
Goat market is well managed in the rural areas of Nepal whereas in urban areas farmers are not satisfied with the goat market. Farmers take goat farming as the source of liquid money income because they can sell goats whenever they need it. One of the major problems in the goat market is the middle man trend as in other agricultural products. Because of these problems, real farmers are not benefited Slaughtering of goats and selling of meat is easy and common practice in rural areas of Nepal. They don’t need any special market for it. All ages of goats can be sold for different purposes in the Nepalese market. Not only the meat but goat’s wool and manure have a high value. The skin of goat is used to made different products in industries. The lacking knowledge of suitable age of goat selling is also a problem in the Nepalese goat market. Nowadays customer has direct contact with the commercial goat farmers that makes easier for selling goats.
Every opportunity comes with a challenge. There is a huge possibility for the production of the goat because of the increasing in meat demand and meat industries with the increment in population & daily meat consumption is taken as the sign of quality life. The community forest of Nepal add benefit for the production of goats because it helps to fulfil the demand of fodder. Nepal is a agricultural country and they practice agroforestry & livestock based farming system means fodder trees are grown around agricultural field it somehow help to manage the fodder problem. Ministry of Agriculture & livestock development Nepal and different INGOs, NGOs like heifer are making a lot effort to praise the goat farming by giving grants, subsidy & training to the farmers. Heifer International is working for the development of goat farming by providing the breeding buck and doe in different places of Nepal. Insurance facility helps to reduce the risk of goat farming as well.
The investment of private sector is high in the goat farming. Different types of training has been conducted in different places of Nepal that increase the interest of people in goat farming. With the consumption all over the country among all the cultural, social and ethnic groups, goat meat is the second most consumed meat in Nepal after buffalo meat, and constitutes for a quarter of all meat consumed despite the highest cost per unit weight. Goat meat industry has a good market potential for the budding entrepreneurs and investors if they could capitalize on the growing market demand.
Goat farming is a real profitable business despite of all the challenges. Due to the effort of traditional knowledge, MOALD & different INGO’s goat farming has reached to the next level. Increasing in human population demands high animal protein and goat meat can fulfill their animal protein hunger. Goat farming is suitable in Nepal also because of no traditional and cultural barrier in goat meat. Every religions & castes people rear and consume the goat meat. Goat is source of liquid money for the poor rural people.
Establishment of exotic breeds with superior genetic character in Nepal is luring the people towards goat farming. Establishment of good market, role of governmental and non-governmental agencies, private investment are the reasons for the development of goat farming in Nepal.