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All hail the goat!

In previous articles, we would have discussed small ruminant farming. Small ruminant farming is the farming of goats and sheep for meat, milk, skin for leather and wool.
Small ruminant production is important as it aids in increasing food security and alleviating poverty. It serves as an economic advantage as the variety of products that are marketable from farming these animals greatly outweighs the cost of production.
In this article, we will highlight goat farming. Rearing goats is a very profitable business, especially in Trinidad and Tobago. Due to its good economic prospects, goat rearing under intensive and semi-intensive systems for commercial production is gaining momentum over the past ten years.
The high demand for goat and its products (meat, milk etc.) with potential of good economic returns are encouraging many progressive farmers, businesspeople, professionals, ex-servicemen, and youths to take up the goat enterprise on a commercial scale.
Goats are multi-functional animals which means that a wide variety of products can be obtained from them such as milk, meat, fibre, and manure. The milk from goats can be used for producing full cream goat powder, skimmed goat milk powder, goat butter, goat milk cream and fresh goat milk.
Goat meat is a great source of consumable meat which is very tasty, nutritious, and healthy. Also, goat’s wool is used in various purposes and its skin plays a crucial role in leather industry.
The advantages of goat farming can further be detailed:

• Goat products are healthy and easily digestible – Goat products such as milk and meat are not only nutritious but easily digestible and its meat and milk are cholesterol free.
• Good breeders – Goats are not only very friendly and lovable by nature but are excellent breeders too. They reach sexual maturity within 7–12 months of age and give birth to kids within a short timeframe. Also, some goat breeds produce many kids per kidding.
• Less risk – Goats can be milked as often as required. This also prevents refrigeration costs and milk storage problems.
• High price in market – Goat meat has a huge demand and sell at a high price in the local and international markets.
• Best milk producers – Due to this quality, goats are popularly called the “foster mother of human”. Their milk is considered as the best milk for human consumption than any other species of livestock animal’s milk. The milk is low cost, nutritious and wholesome.

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