Goats are fantastic animals, and can provide milk, meat and money for the rural families that keep them. Here are a few reasons why many companies and cooperatives in Africa invests in goats in Africa:
1. Goats are well-adapted to harsh African landscapes, as their grazing preferences mean they will feed on weeds, shrubs and other plants that other domestic animals refuse to eat.
2. Goats are small and require less space than larger animals. They also have a shorter reproduction cycle, so it’s easier to rebuild population numbers if they drop after a drought.
3. Goats are easier to work with than large livestock and are cheaper to buy and maintain
4. They can also be a vital source of income, not just producing meat and milk, but also value-added products such as cheese and butter, which smallholders can sell for bigger profits at market.
5. Goats produce manure that can be used to fertilise crops,which makes them even more useful for smallholder farmers.
6. Goats can also build resilience to climate change – keeping goats alongside other livestock and crop production means that farmers have another stream of income if either their crops or cattle are affected by drought