Opportunities and needs in development of smallholder goat production systems in Africa


  • Never Assan Zimbabwe Open University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Agriculture Management, Bulawayo Region, Box 3550, Bulawayo, Zimbabwe


Goat Production, Opportunities, Needs, Smallholder, Africa


A detailed diagnosis of the dynamics of smallholder goat farming systems will guide in any of livelihood intervention programs which takes into account the important socioeconomic issues towards improving the standard of living of the rural poor in Africa.  Goats  provide smallholder resource poor farmers with a vast range of products and services such as immediate cash income, meat, milk, skin, manure, risk spreading/ management and social functions.  This is on the background that goats require smaller investments, have shorter production cycles and greater environmental adaptability, and hence have a unique niche in smallholder agriculture which make them a sustainable enterprise in the context of climate change and variability. This is a review paper that explores the feasibility of goat production  as an viable option to improve the quality of life of rural populations in Africa. The discussion highlights the opportunities and challenges in maximizing goat production on the continent focusing on the reducing the current animal product  demand supply gap in rural areas. Empirical evidence show that goat population do play a greater role  in smallholder farming sector and the species is increasing in numbers than othe livestock. The major concern for using goats  is their ecological and physiological  adaptive traits which will be more important in the context of climate change variability and other common environmental shocks. The factors which contribute to efficiency in goat production as influenced by water stress, feed inadequacy and disease resistance should be studied further inorder for goats to continualy survive the extremities of climate change. Study conclude that goats constitute an important reservoir of genetic material and sustainable form of animal production that has significant potential for alleviating malnutrition and food insecurity in  Africa.


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How to Cite

Assan, N. . (2014). Opportunities and needs in development of smallholder goat production systems in Africa. Scientific Journal of Animal Science, 3(8), 203-212. Retrieved from https://www.sjournals.com/index.php/sjas/article/view/825



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