Date Posted: August 20th, 2012
Livestock farming can be a great way for farmers to diversify their work and bring in additional income. Smaller animals can be appealing to farmers venturing into livestock keeping, as they require a smaller investment and less risk than, for example, cattle.
Past FRW articles have looked at how poultry and even rodents have become a good source of income and food for farmers expanding into livestock:
-Mali: Poultry farming helps a farmer make ends meet: (FRW #154, May 2011): http://weekly.farmradio.org/2011/05/02/mali-poultry-farming-helps-a-farmer-make-ends-meet-farm-radio-weekly/
-Democratic Republic of the Congo: Guinea pigs make their way into homes and diets (FRW #101, March 2010): http://weekly.farmradio.org/2010/03/01/1-democratic-republic-of-the-congo-guinea-pigs-make-their-way-into-homes-and-diets-afp-ciat/
Goat rearing provides income and security for many families in Africa. Women often take care of goats, and may sell their milk and meat. Goats are quite easy to keep, requiring a minimum of housing and attention. Sometimes they can even become pests, as they will eat almost anything. Farmers often have to control their movements to stop them eating crops in the fields.
For more information on keeping goats, here is a handbook written for farmers:
This reference provides further background on the potential of goats for poverty reduction: http://www.scribd.com/doc/21054002/FARM-Africa-Working-Paper-Goats-Unlocking-their-potential-for-Africa%E2%80%99s-farmers.
You might be inspired to produce a program that looks at the value of goats in a rural community. As they are so common, goats are often overlooked or taken for granted.
-What role do goats play in farming households?
-Who is responsible for caring for them?
-How are they valuable for small-scale farmers?
-Can farmers easily access information about keeping goats?
-How common is it for farmers to spend money on veterinary fees or medications for goats?
-Do farmers have any best practices in goat keeping they can share?
-Are there local enterprises that sell goat milk?
-Do farmers value crossbred goats over local goats? What are the advantages of crossbreeds? Are there any drawbacks?
To browse Farm Radio International scripts on livestock and beekeeping, go to: