Notes to broadcasters: Dairy goats

    | August 19, 2013

    Download this story

    Raising goats provides income and food security for many families in Africa. Women often take care of goats, and sometimes 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 from eating crops in the fields.

    In some countries where goats are commonly kept, efforts have been made to improve breeds. Crossbred goats produce more milk and are bigger than local goats. They fetch higher prices. But confusion and complications can arise. Farmers may claim goats are crossbred when they are not. Breeding records may not be kept, which can lead to inbreeding and other problems.
    Goat’s milk contains vitamins, minerals, electrolytes, trace elements, enzymes, protein, and fatty acids that are readily utilized by the body. For more information on goat’s milk, visit this page: For further information on goats in general, go to the Wikipedia page:

    Farm Radio International’s latest Audio Postcard features Kafunè Mariko, a young woman from Mali who is starting a goat project. You can hear the postcard through this link:

    Stories published in Farm Radio Weekly on goats and other livestock include:

    Nigeria: Cassava waste is good food for goats (February 2009)

    Tanzania: Para-vets help keep herds healthy (March 2008)

    Farm Radio International scripts which you may find relevant include:

    Farmer in Malawi uses animal dung to protect crops by fending off hungry goats. Package 90, Script 4, April 2010

    Animal welfare: A well-treated animal is a productive animal. Package 88, Script 5, July 2009

    Farm Radio International will be releasing a new Radio Resource Pack in September 2013, which will feature a new script on raising goats for nutrition and profit. The script centres on farmers in northern Uganda, but farmers and broadcasters from across Africa will find it of interest. Keep an eye on our website ( ) for its release!
    You may 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.

    Here are some questions to consider when creating your program:

    -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’s milk?
    -Do farmers value crossbred goats over local goats? What are the advantages of crossbreeds? Are there any drawbacks?