The red goat is easily recognizable, with its long coat resembling a woolly sheep and distinctive rusty colour, although it’s not native to Burkina Faso. Originating in Niger, and more precisely from Maradi in the south, red goats are being imported by Burkinabe farmers as a good source of nutritious milk.
Richard Mone is a supplier of red goats. He says the red goat is a dairy goat, slightly larger than local goats. He explains, “It’s a breed that not only fights against poverty, but also against malnutrition, because goat’s milk is one of the best milks from a nutritional perspective.”
Goat’s milk contains many vitamins and minerals, including protein, iron, vitamin C, vitamin D, calcium, magnesium, and other minerals.
Yasmine Ouedraogo is a nutrition educator. While she says that the best milk for humans is human breast milk, for adults, goats are a great source of nutrients. In addition to vitamins and minerals, it’s low in lactose and easy to digest. She adds: “It has all possible mineral salts. It has all the vitamins possible to ensure the growth of a child, and even help with the nutritional care of malnourished children. Because when children are malnourished, they need protein.”
There are benefits for adults as well. Ms. Ouedraogo explains: “When women are in menopause, doctors and dieticians will advise them to consume more minerals. Goat’s milk is a mine of minerals. Minerals also help people fight against stress.”
Red goats produce a good quantity of milk, from 1 to 1.5 litres per day.
Mr. Mone says they are also prolific breeders. A female goat gives birth to three kids at a time, and can give birth twice a year, meaning that a pair of goats can grow to a herd of eight in just one year if they are well cared for.
Otherwise, Mr. Mone says the breed is similar to local goats, and eat the same food, making care easy.
An imported goat costs about 50,000 FCFA (US $82), but Mr. Mone says it is a good investment for rural families, as they can improve nutrition and income for vulnerable households.
This story was adapted from a video published by AgribusinessTV called “The benefits of red goat’s milk.” To watch the video, go to: https://agribusinesstv.info/en/burkina-faso-the-benefits-of-red-goats-milk/