Raising goats to beat the drought in eastern Kenya

| April 28, 2019

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This week’s Farmer story from Ghana is about the changing climate in that country. Our Script of the week also covers climate change.

Climate change is often presented in the media as a horror story, a disaster waiting to happen. It’s true that most scientists agree that, even if the nations of the world manage to strongly cut emissions of greenhouse gases, the global climate is still going to change, in many ways for the worse. And small-scale African farmers are among those who will be most affected by these changes, both because they are dependent on the weather and because they are often poor. But African farmers have great strength and resilience. They are experienced at dealing with changes in the weather and have a rich heritage of methods to deal with these kinds of changes.

In eastern Kenya, farmers are faced with extended droughts. In Kenya, most livestock keepers prefer to raise cattle. But with the changing climate, a few small-scale farmers have recently discovered that goat farming is a lucrative substitute for cows.

Goats are hardy animals, especially in dry areas. They do not consume a lot of fodder, can go for several days on the water in the food they eat, do not require much land, and, if well-managed, gain enough weight to be sold in six months.

This script shows how a small-scale farmer can get a lot of milk and manure, and eventually make money by selling goats.

This script is based on actual interviews. You could use this script as inspiration to research and write a script on a similar topic in your area. Or you might choose to produce this script at your station as part of your regular farming program, using voice actors to represent the speakers. If so, please make sure to tell your audience at the beginning of the program that the voices are those of actors, not the original people involved in the interviews.

You could also use this script as research material or as inspiration for creating programming on dairy goat farming in your country.

Talk to farmers who raise dairy goats. You might ask them:

What are the benefits of raising dairy goats?

What are the challenges? How have you addressed those challenges?

Do you think farmers can make money in this area raising goats?

You could also host a call-in program where farmers talk about these issues. You could invite an expert to talk and respond to farmers’ questions and comments.