DAIRY GOAT BREEDING CENTER: AN EXCELLENT INITIATIVE THAT CAN SUSTAINABLY TRANSFORM GRASS ROOT FARMERS LIVES
BY: MOSES HATEGEKA
Millions and tens of thousands of grass root farmers’ families in Uganda and Africa at large, are living below poverty line, surviving on less than one dollar ($1) a day and are trapped in chronic poverty circle, with many of them possessing very little hope of to one day be better. Many of their children are malnourished and suffering from various forms of diseases like kwashakor, persistent fever, memory lapses, etc., as they are not able to feed on balanced diet, which their bodies needs to function properly. Majority of grass root farmers cannot afford decent accommodation later alone to properly educate their children.
These people thus needs special programs from people/organizations of good will, if they are, to be helped move a way from hunger and poverty predicament situations they are living in. one of such programs, should be an establishment of dairy goat breeding center.
In Uganda and Africa at large as well as globally, the demand for goats’ milk is skyrocketing on daily basis because of its nutritious values, proven scientific evidence, also states that, goat’s milk contains more nutrients a human body craves for and that it is more healthier to human body than a cow’s milk. Because of this, goat rearing is now one of the most profitable livestock farming initiative, which I also believe that, if introduced to grass root farmers in Uganda, will positively transform their lives.
When a goat dairy breeding center is established here in Uganda, it will be a goat rearing training center, where grass root farmers from various parts of the country, will always come in and be trained in goat rearing techniques including, feeding, healthcare, breeding, housing, milk storage as well as marketing techniques. Many of these grass root farmers are only used to traditional goats and have not in their lives seen goat breeds such as, Saanen, Alpine goats, Toggenburg, Nubian goats, etc. they will thus need to be trained in these mentioned goat rearing techniques.
One dairy goat will not only transform a single house hold but a chain of households, this is because, with this program, every grass root farmer who receives a dairy goat from the center, will be mandatory required to pass on the first female offspring of his/her goat to the next grass root farmer in need in his/her community. The process will go on like this until the large numbers of grass root farmers are covered. This will also go on complementing their crop farming initiatives, as they will be getting goat’s wastes for use as fertilizers in their gardens
With this program in place, farmers will be able to get enough milk for their families thus contributing greatly to meeting the nutritional needs of their homesteads, and will also be able to get revenue from the sale of surplus milk which in turn will enable them, to buy books and school uniforms and send their children to school, which currently they are failing to do. They will also be tought how to save and with these small savings, they will be trained and encouraged to invest more in goat rearing business, this time now buying breeds from the center, so as to make the breeding center and their goat business sustainable. This in addition to transforming their lives will also give farmers, a sense of dignity and pride in their communities.
Establishing a goat breeding center with purchase of land (80 hectares of land) where the center will be established on, purchase of 250 dairy goats (various dairy breeds), land preparation, feeds, labor, professional fee, infrastructural facilities, routine center management and maintenance, etc., will costs approximately, $90,000 (US DULLARS)
In sum, establishing a goat breeding center here in Uganda, will not only transform Uganda’s grass root farmers lives, but will also be a goat rearing training and research center for other grass root farmers in East African region with interest in goat rearing as well. Many farmers in Uganda and in East African region I have and always interacting with, are eager and willing to fully engage in this program.
MOSES HATEGEKA, is a practicing farmer with a mission compassionate of where resources allows, to always help grass root farmers in Africa, to adopt new agricultural technologies and usage of evolving methods of increasing production. He is also a Ugandan based independent governance researcher, public affairs analyst and writer.