When he looks at his goats’ house, Nobert Nuwamanya sees money. His belief is that he and the entire village are grazing poverty out of their midst, one goat at a time.
Rwemiga, his village sits on one of the hills in Kitagwenda district.
Years ago, poverty was the second name of this village. Rather than graze goats, villagers grazed poverty.
“The Government through the Poverty Alleviation Department (PAD) gave us these goats,” Nuwamanya says. The goats were pure Boers originating from South Africa. The villagers started crossing them and soon, they multiplied.
“Those who got them were asked to give away the first two kids to another farmer,” he says.
And now, the village is slowly turning into a cluster of improved goats. “They grow faster, hence can bring in money faster,” he says.
Nuwamanya sells a four months old cross at sh400,000.
“In one year, each of the six goats delivers twice, with an average of two kids. It means that I can sell at least 24 goats a year,” he says.
Nuwamanya adds that: “Every time it delivers, poverty is extended further. We are fighting poverty one goat delivery at a time.”
Goat farming is increasingly becoming popular in Uganda. The number of people setting up new goat farms is on the rise as those previously engaged in goat farming on subsistence scale are also rapidly transitioning to commercial production.
This has been majorly due to the vast market for goats and goat meat both locally and internationally, especially the Arabic countries in northern parts of Africa and the Middle East. The current level of goat production in the country cannot even sustain the local market.
There are several reasons why commercial goat farming is a great and profitable business idea.
“Firstly, the capital required to setup a goat enterprise is comparatively less than that for other livestock enterprises like dairy and beef enterprises,” Nuwamanya says.
He explains that it is, therefore, even more suitable for the youth and women who may not have a huge capital base to start a livestock enterprise.
Advantages of goat rearing
-Each well-managed doe would most likely produce twins or triplets a minimum of three times in two years. With this, you can grow your business to the next level within a small period of time. In any livestock enterprise, housing forms one of the most expensive initial investment costs. However, goats require housing facilities that are less elaborate and less costly as compared to other livestock like cattle.
-It is easy to maintain goats and maintenance costs are also less. The cost of feeding and maintaining goats is lower than the one of cattle. They can be kept on a limited area of land (too small for cattle) and with minimal investment in feeds. -They are better adapted to extreme climatic conditions like in arid and semi-arid conditions. Goats are hardy animals. They do not suffer severely to most of the diseases as compared to cattle and pigs. A disease outbreak in a goat flock may not wipe out the entire flock contrary to the situation in cattle and pigs