In this blog post we will be discussing the 5 major problems faced in Goat farming in Nigeria. Goat farming in Nigeria from time immemorial has been a practice that is as age-long as food consumption by the people in itself had been. The practice had been exclusively a household practice in which the domestic environment was used to provide for the needs of the animals and other additional needs are sourced by the goats themselves on an extensive system.
In Nigeria, evolving into the modernization of practice coupled with the need to meet the nutritional and delicacy requirements of animal protein for the increasing population, there came the need for the practice of goat farming to go beyond the household domestic system and move into a system that is larger and more professional to produce more goats that can meet up with the increasing demand.
Different kinds of systems were borne out of this need and currently, the production of goats in Nigeria is a money-making venture for those in the practice.
However, the farmers; existing, beginners, and intending, are challenged with some major problems, and highlighted in the continuance of this article are five which we will like our readers to know about.
Diseases and lack of proper veterinary services
There is no level or form of goat farming in Nigeria that does not suffer the challenge of health problems with their animals, and getting proper veterinary service for adequate treatment is quite difficult. There are a series of outbreaks that could affect goats in general asides from the common problems that could be possible, especially with the diverse climatic conditions we experience all-round the year. We have outbreaks like PPR(also known as goat plague), Foot and mouth disease, and Contagious Caprine Pleuropneumonia among others. Other kinds of diseases that are challenging to the goat and interfere with the productivity include worms’ infestation, ectoparasites infestation (mange, ticks, fleas), feed contaminants (like fungi), vector-borne diseases (rodents), and others that could occur due to bacteria and other forms of microorganism.
Goat farming requires the provision of adequate feeding to the animals to provide their nutritional requirement. The cost of ensuring that all the necessary nutritional elements are made available in the diets of the goat is not cheap. Gone are the days when the agricultural practice was the order of the day and animals are allowed to be on free range thereby allowing them to access as much quality, complete, and varieties of feed as possible. However, the farming and production of goats in the current realities show that is no longer sustainable and all these had to be provided for in the form of formulated and finished feed corroborated with available forage that could be accessed. The ability to make this provision boosts and accelerates the growth and productivity of the goats; however, it is not cheap.
Selecting the right breed
It is not enough to surmount the other problems and not be able to select the right breed of goat for production. There are different breeds of goats and their performance is affected by various factors which primarily include; environment, feeding, healthcare, and management system. Most of the goat farming practices in Nigeria do not do enough in evaluating all these factors to select the right breed of goat that could be able to produce what they want. For example; if you do not have enough intensive facilities and an uninterrupted healthcare plan that can enable an exotic breed, it is better to use indigenous breeds on your farm but you could enhance them with an exotic breed to boost their performance rather than go into full breeding of exotic breeds of goats. Some goats do better under certain conditions than others, both go hand in hand and lots of goat farms in Nigeria have not been putting this into consideration thus suffering a lack of optimum productivity and maximum profitability.
The principal of any system is the management of that system because it is saddled with the responsibility of planning for such a system and executing decisions and advisories. The same goes for goat farming just that it is most times common to see that the right personnel are not always engaged to constitute the management of most goat farms in Nigeria. If one is to go by the demands and challenges that face goat farming, the presence of management that is skilled and learned in the business of goat farming cannot be overemphasized as against the norms of seeing family members that do not know anything and are not ready to learn anything being used as the overseer of goat farms. There are some decisions and professional counsel that a goat farm needs to succeed that only trained people in the management will be able to understand but in Nigeria, that is not the situation in most cases thus leading to backwardness in the business of goat farming.
There are not enough marketing structures in place for goat farming in Nigeria. Farmers are meant to source for the market themselves and that can be very tedious. The desperation of farmers to get the goats sold at times to make them dispose of it at less valued prices and that does not commensurate with the profits expected after all the investments that had gone in.
When solutions to all these problems are obtained, goat farming is one of the most profitable ventures that one can embark on in the Agribusiness world.
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