The Nkoma Farm Goat Project
At our Nkoma Farm Breeding Centre, PENHA maintains a stock of imported South African Boer goats, local, Ugandan Mubende goats and cross-bred goats.
Boer goats are meat goats, and goat meat fetches good prices on local and urban markets. (Roast goat meat is popular at social events and celebrations, so there is strong demand locally. Projects that promote milk goats have generally failed because, in may local cultures, it is considered shameful to drink goat milk.)
With carefully managed breeding, the herders at Nkoma produce a range of cross-bred goats – 25%, 50% and 75% Boer-Mubende crosses. The cross-bred goats are superior to pure local goats – they mature more quickly and produce more meat. They are also well adapted to local conditions. 25% and 50% cross-breeds are relatively easy to manage and care for. (75% Boer-Mubende crosses are very similar to pure Boer goats, which are large, aggressive and require expensive feeding and veterinary care.)
The project supplies cross-bred goats to women’s groups that have received training in the proper management of an improved goat project. A small, properly managed, commercial operation can make profits of up to $1,000 a year. Some of the women’s groups that our project supports are making profits of $300-500 a year, in a context where rural incomes are commonly around $200 annually. So, while it has not brought transformative change, the project has delivered tangible benefits and has helped beneficiaries to significantly increase their cash incomes. This despite a number of challenges, which are discussed below. It is also an important element in a wider set of activities, centred on local people’s own organizations, farmers’ groups and women’s groups, that aim to empower local people, with new knowledge, skills, information and productive assets.
Open Gate funding has enabled PENHA maintain and develop the breeding centre, and to:
- Pipe clean water to metal troughs
- Introduce new feed crops (Desdemodium and Elephant Grass)
- Establish and maintain structures - sheds, paddocks and fences
- Provide effective veterinary care and herd management
- Acquire new pure Boer goat stock
A full and illustrated copy of the report (pdf) can be downloaded here (858 kb)