The Delta State Government has given reasons for planning to set up the goat fattening program for goat farmers in the state.
According to a statement by the state Commissioner for Agriculture and Natural Resources, Mr. Julius Egbedi, the objective of the program is to promote modern goat farming as a profitable enterprise that will increase farm income, animal protein production and create jobs.
He specifically stated that the program will amongst others; diversify farm income base, expand the scope for job and wealth creation in the livestock subsector, upgrade local breeds of goat, especially the West African dwarf goats, through artificial insemination so as to improve their growth performance and productivity.
Also included is to establish three artificial insemination centers across the state, build capacity of officers and farmers in artificial insemination for the production of goats for local and export markets, and provide credit support for goat farmers.
As a forerunner to the program, the ministry trained 183 farmers on profitable goat farming in 2018 and also collaborated with Market Development Program in the Niger Delta (MADE) on the development of ruminant feed finishing (fattening) enterprise in the state.
The Commissioner stated that the collaboration with MADE was to support farmers in the state to access technology (by way of training), good husbandry practices and alternative markets which led to the training of 851 farmers across the state in 2019.
In its bid to achieve export goals and upgrading the livestock industry in the state, the ministry initiated discussion with the Country Representative of Kasha International Agriculture Development Organisation (KIADO) and expressed interest to participate in the KIADO 10th Century Program on cattle, goat and sheep skills acquisition training on artificial insemination, semen transfer and cross breeding.