Why we’ll not stop keeping goats

Friday September 26 2014

Women in Vitengeni,  Kilifi receive Galla goats for rearing. PHOTO | KEVIN ODIT

Women in Vitengeni, Kilifi receive Galla goats for rearing. PHOTO | KEVIN ODIT | NATION MEDIA GROUP

By BOZO JENJE
More by this Author

Celestine Safari smiles broadly as she feeds her 17 goats in her Vitengeni home in Kilifi County.

The chairperson of Furaha Women’s Group holds values the goats and she goes to great length to take care of them.

Celestine is among farmers keeping Galla goats, which have been introduced in the region for meat.

The goats are being kept by different women’s groups, such as Furaha Tosha and Hakika Tuafanya.

Celestine received two does and three bucks in 2012 from Coast Women in Development.

The goats have multiplied and she now has 22. She sold five bucks recently at Sh10,000 each to Coast Women in Development, which bought them to distribute to other women.

“I was among the first woman to get the goats,” says Celestine. She feeds them shrubs and grass.

IMPROVE THE BREED

The Galla goats are being cross-bred with ordinary ones to improve the breed. Kavumbi Kenga, a member of Furaha Tosha, who has 15 goats, says they were trained on animal husbandry and record keeping.

“We are able to construct our own sheds for the goats, prepare fodder, select quality animals for rearing, detect diseases and dispense vaccines,” Kenga says.

Hakika Tuafanya member Jacinta Noah says her group members have learned to be goat farmers.

“We expect to increase our herd and give other women’s groups three goats so that we can comfortably supply the animals to an abattoir in the area,” she said.

Coast Women in Development executive director Betty Sharon says they started with 62 goats. The animals are reared for meat only.

The target is to make 1,000 women goat farmers in the next five years in the region.

Vitengeni Division livestock extension officer Michael Mwasaru says goats are the best animals to keep in the semi-arid area because they are hardy.

“Mature Galla bucks can produce up to 30kg of meat compared to normal goats that have an average live weight of seven to 10kg.”