Friday June 21, 2024

Goat farming a speedy way to alleviate poverty in rural South Punjab

April 22, 2024
In this representational image, goats are in the farm. — Unsplash/File
In this representational image, goats are in the farm. — Unsplash/File

MULTAN: The latest goat rearing practices can help enhance income remarkably from 20 to 50 per cent higher than traditional rearing methods and also address the issue of poverty amicably in South Punjab.

South Punjab is a hub of livestock, but most of the cattle-farmers are lacking awareness about modern rearing practices, said Deputy Director Livestock Dr Jamshaid Akhtari while talking to the agency here on Sunday. Makhi Cheeni, Nugri, Nagri, and Faisalabadi beetal goats are very much popular in South Punjab, informed Dr Jamshaid, adding that the cattle farmers should follow modern practices to generate more income from these breeds. Goats can play vital role in addressing issue of poverty in rural areas. Goats are also called as “Cows of the Poor”, because the poor can easily rear it. Even women can rear goats as it is not powerful animal. Its meat has high demand. However, the poor can fulfill milk needs from the goats, he added. As per recommendation of the Pakistan Protein Committee, in our country, everybody should obtain 48 grams of protein from animals, but our per head consumption is only 17 grams, which is very low. Goats give birth twice in a year and it is usually twins or triplets so it can help meet kitchen requirements in poor families.

In Multan division, the farmers possess over 2.5 million goats, which are handsome source to meet daily life expenses in rural areas of South Punjab. When questioned about modern farming techniques, Dr Jamshaid observed that the cattle farmers did not pay focus on record keeping, the expenditures on rearing of animals and earning from the small animals. He observed that the poultry farmers were well aware of record keeping because they knew difference between expenditures and final earning.

The goat farmers lacked sufficient knowledge about the wise use of fodder, nutrition, housing, ventilation, overcrowding at cattle-pens, Dr Jamshaid informed and added that the cattle farmers should have proper awareness about scientific rearing practices because it was very important from earning point of view.

He suggested the farmers to install galvanized wire around cattle-pens instead of bamboos as goats used to eat bamboo which is not good for their health. In covered cattle-pen, every goat should have enough space at least 6 to 10 square feet, however, in the open cattle-pen, it should be double. About feed, he suggested grazing of animals in open field.

Dr Jamshaid proposed that the government should allocate land to the cattle holders for grazing. There is huge space available in the country for this purpose. The investors should also focus on goat rearing because they could export its meat. As its meat has high demand, it can offer handsome return to the investors. Similarly, leaves of “kekar” trees have also good nutritional value. When there is shortage of fodder, the rear should utilise silage, hey and “wanda” as it full of nutritional ingredients, stated Jamshaid. He said that floor of the animal housing should be dry. It should have huge flow of air and light. Shelter should be made in such a way that it should be very suitable for controlling temperature and moisture. Similarly, never let the rain water flow inside the goat housing.

There should be not trash around the animal housing as it would cause spread of diseases. The cattle farmers should contact qualified veterinary doctors instead of quacks. The quacks utterly ignore diagnostic tests and make blunders in treating animals, he concluded.