Goat Keeping in Africa
Goats provide their owners with a broad range of products and socio-economic services and have played an important role in the social life of many African people, being used as gifts, dowry, in religious rituals and rites of passage. Being relatively tolerant of drought, goats can survive with little watering.
Depending on the breed their fast reproduction rate enables their owners to recover quickly, following a drought. Goats, being small, can be carried or moved easily if a family is forced to leave home.
Goats are kept in small herds on mixed farms all over Africa, from the humid coastal zones in West Africa to the highlands of Ethiopia. Farmers and pastoralists all over Africa are increasingly turning to goats as a means of survival and a way of boosting their incomes.
This presents African governments responsible for animal resources with new opportunities for reaching the poorest farmers in their countries. Goats are deeply embedded in almost every African culture and are true friends to the rural poor.
Goats are kept in a wide range of ecological zones and growing systems in Africa. The increasing frequency of droughts, together with long-term environmental degradation, is causing many pastoralists to move away from keeping cattle to keeping goats.
There is a marked trend towards keeping more small animals such as goats as a proportion of livestock than large livestock animals in the Maasai in Kenya and Afar in Ethiopia communities. There are many reasons for this as goats are relatively cheap to acquire and reproduce quickly.
With more regular droughts, pastoral families are in a constant state of recovery from the last drought and seldom get a chance to re-establish the previous status quo based on larger stock. Pastoralists in Africa are increasingly realizing that they need to rely on goats more and more. There are very few large-scale commercial goat farms in Africa with the majority of them found in South Africa, Kenya, and Uganda.
Three interesting things about goats
Goats do not have teeth in their upper front jaw.
Goats are agile jumping over 5 feet and able to climb trees.
South Africa when it comes to producing goats is found throughout the country in Eastern Cape, Limpopo, and KwaZulu-Natal provinces. South Africa has 3% of the African goat population and 1% of the world's go population. The Boer goat is the most important meat breed in South Africa, the Savannah and Kalahari red goat produces Kashmir for fiber production. Goat breeds for milk production in South Africa are Saanen, Toggenburg, and Alpine goats. These are called milch goats.
Kenya's local goat breeds are the Small East African (SEA) goat found throughout East Africa from desert to urban settings used mainly for meat. The long and tall bodied Galla goat is known as the Boran or Somali goat is a high producing milk goat of the Kenyan arid and semi-arid areas because they tolerate heat and drought very well.
Galla goats can grow up to six feet long, have very little fat and mature faster than any other breed of Kenyan goats. There are many crosses depending on the breeds used. The exotic breeds; Saanen, Toggenburg, and British Alpine have been crossed with the local breeds to get a better adapted and higher-yielding animal than the local goats.
Goats are commercially and locally popular found in over 50% of households throughout Uganda. In Uganda, the slow-growing Small East African goat is used for leather making from their skins and meat production. The East African Mubende and Kigezi goats are indigenous breeds from limited regions of Uganda.
The Mubende goat is named after the Mubende is a district in the Central Region of Uganda. Goat milk in Uganda is not a common feature since the types of goats breed are used mainly for meat. In areas of Uganda where the prized Saanen and Toggenburg milking goats are found, the drinking and selling of goat milk is not common.
Goat milk is similar nutritionally to cow milk, but goat milk has smaller fat globules and is easier for people to digest who are lactose intolerant. Cows produce around 75 % of the milk consumed in Africa; milk from goats contributes around 13 % and the remaining 12 % by other animals such as sheep and camels.
In Africa, cow, goat, sheep and camel milk is usually consumed raw or made into soured milk. Raw milk is milk that has not been heated to a particular temperature for a certain amount of time or unpasteurized milk. Soured milk is raw milk in which an acid such as lemon or vinegar is added and used in numerous cooked porridge recipes throughout Africa.
Soured milk plays an important role in Africa including making the make tastier and extending the shelf life. In South Africa, traditional fermented milk amasi, sethemi, mafi, and madila are favorite recipes. In ESwatini a popular fermented milk recipe is emasi. To make emasi fermented milk simply leave raw milk to naturally ferment at room temperature in a clay pot until thick curds form this may take 2–3 days.
Another favorite recipe of Africa is stewed goat. Goat meat is lean meat and meets the demand for leaner and nutritious red meat. below is the perfect goat meat recipe for beginning goat meat-eaters.
One of the pleasures in life is eating a delicious curry goat recipe. Goat meat, also known as Chevon in Northern Europe, Capretto in Australia and Southern Europe and Cabrito in Latin America and has been an important source of meat for centuries around the world.
Regardless of the name, Goat meat is a popular recipe to people in Africa, Asia, Caribbean, Greece, India, Italy, Mexico, Pakistan, and South America.
Stewed Curry Goat Recipe
2 pounds cubed goat meat
2 heaping tablespoons good quality curry powder
1 teaspoon black pepper
1 onion chopped
3 cloves garlic chopped
2 large white potatoes cubed
2 large tomatoes diced
2 large carrots sliced evenly
1 red pepper chopped
1 hot pepper whole
5 cups of water
Salt to taste
Add all the ingredients to a large pot, cover and simmer on medium low 3-4 hours until goat is tender.