The department of Animal Husbandry, Punjab has been taking efficient steps for a budding sector of goatery in the state. By improving the genetic potential of the livestock through scientific breeding and initiating various projects in favor of the goat farmers. The pinnacle mission of the department includes livestock healthcare to increase production and creativity, crating self-employment opportunities and to preserve, protect, strengthen and improve livestock.
What is goat rearing?
Goat is a small multi-functional animal, related to a sheep which owns a significant role in the economy, and the earning of landless, small and marginal farmers in the country. As the country moves towards a robust economy goat rearing is a concern which has been practiced by a large section of people, especially in the rural areas.
One of the major reason that goateries are turning out to be a budding sector in the state, is that goats can easily survive on the available shrubs and trees in adverse and harsh environment amidst the low fertility land where no crop is expected to grow. The regular earning from the goats, includes mainly milk. Goats can be milked twice a day and a flock of 70, yields 50 to 60 litres in a day. To annex the income of the farmer, an average goat produces one to two kids in a year, which are sold for about Rs. 2500. Davinder Singh, who is an owner of a hi-tech goat farm at Nathana in Bathinda that breeds Beatle and Barbari goats for slaughter to produce meat said that, “The easiest way is to sell the goats to the Gujjars (nomadic shepherds), who pay by the weight of the animal and give me even up to `3,000 for a kid,”.
The Punjab Animal Husbandry director, Mr. HS Sandha claimed that goat rearing is one of the easiest going alternative for the farmers, who are poor and desire to have a regular source of income, as goat rearing only requires a mere investment of Rs. 5000 for a start-up, however the returns are usually seen to be augmenting. “The milk is a source of income because it is a premium product. Though there are no separate government collection centres for it, the regular milk co-operatives accept it. Adult goats are sold off in mandis or as meat. A fair number of buyers come from Rajasthan to look for goat meat. The government gives 25 to 33% subsidy on a unit of Rs 1 lakh where 40 goats can be reared,” he said.
It would not be wrong to claim that, 50% of the earning is ploughed back into goatery and Rs. 10,000- Rs. 35,000 for an average goat, may strike up to Rs. 60,000 for a very superior goat. Another bulge of goatery is that cross breed goats are less prone to diseases and the meat obtained is palatable. The Animal Husbandry Department gives a subsidy of Rs 25,000 for buying a unit of 40 she-goats and two he-goats. Those belonging to the SC category get a subsidy of Rs 33,330.
Keeping in view the fact that the goat meat has huge domestic demand, and its various economic prospects, goat rearing has been witnessing incitement in the commercial sector in the state.