New Delhi: India has the second largest goat population in the world and there is a need to further increase goat production to reduce poverty and achieve the target of doubling farmers income by 2022, the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) said on Monday.
The IFAD is organising a two-day conference, starting on Monday, in the national capital to discuss how to significantly improve the goat sector in rural areas, specifically in Uttar Pradesh, Bihar and Odisha. The IFAD is partnering with the government, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and Agri-solutions for this.
“Raising goats is an income-generating activity that has enormous potential to increase incomes and improve nutrition for resource poor households, especially in remote, tribal and ecologically vulnerable areas. It is an activity that requires minimal investment and input costs. Goats are also prolific breeders and have a good survival rate in drought prone areas," the IFAD said in a statement.
Stating that India has the second largest global goat population, the IFAD said the country has the potential to increase its role and profits in the lucrative global goat market. Building a vibrant goat sector in India is critical to reducing poverty, meeting the Sustainable Development Goals and India’s own rural development goal of doubling farmers’ income by 2022, the statement said.
“We can really have an impact on poverty reduction because we can demonstrate that we can double smallholder producers’ incomes by improving their goat production and by connecting them to the increasing market demand for mutton and goat meat," said Antonio Rota, IFAD’s lead technical specialist on livestock.
“There are various parties that are ready to invest. We would like to help producers and interested parties come together and create the kinds of lasting partnerships that support goat producers and allow them access to the untapped market as equal partners," Rota said.