Zimbabwe set to enter goat meat export market

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Cold Storage Company (CSC), a meat processing and distribution parastatal, and ZimTrade, the national export promotion agency, have launched a training programme in Zimbabwe aimed at educating farmers on boosting goat production for exports.

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It is estimated that the country has 3, 1 million goats, more than 80% percent of which are owned by communal farmers, the Goat Breeders Association of Zimbabwe said.

According to CSC, there is much value to be unlocked for goat producers, and the company is setting up workshops in conjunction with ZimTrade to train goat farmers on how they can increase goat numbers and improve quality.

Speaking at the first training workshop at Matopos Research Station near Bulawayo, CSC manager for the Bulawayo abattoir, Willard Zvaita, said there was currently limited commercial production of goats in that country.

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Markets for goat meat had now been identified in Angola, Kuwait, the United Arab Emirates and Indonesia. However, an adequate supply of goats had to be ensured to supply regular volumes at specified time-lines, he said.

“Producers should organise themselves into consortia to supply us with viable volumes because on the export markets we will be competing with strong [international] brands,” Zvaita said.

ZimTrade Matabeleland regional manager, Similo Nkala, said farmers needed information on how to improve packaging and branding, health and safety standards, as well as detailed market trends and statistics.

Matabeleland North ZCFU project co-ordinator, Dingani Ndlovu, said goat rearing in Zimbabwe was largely undertaken on a small scale, but the industry had a lot of potential.

“As farmers we need to engage CSC on exports because it already has high slaughtering and control standards,” he said.