Print Edition - 2015-02-03 | MONEY
Returned migrant worker prospers as goat farmer
Feb 2, 2015-
Karma Singh KC of Lalmatia-8 returned to his village after spending eight years in a foreign land as a migrant worker. During one of his visits home, he decided not to go back. The 32-year-old jobseeker decided that he could put his valuable time to better use in Nepal.
Finally, he decided to rear goats in his own village. Today, KC owns 64 goats and earns Rs 1.2 million annually. “As demand for meat has been growing notably, rearing goats gives handsome returns,” said KC. He slaughters goats and sells mutton from his home.
Besides, selling meat in his village, he also supplies his products to Pokhara and Kathmandu. He has been rearing improved breeds of goats like Boer, Jamunapari, Beetal, Sirohi and a local breed Khari.
According to him, demand for Boer goat meat is high in the country as it is low in fat. The Boer goat is a breed that was developed in South Africa in the early 1900s for meat production. The Boer goat has a fast growth rate and excellent carcass qualities, making it one of the most popular breeds of meat goat in the world. Boer goats have high resistance to disease and adapt well to hot, dry semi-deserts. It commonly has a white body and a distinctive brown head. “Around 68 percent meat can be extracted from this breed and it fetches Rs 1,000 per kg,” he said.
Since the production cost of goats is much less compared to other cattle and goat farming can be done with a small initial investment, he decided to go into goat rearing. Goat rearing is also advantageous as the animals have a low mortality rate. At the same time, it can be easily managed by women and children. KC said that besides Boer goats, demand for Khari goats is also high due to the good taste of the meat. According to him, this breed is specifically used for sacrificial slaughter.
Khari goats have proved to be the most productive breed of goats for the hills and inner valleys in the country. They represent 56 percent of the total goat population. They are prolific, good for meat production and come in six different colour types. KC has leased 2 bighas of land from the local community forest for 10 years and has planted various types of grasses on it as fodder for his goats.
He has worked in varied countries like Malaysia, Qatar and Singapore, and now says that he wasted his time drifting around. “There are lots of opportunities in the country,” he said, adding hundreds of people go abroad for jobs because they do not know how to become an entrepreneur.
KC expressed sadness that the government’s various subsidies and schemes intended for the farm sector had not been able to reach targeted groups. According to Agriculture Ministry, the country currently has 9.78 million heads of goats.
Published: 03-02-2015 09:41