Goats help western Queensland graziers through the drought
"We had a good base ground of our harvested goats before we started buying others — that was important."
"The crossbreds are a lot more of a meat goat, which is what we are after because we are looking for a quick turnover of our goats," Ms Dennis said.
Once cluster fencing was in place, Mr Counsell introduced the goats and said he became impressed by their resilience.
Growing demand from export and domestic markets According to figures from Meat and Livestock Australia (MLA) 2–2.5 million goats were supplied for processing nationally in the 2017-2018 financial year.
Goat prices are holding strong in the market, and with the industry having lower production costs per animal than other livestock, returns are strong despite the drought.
Meat and Livestock Australia’s project manager for the goat industry Julie Petty said that despite the ongoing struggles in western Queensland, those turning to goats were seeing positive outcomes.
Fencing could improve goat numbers Western Meat Exporters managing director Campbell McPhee said that although the number of goats being processed had declined in western Queensland this year, mostly due to the conditions and wild dogs, more funding for cluster fencing would potentially see those numbers improve.
High demand for organic Mr McPhee said there was also an opportunity for producers to move into the organic goat meat market.
"We can definitely remain where we are pricewise — I think that’s what’s created the interest in the goat industry by more and more producers is our ability to hold those prices high and strong," he said.
"The ability of the market to attract, and continuing to attract, higher prices will remain.
The importance of goats in East Africa’s recovery from drought
After five years of drought, more that 1.5-million people were uprooted from their homes as their soils slowly, year by year, dried and cracked.
In Kenya, one goat can sell at market for $70.
While we are talking goats, we can also talk about cows and camels.
All in all, experts estimate that about 20% of the entire livestock of drought-affected areas has died.
While these estimates are not precise, it is safe to say millions of animals died.
When the Horn of Africa last had a famine in 2011, we talked of numbers which are hard to articulate.
Over the past year, governments and aid agencies worked hard to avoid famine, and large-scale death was averted.
How am I supposed to provide for my family with no livestock?” Ahmed, who lives with his family in a makeshift home built from aluminum and fabric in the outskirts of Hargesia, Somaliland, said: “I lost all of my animals decades ago during my first famine in the 1980s.
While this past year has brought rains to most areas, changing weather patterns mean this is an impasse and we need to think of the future.
For the more than 1.5-million people displaced over the past year, they will continue to be stuck in dismal camps for years to come and are dependent on our generosity.
Steps underway to quench thirst of livestock
Ads by Kiosked Anantapur: With the month of April experiencing high temperature, livestock-cows, buffaloes, sheep and goats- are questing for drinking water to just wet their throats.
Highlights: New scheme of constructing water tubs for the cattle launched on April 3 in Anantapur district The scheme is jointly executed by DWMA and Animal Husbandry department To offset drinking water shortage, District Collector Kona Sasidhar devised a new scheme to cater to water requirements of 48 lakh sheep and cattle in the district.
The purpose of the scheme is to provide drinking water tubs for the cattle in all villages in the district.
The scheme was launched by the Collector on April 3, 2017 to supply water to livestock especially during the on-going summer months.
These are community water tubs and all the cattle can quench its thirst from the tubs.
The construction of each tub costs Rs 25,000 with 17 per cent of it as wage component and 83 percent for materials.
In case of water scarcity, tankers will supply water to the water tubs and ensure availability of water for livestock throughout the day.
All the water tubs’ construction has been completed and proving to be a great boon to the cattle even as mercury levels are rising.
To effectively tackle thirst of livestock, the scheme is being executed on a war footing to prevent animal deaths and distress sales.
By Ravi P Benjamin