Hari Gautam, The Kathmandu Post, 04 May 2018
Five Australian Boer goats that were brought to the district two years ago have successfully increased their numbers via cross breeding. The five male goats were imported from Australia at Rs250,000 per goat.
Out of the five, two died from illness while the remaining three are actively being used for breeding. The district livestock office had imported the goats with support from Food Security Project.
The remaining three are distributed among different farmer groups of Musikot Municipality. They use the imported goats to mate with local goats and the resulting offspring produces higher quality of meat when fully grown.
“The boer breed of goat was imported for producing improved breed of goat suitable for meat in the district,” said Krishna Bahadur Karki, chief of district livestock office. Within two years, according to Karki, the imported male goats were involved in the production of 150 other male goats which were sold to farmers in other districts.
“This is the statistic taken a couple of months ago,” said Karki. “The number might have increased.” According to the office, offspring born to the Australian goat gain weight very fast. Within six months, the goats weigh 42 kg and are ready to be sold for meat. Similarly, the female goats mature within six months and are capable of breeding. “But, we have suggested the farmers to use the female goat for breeding only after eight months for healthy goats,” said Karki.
Due to the introduction of boer breed in the district, it has become self-reliant in meat for last couple of years and is even exporting meat to neighbouring district. Jajarkot, Dolpa, Dang, Nepalgunj and Kathmandu are importing meat from Rukum. In this fiscal year, the district has witnessed the production of 3,847 tonnes of meat. Similarly, 4500 goats and 1649 pigs were exported to other district for meat.
The per capita meat consumption in the district is also higher than what is recommended for the national level. As per the government recommendation, one person should consume 14kg of meat annually. But one Rukum local is consuming 18kg of meat on an average.
The country’s meat production currently stands at 318,000 tonnes. Buffalo is the most popular meat among Nepalis followed by goat, chicken and pig. According to the government statistic, buffalo meat accounts for 58 percent of the total meat production in Nepal.
Mutton is the second most popular meat product after buff, making up 20 percent of the country’s meat requirement. Chicken production fulfills 13 percent of the country’s meat requirement.