The Department has a partnership with HEIFER SA, Mdukatshani Rural Development Project and the Department of Rural Development and Land Reform to commercialize the untapped potential of goats. A Goat Master Plan for KwaZulu-Natal has been drawn up. The master plan envisages that within the next 5 years, 7000 farmers will be commercialized and goat productivity will have doubled. This initiative includes research, extension, training, value-adding and marketing. It was introduced through a major Goat Expo and Goat Meat cooking competition held in Msinga on 30 January 2016, which was addressed by His Majesty the King.
Linked to this cooperation, is the publication of the Goat Production Handbook produced by the partners of this programme. It will play an important role in transferring technology to, and the training of, goat farmers. Another exciting breakthrough is the development of a home-made, brick-sized protein-energy-mineral block which has the potential to make a significant positive impact on the survival rate of kids and goat production in rural areas. The Master plan starts with pilot projects in Msinga, Nkandla, Nongoma, Jozini, Umhlabuyalinga and Hlabisa – all areas that have suffered the worst effects of the drought.
Goat meat known as chevon is popular the world over, especially in the Middle East, India, Pakistan, Bangladesh and the Caribbean. It is growing in popularity in Western countries because the meat is low in kilojoules, high in protein and iron and is seen as a healthier alternative to beef and pork.