Last Updated 10 Mar 2020

What does the Future hold for Goat Farming In Pakistan?

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About 90 % of world’s goat population is found in the developing countries, while continent-wise Asia leads, where 80 % of goat milk is being produced. In this regard main countries include India, China, Bangladesh, Iran, Pakistan and Turkey (Khan et aI,2003).Pakistan being an agrarian country supports 56.7million goats which are primarily being raised for mutton by millions of poor and landless communities. They are playing a significant role in the country’s economy by producing approximately 275 thousand tones mutton, 25 million skins and 21.4 thousand tones hair. They also produce about 851 thousand tones milk which amounts to 2.5 % of the national milk supply (Ali, 2006, Anonymous, 2008).Furthermore, they are also producing manure (dung, urine) responsible to increase the soil fertility. There are about 25 well – recognized goat breeds found indifferent regions of the country. Majority of these are mutton type while some are promising milch type. Among these include Beetal, Dera Din Panah (DDP),Naachi and Kamori. The former three breeds are found in the Punjab province while the latter is from Sindh province. Among these breeds, Kamori has the largest population (3 million) followed by Beetal (1.92 million),while others are relatively smaller in number (Livestock Census, 1996).Dairy goats in global scenario Dairy goat sector in developing countries is less developed; hardly less than 5 % of the milk is traded(Dubeuf et al., 2004). Most of the milk produced by the goats is either fed to kids by the does or used for some domestic needs. Similar situation is prevailing in our local goat farming systems. In some cases, milk selling to the neighborhood is customary. Goat and sheep milk is usually mixed with cow /buffalo milk before marketing (Khan, 2008).Goat sector is well-established in developed countries like Greece, Spain, France, Italy, Australia etc. Dairy goats are supporting millions of malnourished human population in the developing world. Goats are contributing through their milk more than that of cows in this respect. Moreover, goat milk consumption has become an upper edge for the humans afflicted with peptic ulcers, allergy and various gastrointestinal disorders which usually develop from intolerance to cow milk (Haenlein, 2004). Goat milk has also been found to be useful for diabetic patients in Japan (Nagura, 2004). This fact also favours goats for dairying and can prove an ideal preposition especially for developing world where majority of goat population is found with people having low economic status.

According to the Livestock Census (2006), there are 53.79 million head of goats found in Pakistan. Province wise their population in Punjab, Sindh, Baluchistan and NWFP is reported to be 37, 23, 22 and 18 %respectively. Present population of goats stands at56.7 million.

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Goat population in different years in Pakistan:


*(Source: Livestock Census, 2006)

Following are the four production systems of goat raising in Pakistan. Mostly extensive system of production is in practice.

Nomadic: In this system animals are on constant move along with the families movement which is mainly dependant on the climatic conditions. Actually the major factors responsible for this movement include erratic rain fall, steep topography and low soil quality (Iqbal, 1994). Ultimately migration along with animals in search of feed and water. remains the only solution. About one million nomads have been reported in Pakistan (Khan et al.2003).This system of production is mostly found in Baluchistan, Cholistan and Thar area in Sindh.

Transhumant: In this system, flocks have to move in summer months (May-June) towards areas having better feed availability and have to be back in winter toothier respective areas as they can not survive there furlong time due to onset of severe winter. This system can be seen in tribal areas, 0.1. Khan, D.G. Khan, Cholistan, Azad Kashmir and Baluchistan except Sibbi.

Household and sedentary: It is actually a settled farming in which animals are allowed to graze early in the morning by the shepherd in close proximity of the villages on marginal lands or fellow lands etc., followed by their arrival back in the evening at the same destination. The flock size is usually small ranging from5-30 animals. This system can be seen in two ways, one either small ruminants alone or the other system where small ruminants are mixed with other livestock. These two systems are almost the same from management view point. Household and sedentary systems are mostly found in the Punjab province.

Milk production potential of goats:

There is no recent study undertaken about milk production potential of Pakistan goat breeds. However, some data are available regarding their performance. Production system Baluchistan NWFP Punjab Sindh Pakistan Devendra and Burns (1983) have reported an average lactation yield of about 195 liters in 224 days in Beetal goats while Kaura (1943) has reported a yield of 320litres in 133 days in the same breed. Selected specimens producing 4.5 liters/day have also been found. However typical milk yields in Pakistan are 205litres in 130 days lactation period. Shah (1994) also reported milk yield in local goat breeds viz. Damani (110 liters in 110 days); Beetal (290litres in 130 days); DDP (245 liters in 135 days);Naachi (110 liters in 100 days) and Kamori (210 liters in 115 days).228Goat as a dairy animal

The milk yield reported is under different feeding management conditions, which however, can further be exploited. A milk yield of 2 to 4 liters in Kamori has-been reported by Kaura(1943).The Naachi goat breed has also been reported to produce 150 liters of milk in120 days lactation period under arid and semi arid conditions (Personal Communication, 2008).Devendra and Burns (1983) have described the yield of Pakistani goat breeds: Beetal (140-228 liters in 208days), Kamori (228 liters in 120 days) and Damani(104 liters in 105 days). Wahid (1973) in Beetal has described a yield of 323 liters within a lactation period of 186 days. In general, most of the estimated milk yields are given without considering the milk consumed by the kids; hence the actual milk yield could be higher than that reported. The lactation yields were found to be the highest up to first three lactations followed by a steady decline towards seventh lactation. The milk production performance of some local and exotic dairy goats and their crosses with Beetal is given in Table 4. A significant improvement (97.3 %)has been found in a cross of Beetal with Sannen and Alpine.

BreedLactation Milk yield (litres )Lactation length (days) Average daily milk yield (litres)
Dera Din Panah2051301.6

*(Source: Livestock Census, 2006)


1. Dairy goats need a serious consideration in respect of research and their development.

2. Provincial governments should establish independent small ruminants (including sheep)research institutes addressing separately the goats a dairy and meat animal. This will help solve food security issues.

3. Distribution of improved bucks (at subsidized rates)of various goat breeds for improving the performance of goats.

4. Conservation of milk and meat goat breeds separately in their respective home tracts is required in the larger interest of conservation of genetic resources of the country.

5. Establishment of dairy goats improvement association, which can play a vital role to improve their milk production.

6. Nutritional aspects of the goat in terms of quality and quantity need special attention for optimizing their productivity.

7. Ranges being the major and the most important source in small ruminant feeding need improvement.

8. A strong link between farmers, extension workers and researchers still does not exist. This needs to be established and strengthened.

9. Proper health cover and strengthening of extension services by the respective departments are still awaited.




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