Digesting the Goat sector

Digesting the Goat sector

There is strong international demand for goat products but any possible growth in the New Zealand goat farming sector will be coming off a small production base. Country looks at the three main areas of the goat industry – dairy, fibre and meat.

Goat farming has largely hovered in the shadow of traditional dairy, sheep and beef within New Zealand’s pastoral farming arena.

Realistically, there is a long way to go in this country before goat farming becomes a sustainable and profitable sector on par with dairy or sheep and beef farming. However, encouraging signs are emerging.

Environmental and commodity market constraints currently impacting the more traditional pastoral sectors in New Zealand, open the farm gate for the goat industry to get a stronger foothold in the country’s farming fabric.

As a representative body, Federated Farmers has been involved in advocating for the goat farming industry on resource management matters for more than a decade. It has maintained that regulators are not in step with current goat farming practices and techniques.

Federated Farmers has lobbied to get the message out to environmentalists – and farmers in other sectors – that goat farming is inherently no different from farming other livestock and in fact, has upside given goats control weed growth.

In 2008, Meat & Wool New Zealand (now Beef + Lamb New Zealand) undertook a goat monitoring project to gather information and to encourage sheep, beef, dairy or deer farmers to consider integrating goats with their other livestock operations.


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