Small-scale farmers are opposed to exporting live goats to Saudi Arabia, preferring to export processed meat in order to add value and create jobs.
“Exporting raw goats will result in loss of jobs locally, so we propose we export processed goat meat,” said Frank kayula, Small-scale Farmers Union president.
Saudi Arabia has requested more than 1 million goats from Zambia annually.
Kayula said value addition to goat meat would create jobs for youth and contribute to Zambia’s economic prosperity.
“Value addition will be more consistent with government position to create more jobs for Zambians, especially youths,” he said.
On Zambia’s capability to meet the Saudi Arabia goat demand, Kayula expressed doubt on the readiness of the industry to satisfy the international and local demand.
He cited a number of hurdles, including lack of data on population of goats and coordination among goat farmers.
“These challenges will make it difficult for Zambia to sustain exports and at the same time satisfy local demand,” he said.
Kayula’s observations were consistent with findings of the initial national consultative forum held last November to explore how best Zambia could respond to the enticing Saudi Arabia and the rest of the Gulf region demand for goat meat.
Lack data, traceability and limited export infrastructure coupled by long-term competition from established exporters such as Kenya, Ethiopia and Australia were among the major hurdles identified by the forum.