The Sunday News
Dumisani Nsingo, Senior Farming Reporter
A LOCAL livestock firm, Michview Enterprises Private Limited is making concerted efforts to start goat exports in the potential lucrative markets of Angola and Saudi Arabia.
Michview Enterprises technical manager Mr Lindani Ncube said plans were at an advanced stage to commence goat exports to Angola after it managed to clinch an order with a prospective buyer following its three feasibility visits to the southern African country last year.
“ZimTrade did a survey for a goat market in Angola and it encouraged us to pursue that market for goat meat and last year we made about three trips there. One of the buyers wanted us to supply them with 30 tonnes of goat meat per month but during our deliberations we had to reduce to about five tonnes, which we believed we were going to manage considering our capacity as a country. Goat meat in Angola is in big demand and they call it Caldeirada de Cabrito (traditional Angolan goat stew) and the price of goat meat in Angola is actually good with the lowest price being US$8 per kilogramme to a high of US$12 per kg,” he said.
Michview Enterprises is a Bulawayo-based company, which specialises in the supply of goats and sheep for breeding and slaughter with operations in Matabeleland region. Mr Ncube said the company had anticipated starting exports last year but could not do so owing to the bureaucratic nature of acquiring permits.
“Unfortunately, we couldn’t get the import permit from Angola which actually needed us to marry it with an export permit from Zimbabwe so that we could then be able to export the goats to Angola. We are now working with the Angolan Embassy in Zimbabwe and officials from there are assisting us to get all the paperwork in place so that we secure the market,” he said.
Mr Ncube also said he had a meeting with Lands, Agriculture, Water, Climate and Rural Resettlement Minister Perrance Shiri and the Ministry’s Permanent Secretary, Mr John Basera.
“We recently met the minister and his permanent secretary and had a brief meeting. They are trying to help us speed up securing these permits with Angola and we hope that it will be soon,” he said.
Apart from exploring Angola, Michview Enterprises is also targeting the Saudi Arabian market. Most of the live goat and sheep imports are from Somalia and Australia. High volumes of goats and sheep are imported during Eidul-Adha, or feast of sacrifice in commemoration of the prophet Abraham. During that time, almost every family slaughter a four-legged animal, usually a goat or sheep.
“Goats are actually in high demand, which we are actually failing to meet. So, we are calling on the Government to help us in penetrating these markets. Although the quality still needs to be improved because people still have that perception that big goats are the ones that sell. A goat still needs to be consumed while it’s still tender. We also have local indigenous goats, which are very good and adapt well in our environment,” said Mr Ncube.
He said with over 90 percent of the goats being owned by smallholder farmers in communal areas, there was a need to promote commercialisation of the small ruminants to enable the owners to realise meaningful benefits from them.
“We are still training farmers so that at least they do goat farming as a business rather than in those old days whereby someone would have a very big herd of goats and not benefiting from it, so we are saying let’s commercialise goat farming,” said Mr Ncube.
Goats make up the second largest population of domesticated ruminant animals in the country with the national herd estimated to be more than 3,8 million.