Goats in resource-poor systems in the dry environments of West Asia, Central Asia and the Inter-Andean valleys uri icon

abstract

  • A review of goat production systems in harsh and dry environments of West Asia, Central Asia and the Inter-Andean valleys of Latin America reveals that while goats are an important component of a considerable number of vulnerable and resource-poor production systems, the production performance and potentials have not been sufficiently characterized nor documented. In West and Central Asia goats are raised in dry regions with prolonged drought, extreme climate fluctuation, and water scarcity, and are confined to mixed flocks interspersed with sheep. Goats supply kids, milk and fiber, especially to farmers moving their animals through seasonal grazing. Goats in these systems have not been adequately studied, nor have they received the same attention as sheep. Only a few production systems are solely based on goats; these include intensive dairy Damascus goat production (Syria and Cyprus) and extensive fine-fiber production (mohair and cashmere) in other countries of West and Central Asia. Variability for fine-fiber production has yet to be fully assessed and exploited. Goats in the and lands of the Inter-Andean valleys are associated with the poorer sectors of the population, even more so than their Asian counterparts. Most goat farmers in the Andean valleys live under extreme poverty, occupying degraded areas with limited cropping possibilities, where Criollo goats, introduced during colonial times, are dominant. Their genetic base has yet to be characterized. While improved management/feeding is possible for these systems, access to improved germplasm is required. Technological improvements can only be viable if market incentives and some degree of intensification are possible. Thus, research and development needs to focus on market issues. (C) 2003 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

publication date

  • 2004
  • 2004