Goat is known as ‘Poor man’s cow’ in India and is a very important component in dry land farming system. Marginal or undulating lands unsuitable for other types of animals like cow or buffalo, goat is the best alternative. With very low investments goat farming can be made in to a profitable venture for small and marginal farmers.
Goats are reared for milk and meat. Goat is a multi functional animal and plays a significant role in the economy and nutrition of landless, small and marginal farmers in the country. Goat farming is an enterprise, which has been practiced by a large section of population in rural areas. Goats can efficiently survive on available shrubs and trees in adverse harsh environment in low fertility lands where no other crop can be grown. Around the world, more people drink goat milk than cow milk.
Dairying is an important source of subsidiary income to small/marginal farmers and agricultural labourers. The manure from animals provides a good source of organic matter for improving soil fertility and crop yields. The surplus fodder and agricultural by-products are gainfully utilised for feeding the animals.
Since agriculture is mostly seasonal, there is a possibility of finding employment throughout the year for many persons through goat farming. Thus, goat farming also provides employment throughout the year. The main beneficiaries of goat farming programmes are small/marginal farmers and landless labourers.