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Goats play an important role in food production systems in developing countries. Their great popularity can be explained by their good adaptation to many different climates (ecological adaptation) and the many uses for which they can be kept.

Goats are especially important in developing countries: in 1981, 96% of the world’s goat population of 496 million goats was to be found there (476 million). In those countries, goats make up 20% of the ruminants which are kept as livestock. Goats are particularly important in Africa and the Indian subcontinent (see table 1).

Version 4, 2006