Zambia Agribusiness Society - ZAS Value Chain Analysis of Goats in Zambia Challenges and Opportunities of Linking Smallholders to Markets: Thelma Namonje-Kapembwa, Harrison Chiwawa, and Nicholas Sitko
Zambia’s livestock sector plays a pivotal role in the socio-economic development of both the rural and urban population. Smallholder farmers, for the most part, dominate the sector, and at the household level, its role goes beyond the provision of food and nutrition in people’s diets, to act as a risk buffer by providing an alternative source of income in case of crop failure. Though the small animals perform a wide range of economic and social functions, low productivity among the smallholder livestock farmers is still of concern in Zambia’s livestock sector. Goats are the second most popular owned livestock by most smallholder farmers in Zambia. Their ability to utilize a broad range of feed resources and adapt to marginal conditions presents an opportunity for income generation among the poor rural households. Further, with the prevailing farm structures and increasing land constraints in Zambia, opportunities for income generation from field crops is limited. Small livestock rearing is, therefore, suited for the rural farm households to invest in and take advantage of the rapid increase in income and population growth. However, despite these opportunities, the small livestock sector is still underdeveloped and lacks a clear government policy to guide it. Further, the small livestock sector is characterized by the limited supply of both goat meat in the formal markets such as well-established supermarkets and butcheries.