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Food, fibre and pharmaceuticals from animals
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Expanding the contribution of dairy goats in efficient and sustainable production systems

J. B. Liang A C and C. Devendra B
+ Author Affiliations
- Author Affiliations

A Laboratory of Animal Production, Institute of Tropical Agriculture, Universiti Putra Malaysia, 43400 Serdang, Malaysia.

B Consulting Tropical Animal Production Systems Specialist, 130A Jalan Awan Jawa, 58200 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

C Corresponding author. Email: jbliang@upm.edu.my

Animal Production Science 54(9) 1198-1203 https://doi.org/10.1071/AN14445
Submitted: 27 March 2014  Accepted: 7 June 2014   Published: 23 July 2014

Abstract

Goats contribute significantly to human nutrition, food security and income of resource-poor small farmers in Asia, Africa and beyond. Because of the high content of mono- and polyunsaturated fatty acids in goat milk, it is beneficial for human health resulting in it being sold at premium prices of three to nine times the price of cow milk in countries like China, Malaysia, Indonesia and Thailand. Goats play a significant role in farming systems that directly impact on the capacity of rural farmers striving for the objective of sustainable food production systems. Increasing sustainable food production, particularly of animal proteins, presents major challenges to these small farms in the face of massive demands that are driven by rapid growth of human populations and increased availability of disposable income. In the last two decades, expanding market demand for goat milk has resulted in the establishment of commercial dairy goat farms in several newly developed South-east Asian countries. Major challenges to expanding production exist, and include ways to utilise the well-adapted features inherent in goats and their potential production to benefit the small and commercial farmers alike. Increasing the knowledge base is a priority to stimulate improved production systems and, increased the income of dairy goat farmers and other people involved in the industry. The recent establishment of the Asian-Australasian Dairy Goat Network supported jointly by FAO and Universiti Putra Malaysia, and national programs of participating countries, are committed to address these objectives and facilitate much-needed improvements to sustain dairy goat production systems in Asia and beyond.

Additional keywords: dairy goats, research and development, sustainable milk production.


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