For 49 years, Jonathan Maphosa aged 77 has reared goats at his homestead in Ward 17, Kabuba village in Binga district but had never sold one for more than the USD15 local buyers are willing to pay. With a current herd of 50 including kids, Mr. Maphosa recounts how the market in the Lusulu area has always offered low prices.
“In the beginning, we kept goats mainly for household consumption. We would only sell to buy basic commodities and food stuffs without any business approach to it.”
The coming in of the VALUE project with various trainings on good goat husbandry and its thrust on working with farmers to access competitive meat markets in Bulawayo has led to a transformation of goat marketing among participating farmers. For the veteran farmer, Maphosa, the direct meat marketing is like fresh wind to his sails.
“Since the coming in of the VALUE project, we are now keeping goats for sell, we learnt that we could make money doing so. We were selling them to the local community, but after selling to Bulawayo butcheries we got very good money,” quips Maphosa.
The local market was paying USD15 for goats. To Maphosa’s delight, when he took his four goats as part of a Direct Meat Marketing (DMM) consignment to Bulawayo he fetched USD54 each for three and USD60 for the fourth one making a total of USD222. From the DMM experience, Maphosa has learnt to properly care for his goats to boost their cold dressed mass.
“I have learnt that it is important to properly feed and fatten goats prior to marketing to achieve higher weights. It is also vital to constantly vaccinate goats and check their well-being to avoid mortalities,” said Maphosa.
Watch Maphosa’s video below: