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Goats are

easy to look after

Little land needed

Most  common food crops in Uganda have leaves which are suitable for feeding goats, as are the peelings from sweet potatoes and bananas. Similarly, prunings from most fruit trees are also suitable.  more...

Rows of elephant grass and leguminous shrubs can be planted as erosion control, with the leaves being used to feed the goats.  more...

Even people with little or no land can often collect leaves from uncultivated land, and sometimes peelings from cafes etc.

Integration with crop production

The fodder described above does not reduce the productivity of the land - even if the erosion control bunds take up space, the remaining land is more productive because water and top-soil are conserved.

The goats provide a very useful by-product in the form of manure. This contains water-retaining organic matter and nitrogen, both of which are needed by tropical soils. This means that combining crops with goats is much more productive than either on their own.

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Little labour needed

Although looking after any animal takes time, the labour required in caring for a goat does not prevent other activities from being carried out. So the cultivation work of the small holding can still be done.

In the case of school students, it is possible for them to collect sufficient fodder for the goat without it interrupting their studies. Similarly, the labour is not so heavy as to be a major obstacle to the elderly.

Housing

One of the obstacles to the keeping of dairy cows is the expense of building and maintaining suitable housing. In the case of goats, a low-grade cross requires very simple housing. Even in the case of high-grade animals, it is possible to construct houses entirely from locally available materials.

When planning a livestock project it is important to realistically assess how well the housing will be maintained. Otherwise, even if the housing starts well, it can quickly deteriorate.

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Goats in Uganda eating tree leaves and crop residues Demonstration goat house for Kayunga Dairy Goat Project, Masaka School student with dairy goat Vegetable plot fertilised using goat manure