Tuesday, June 8, 2010

A goat cooperative

Today I visited a cooperative that raises milk-producing goats. I wanted to visit these guys because I thought maybe they’d need help marketing goat dairy products due to the cultural taboo against them. It turns out, their problem is much worse: the cooperative of about 430 people bought 6 females and 1 male of an expensive variety that produces good dairy products – but they can’t afford to feed the goats, so they aren’t producing any milk. There were 3 babies there, including one born 2 days ago and just as cute as you’d imagine. The mothers were sickly and a fourth baby had recently died. This area was extremely rural and the people were so poor that they could barely feed themselves, let alone the goats. It was a bit of a hopeless moment for me: What do I know about goat nutrition? Nothing. How can I help these people get the money to feed their goats, now, before they lose any more of their investment? I can’t in any sustainable way. How can I help my organization foresee and prevent such problems in our work with other cooperatives?

Pictured is a typical rural goat pen I saw yesterday; I wasn’t comfortable using my camera today.

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