Improved Variety of Goats Enhances Nutritional Supplements, Family Income
Lincoln University of Missouri + University of Malawi at Bunda College of Agriculture
Goat milk is not just for kids anymore! Kids as in baby goats that is. Instead, the University of Malawi at Bunda College of Agriculture goat project is promoting high-quality nutritional supplements for malnourished children, orphans, and vulnerable children which contain goat milk mixed with other high-protein supplements. Historically, goat milk in the region is fed to the goat kids and goat meat is the family economic enterprise.
This work is being conducted via a Higher Education for Development (HED) partnership award in 2000 to Lincoln University of Missouri and the University of Malawi at Bunda College, which focused on improving child survival from malnutrition and HIV/AIDS through increased consumption of goat milk.
This partnership promotes crossbreeding of local goats with purebred strains from France and South Africa to improve animal health and increase milk production. Although these new varieties of goats were being developed, the university nutritionists were demonstrating the value of goat milk, mixed with soy supplements, and fed to a sample of children at the local hospital rehabilitation center for malnourished and vulnerable children. The mortality rate of these children dropped considerably and the children’s health improved in record time allowing them to return to their homes.
Ten years later, the production of these healthy, high milk producing goats is still supervised by Bunda College to assist families with income generation from the sale of improved goat varieties, which often brings more than twice the normal price. Local and international nongovernment organizations frequently purchase the healthy milking goats for their orphanages and child nutrition rehabilitation centers as an on-site source of good protein. Human consumption of goat milk has become so valuable that local citizens now must worry about thievery of their highly valuable goats.