Goats, whose meat (chevon) is one of the best meats and has enormous domestic demand, are among the major meat-producing animals in India. Due to its good economic prospects, goat rearing has been gaining traction for the past few years under an intensive and semi-intensive system for commercial production. Many progressive farmers, businessmen, professionals, ex-servicemen and trained youth have been motivated by high demand for goat and its products with the potential for good economic returns to take up the goat industry on a commercial scale. The evolving favourable business conditions and easy accessibility of enhanced goat technologies are also attracting entrepreneurs’ attention. In various regions of the country, a number of commercial goat farms have been developed.
Mr. Deepak Patidar, a village resident of Sundrail, District-Dhar, Madhya Pradesh, an unemployed agricultural graduate, attended the Commercial Goat Farming Training Program organised by CIRG, Makhdoom for 10 days in the year 2000. In 2001, he started a goat farm (Ekta Agronomic and Livestock) in his village, inspired and motivated by CIRG scientists. The farm was developed under a stall-fed intensive management system with 60 local goats reared. He faced a variety of problems initially, such as high production costs, mortality and low commodity prices. The CIRG scientist visited his farm as part of a project on the Commercialization of Goat Farming and Marketing of Goats in India and suggested changes such as race (Sirohi), preparing pure breed animals as breeding stock and an effective marketing strategy and strengthening ties with other farmers. At the same time, he also received scientific advice on health management for goats from CIRG scientists. Consequently, Mr. Patidar introduced modifications to his goat farm. His goat farming project has thus become feasible and profitable. Mr. Deepak Patidar has continuously been in communication with CIRG scientists through Scientist-Farmer Interactive Meetings and Seminars and has used the latest scientific knowledge on goat development to his advantage. Mortality among adults and children, which in the beginning was 10 and 40 percent respectively, has now decreased to around 3 to 8 percent per annum. He currently has 180 goats on his farm and mainly prepares pure bred animals of the Sirohi breed of goat for sale to farmers and entrepreneurs as breeding stock. He has some Barbari, Jakhrana and Janumapari goats as well. At the rate of Rs. 120 to Rs. 200 per kg of live body weight, it sells its goats only on a live body weight basis. At present the annual gross revenue of the goat farm is Rs. 4 to 5 lakhs and total annual expenditure is Rs. 1.5 to 2 lakhs giving an annual net income of Rs. 2 to 3 lakhs.
Mr. Patidar has become a well-known commercial goat farmer in the Indore Region, and he is regarded as a progressive goat farmer by many relevant government departments, NGOs and farmers. In various training programmes organised by the Department of Animal Husbandry and local NGOs, he is invited as a resource person for goat husbandry. Around 1000 farmers and trainees have visited his farm to date. It is now establishing and improving partnerships with the area’s small/traditional goat farmers to take up breed enhancement and coordinated marketing.