Brighton Gumbo Business Reporter
THE international market for mutton (chevon) has increased by 140 percent over the past eight years creating an opportunity for the local livestock farmers to tap into the export market.
According to the national export promotion agency, ZimTrade, the international market for goat meat had increased during the period under review as had been shown by an upward trend of world imports from $155 million to $372 million.
“The international market for goat meat has been on an upward trend as indicated by world imports, which increased by 140 percent over the past eight years (2007-2014).
“World imports rose from $155 million to $372 million during the same period.
“After restrictions on the export of Zimbabwean beef due to the outbreak of foot and mouth disease, goat meat could be an option for the resuscitation of the meat export business,” it said.
The agency said in 2014, the top importers of goat meat included the United Arab Emirates (UAE) with $98 million, Saudi Arabia with $60 million, Bahrain $33 million, Oman $14 million and Qatar $14 million.
It said the major suppliers of goat meat were Ethiopia, Kenya, Somalia, Australia, China, Sudan, Brazil and India.
The Goat Breeders Association of Zimbabwe estimates that last year there were 3.1 million goats in the country.
In this light, ZimTrade said the country has an opportunity to develop goat meat exports starting with regional markets such as Angola.
The export promotion agency last year conducted a field research in Angola which showed that that market has a high demand for goat meat.
A market scan recently conducted by the Embassy of the Republic of Zimbabwe in the Democratic Republic of Congo, also established a potential to supply goat meat to that market.
ZimTrade added that basing on the research from Alabama Cooperative Extension System, goat meat is leaner and has higher nutritional composition compared to other meats.
“It has lower cholesterol levels and lower saturated fats. Zimbabwean goat producers should engage in world standards animal husbandry practices if they are to penetrate export markets,” said Zim Trade.
It said for detailed information on potential buyers, requirements, tariffs levied by each market as well as non-tariff requirements, potential exporters should make use of market access tools such as Market Access Map and the Standards Map.