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Organic goat production, processing and marketing: Opportunities, challenges and outlook

Lu, C.D., Gangyi, X., Kawas, J.R.
Small ruminant research 2010 v.89 no.2-3 pp. 102-109
animal welfare, disease prevention, goats, human health, industry, livelihood, markets, meat production, milk, milk production, nutritional adequacy, organic foods, organic production, parasites
Organic goat production can be a rewarding livelihood and is gaining popularity. Global organic production has increased significantly annually over the past decade. Industry analysts forecast that demand in many markets will continue to grow at 10–30% per year, with the international organic market expected to grow to a volume of US$ 100 billion in the next decade. Organic dairy has shown stronger growth rates than organic meat production. In certain regions, the rise in organic milk production has increased the range of processed value-added organic milk and dairy products, and demand is out-stripping supply. The basic principles of organic goat production include care, ecology, fairness, and health as stated by the International Federation of Organic Agriculture Movement (IFOAM). Organic goat production can improve animal welfare, protect the environment, and sustain rewarding rural live styles. There are challenges when dealing with organic goat production, especially when one hopes to control intestinal parasites and to achieve adequate nutritional management. Exploring nutritional technology and disease prevention and treatment will eventually improve the production efficiency. There are various regulations in different countries that apply to certify organic foods, and the number of regulations is growing. One of the leading federations in international organic farming is IFOAM. The standards can be certified under IFOAM then can be recognized in many counties around the world. These regulations serve as branding effort, not only to protect the “organic” brand but also to promote it. Future of organic goat production will have to rely on continue search for alternatives in nutrition and disease prevention and control that are environmentally friendly, human health conscientious and animal considerate. Understanding organic goat farming from economic, ecological, and animal welfare perspectives will increase the likelihood of success.