MORE than 500 goats are traded per day at Kasumbalesa border post with DR Congo due to high demand for the animals in Kinshasa, says Zambia Livestock Marketing Enterprises Limited executive director Michael Kabesha.
Mr Kabesha said the high demand for goats that could be exported was good news for Zambia’s economic growth.
He said there was good business in livestock and relevant authorities should put in more effort to sustain the sector for the good of the economy.
He said in Lusaka alone 500 goats were bought and sold weekly. At Kasumbalesa trading centre more than 1,000 goats were transported directly there by small-scale farmers from various parts of Zambia, and then exported to Congo DR.
“The livestock sector especially goat farming is on demand and can easily boost the economy if well managed because at our trading centre here in Lusaka, the market is getting about 500 goats weekly and also in Kasumbalesa we have more than 1,000 goats coming directly from small-scale farmers from all parts of Zambia,” he said.
Kabesha further bemoaned mushrooming goat selling points at undesignated areas in Lusaka, due to high demand for goat meat.
He said another problem facing small-scale goat farmers in Zambia were smuggled animals from neighbouring countries like Zimbabwe, Botswana and Mozambique and made their way into Zambia via Luangwa area.
Mr Kabesha said Zambia needed to strengthen the tax base so that Lusaka benefitted from the goat business.
He said that most of the farmers in rural areas who were the major producers did not have adequate information on the benefit of goat rearing due to lack of resources to reach those areas. It was for that reason Government should work with other stakeholders to disseminate information in all parts of Zambia.
He said livestock farming was becoming popular and beneficial to smallholder farmers, adding that most popular marketing centres for small livestock trading were located mostly in Lusaka’s Chibolya and Kasumbalesa.
“It is there where trading in small livestock can be seen to be a 24-hour activity as buyers from the DRC come to buy goats from Zambia which are the most preferred of all the small livestock,” he said.