First Asia Dairy Goat Conference Held in Malaysia
FAO, 4 May 2012

Over 90% of the 921 million goats in the world are found in developing countries and Asia's 530 million goats represent close to 60% of the world goat population. Goats play a vital socio-economic role in Asian agriculture, particularly for resource-poor people. Despite their socio-economic importance, goat rearing has not attracted much attention of development practitioners, science managers and researchers or policy makers in Asia. However, lately, due to a combination of emerging ecological challenges and economic opportunities the potential of goats as a source of livelihood and income is being increasingly appreciated due to their high adaptability to a wide array of environmental conditions and feed resources and the high value of goat meat and milk across a number of Asian countries.

Concerted efforts are needed to address issues facing goat farmers and the goat milk processing industry to fully exploit the potential of goats. FAO joined with the University Putra Malaysia (UPM), Department of Veterinary Science, and the International Dairy Federation (IDF) in organizing the First Asia Dairy Goat Conference in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia from 9 to 12 April 2012. The conference provided a platform to share technical information and experiences and to network for promoting dairy goat farming. 130 participants from 20 countries attended the conference. Two days were devoted to the presentations and discussions and one day to a field visit to a local goat farm. A keynote address, 9 plenary, 4 lead and 61 research papers covering nutrition, breeding & genetics, milk & milk products and economics / socio-economics were presented. The Conference proceedings will be available on FAO and UPM websites in the coming months.

The main conclusions and recommendations from the Conference were:

  • There is huge (largely untapped) demand for goat milk in Asian countries.
  • The sale price of goat milk is 2 to 4 times higher than that of cow milk in many Asian countries.
  • The goat milk processing industry is not well developed in Asia and there is a need to address this issue through public-private partnerships.
  • R&D work on goat production has remained neglected and there is a need to generate new knowledge in the areas of nutrition, health, reproduction and genetic diversity and to collate and disseminate the already available information.
  • Development of sound and relevant policy options, institutional building and linking farmers to markets should be addressed, leading to both increase in goat milk production and processing of goat milk.
  • South-South and North-South collaboration should be promoted in areas that lead to increase in goat milk production and processing.
  • The extension work and training of goat farmers should be given high priority.

The need for forming an Asia Dairy Goat Network to address the above issues was strongly stressed by the participants. A framework describing vision, mission, stakeholders, specific objectives, activities, organizational structure, funding and sustainability was developed with the active involvement of the conference participants. The network will be launched in the coming two-three months with its secretariat based in UPM.

It was also decided that The Second Asia Dairy Goat Conference will be held in 2014 in Indonesia, hosted by Professor Dewi A. Astutia of Bogor Agricultural University.


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Your Contribution

To submit an event, document or link, contact:

Dr. Katinka DeBalogh
Senior Animal Production and Health Officer
/APHCA Secretary

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