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Genetic Improvement of Local Goats through Cross Breeding with Saanen Goat in Malakand Region

ADP No/Code: 38/141012

Cost of the Project: 65 Million

Duration of the Project: 3 Years (2014-2017)

Location of the Project: The project would be located at Charbagh, Swat (Malakand Division) of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.

Objectives of the Project

·         The core aim of the project is to improve the socio-economic conditions of the farmer’s community in Malakand region which is badly affected by war against terrorism, with particular reference to poor farmers for reducing the poverty level through world renowned superior breeds of dairy goats. The objectives will be achieved by the establishment of nucleus flock of Saanen dairy goat breed in Malakand region.

·         To establish cross and pure flocks of world renowned dairy goat breed in Malakand Region.

·         Awareness and access of farmers to superior exotic dairy goat breeds.

·         To study different economic traits of the exotic breeds of goat under local condition.

·         Improvement of the non-descript local dairy goat breeds through cross breeding with Saanen dairy goat bucks to enhance productivity.

·         To conduct survey to record the productive and health parameter of local goats breed in the surrounding area of the station.

Description & Justification of the Project

The facilities in the form of land (321 kanal and 10 Marla), road, water, and electricity are available in Charbagh Swat. Most of Livestock Research studies including Fodder/Forages and pasture development program will be planned in the newly established Small Ruminant Livestock Research & Development Station Charbagh Swat. Unfortunately, there is no single goat project/research station for conducting well planned Livestock research activities in the mountainous Malakand areas for enhancing their milk production capability. While the poor farmers of such mountainous areas are totally dependent on Livestock especially keeping sheep and goats.  No efforts have been made earlier to introduce the improved dairy goat breed in the temperate mountainous region of Malakand. There is a fleet of professional  veterinarians, animal husbandry graduates working in the department but none is trained in Mountainous breeds of cattle, buffalo, sheep and goat producing more milk, meat, mutton wool and fiber. The newly established Livestock Research & Development Station for Saanen goat breeding, dissemination and crossing with local dairy goat breeds will play a major role in the development of Livestock Industry in Malakand Region. The project would be a part of main program, aimed at increasing, augmenting and accelerating the milk, meat and wool production in the war torn areas of Malakand region. The project has enough potential to improve the socio-economic conditions of the farmer’s community in the region.  In Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, the Livestock department is basically a service providing organization and its main concern is to prevent livestock diseases, treat the ailing animals, breed improvement of livestock and to create awareness in farmers in exploiting the full potential of livestock productivity and conduct problem oriented research. Honestly speaking, in spite of huge goat population (11.70 million) in the province especially in Malakand region (1.86 million in 2012-13) there is neither any program with department nor any other agency to introduce high potential breeds of goat as in the case of cattle.Goat is considered as “Poor Man’s Cow”. Rural and urban people keep goats and use their milk for domestic consumption. More than 96% of the milk produced in Pakistan comes from cattle and buffalo. The rest produced by sheep, goat and camel which most of the time not sold as such but mixed with buffalo and cow milk.  It is estimated that about 90% of the world’s goat population is found in the developing countries, while continental-wise Asia leads, where 80% goat milk is being produced. In this regard main countries include India, China, Bangladesh, Iran, Pakistan and Turkey. Pakistan being an agrarian country supports 56.7 million goats which are primarily landless communities. They are playing a significant role in country’s economy by producing approximately 275 thousand tones meat, 25 million skin and 21.4 thousand ton hair. They are producing about 851 thousand tones milk which accounts to 2.5% of the nation’s milk supply. There are 25 well recognized goat breeds found in different regions of Pakistan but majority of these are mutton type & some are promising milch type among which  include Beetal, Dera Din Panah, Naachi and Kamori. Among these breeds Kamori has the largest population (3.0 Million) followed by Beetal (1.9 Million), while other are smaller in number (2006 Census). Goats are being raised for mutton by millions of poor and landless people not only in Pakistan but all over the world. Goat is one of the most extensively distributed domestic animal in the world and was among the first domestic animal kept by man for the production of meat, milk, skin and fiber. The number of dairy goats in the developed and developing countries accounted for 30.9% and 19.1% of the total goat population respectively (Olivier et al., 2005). Originating in Asia, goats have spread over all the continents and inhibit almost all climatic zones from the Arctic Circle to the equator. They are managed under all types of animal husbandry, from the intensive and sophisticated to the most extensive forms of nomadic grazing (C. Gall, 1981). Goat can convert the best of pasture and fodder crops in to milk more efficiently than the modern dairy cow. The goat faces its task with a hero’s equipment. It has the toughest mouth of all the ruminants and can consume with profit and pleasure such well-protected vegetable, as the bramble, briar, thistle, and nettle. In proportion to its size the goat can eat more than twice as much fodder every day than either the cow or sheep, almost one third of its total body capacity being available to accommodate food in the process of digestion (David Meckenzie 1978).

Dairy goat sector in developing countries is less developed; hardly less than 5% milk is traded. Most of the milk produced is either fed to kids of the does or used for some domestic needs.  Goat sector is well established in developed countries like Greece, Span, France, Italy, Australia etc. Dairy goats are supporting millions of malnourished human population in the developing world. Goats are contributing through milk than those of cows and buffalo in this respect. This fact also favor for dairying and can prove an ideal preposition especially for developing countries when majority of goat population is found with people having low economic status. The milk yield is under different management condition which however, can further be exploited. A milk yield of different local breeds is reported as such Beetal 226-272 liter in 120-140 days, Dera Din Panah 205 liter in 130 days, Damani 100-113 liter in 90-120 days and Kamori 204 in 115 days (Census 2006). Goat husbandry is becoming a profitable enterprise in Pakistan (Hassan et al, 1983). The annual growth rate of goat population is 8.1% (govt. of Pakistan). Presently the world population of goats is 710 million, out of which 419 million (59.0%) is contributed by Asia-Pacific region (FAO 2000). The number of goat breeds in the world is 267 out of which Pakistan has got 25 well-defined breeds, India 20, Nepal 4, Thailand 3 and Bangladesh1 (Davendra 1996). During the last four decades  the goat’s population showed the highest increase; China 176.7%, India 101.3%, New Zealand 533.3%, Pakistan 439.0% and Thailand 333.3% (Qureshi 2001). Goat meat (chevon) is consumed throughout South and South-East Asia (Davendra 1996).Unlike cattle and buffaloes, the small body size fits well to the need of small family. In South Asia, 43.6% 0f goats are slaughtered annually.  Average carcass weight of Pakistani goat 24 Kg, the highest in South-Asia, and produce about 1.8 Liters of milk per day, however the weight and milk production of goat possess ample scope to improve. In the year 2012-13 the total goat population in Pakistan was 56.7 Million (Economic Survey of Pakistan 2012-13) heads, out of which 16% (11.7 million) is contributed by the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Province of Pakistan. Distribution pattern in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa is: Peshawar-Mardan valley, 0.60 million, Kohat region 0.47 million, Dera Ismail Khan region 0.41 million, Bannu region 0.35 million, Hazara districts 1.49 million; Malakand districts 1.8 million.  About 34.8% of world and 60.9% Asian goat’s milk come from South Asia. However due to lack of technological research on local breed improvement and developmental back up, we could not give enough enhance to the milk yield efficiency of dairy goat breeds of Pakistan.  The milk of goat is very nutritious and is mostly used for the nourishment of infants. In Switzerland the milch goat (e.g. Saanen, Toggenburg, Appenzell, Chamois colored, Verzasca, Grisons Stripped, and Valais Blackneck) is said to be the Swiss baby’s foster mother because its milk is absorbed/digested easily and does not give any problem to infants due to its good composition.

Saanen Goat Breed

Saanen goats are a white or cream colored breed of goat, named for the Saanen valley in the south of Canton Berne, Switzerland. Known as dairy breed for centuries, the Saanen goat is one of the top milk producing goats.  These lovely pristine looking animals are popular worldwide for good reasons. Saanen goats are very hardy and require little space. They adapt well to most management system, which involve a lot of stall feeding and little pasture grazing. At maturity, Saanen goats usually weigh 145 pounds; male usually stand 100 centimeter and the withers are at about 80 centimeters. They are stocky, meaty goat, and have rugged bone structure. Their faces are intelligent and the nose is slightly straight or dished. Saanen goats are available in white and cream colors, though white are more popular. They have short hairs and a fringe over back and upper legs. The skin may have small spots on it. Saanen goats are good milkers and generally produce milk with three to four percent fat content. The latest figure furnished by USDA/AIPL show Saanen surpass all the other breeds with production averages of 2351lbs milk per lactation with 3.4% butter fat and 3.1% protein. The Saanen doe has a majestic hear about her, which coupled with her milk producing ability, identifies her as “Queen of the Dairy Goats” The Saanen goat is native to Switzerland’s Saanen valley, though it is very much popular throughout Europe and America. In 1893 several thousand heads were taken out of the valley and spread throughout Europe. Between 1904 and 1930, approximately 150 saanen goats were imported to the United State from Switzerland. Later importations come via England. Today they have spread throughout the United State as one of the preferred dairy goat primarily because of their consistency in producing large quantities of milk in conjunction with their sturdiness, easy keep ability and capacity to tolerate environmental changes.The Saanen goat when kept at desired conditions can produce average milk ranging from 4-6 kg/day during a lactation period of 200 days. Kidding rate is 200% with dominant twins and triplets, the high quality bucks and does can be used up to 9-10 years old. Xinong Saanen can adapt extensive climate in China.

Small ruminants viz; sheep and goat are traditionally being reared in Malakand region. It is evident from the facts that most of sheep and goat flocks are reared in Malakand region. The flocks of sheep and goat are being kept under poor management and low standards of nutrition. Proper vaccination and deworming practices are not being properly adopted. This situation is further aggravated by inferior genetic potential. Consequently, the productive potential of animals is not fully exploited. Under this project a nucleus herd of Saanen dairy goat breed will be established and will be kept for further breeding under controlled environment. The progeny thus received from those dairy goat breed would be distributed among goat farmer’s community of Malakand region for further dissemination of the breeds. Local breeds of goat will also be purchased and will be crossed with exotic dairy goat breed (Saanen) for further detailed experiments. The Malakand region offers the most suitable climate for exotic dairy goat breeds of temperate region especially for Saanen dairy goat breeds. A total of 321 kanal and 10 Marla of land is available with the department for the establishment of Saanen goat farm/station. The project will be run by Principal Research Officer/Station Director (BPS-19), Senior Research officer & Research officers on additional charge basis from among existing staff of the department with the help of 24 No project supporting staff. The Project has enough potential to give direct benefits to the farming community in the shape of access to superior breed of dairy goat which will aid in improving the socio-economic conditions of the farmer’s community with particular reference to poor farmers in reducing poverty especially in the war stricken areas in Malakand region. Proper record of the whole research data on housing, feeding, breeding etc on the exotic dairy goat breed will be made, analyzed and the findings will be published in the leading national and international scientific journals. Students and teachers of different universities would also be involved to investigate different aspects of livestock productivity and research papers would be published.

Benefits of the Project

Financial Benefits: This is a social service scheme, which aims at increasing the income of farmers of the area through introduction of high yielding exotic dairy goat breed. By crossing the local goat with Saanen, the milk production of local goats will be doubled, which ultimately enhance farmers’ income through sale of milk and their progeny.    


Social Benefits: The benefit to the target group, that is the poor farmers, would be enormous in term of increased milk production and enhanced per unit productivity. Hence the project will significantly contribute in poverty reduction. Moreover there will be a good opportunity for farmers for their skill development through trainings, field days etc. Through scientific research, the local farming practices will improve, hence more people will be motivated towards goat farming. The Increased trend of goat farming will increase organic fertilization of crops thus minimizing the toxic effects of inorganic fertilizers. The Centre will be an ideal facility of research for the students, scholars and scientists of the area. Effective awareness will be created among the stakeholders through publication of research papers, scientific articles, seminars, workshops and trainings.

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