New goat meat markets should be explored

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Staff Reporter

Windhoek-Despite three-quarters of the global population eating goat meat, and the demand for goat milk cheese growing yearly by 25 percent, Namibia has been unsuccessful in marketing goat meat.

Goat farmers agree that the Namibian Goat Breeders Society must now urgently explore new markets for goat meat and introduce goat meat and goat products on a completely different scale.

Goat meat comprises 10 percent of worldwide meat consumption and 60 percent of red meat.
Producers further maintain that local goat farmers should follow the example of the Boer Goat industry in South Africa that has announced the development of a specific classification roller mark to indicate to consumers exactly which part of the carcass they are buying and what the quality of the meat is.

Local breeders say because of the one-channel marketing system – auctions only – Boer Goat meat has developed the stigma of being tough and unhealthy. In reality, Boer Goat meat of a high quality is not tough and is regarded as the healthiest of all red meat with high iron levels and very low cholesterol levels.

The Meat Board of Namibia has tried to introduce goat meat to consumers in restaurants but without success. Boer Goat breeders believe the industry needs a complete revamp to make goat meat more readily available and to remove the stigma attached to it.

The Boer Goat is purely indigenous to Africa. Although pioneering work to ennoble and develop the SA Boer Goat was done by farmers in South Africa, breeders in Namibia also contribute by brilliant selection and breeding to improve the industry as the most favoured goat meat in the world.

The taste of goat kid meat has been reported as similar to that of spring lamb meat. Goat meat can be prepared in a variety of ways, including stewing, baking, grilling, barbecuing, canning and frying; it also can be minced, curried, or made into sausage. Because of its low fat content, the meat can toughen at high temperatures if cooked without additional moisture.

When slaughtered, none of the animal needs to be wasted – so all of the viscera can be used. This includes heart, liver, kidneys, spleen, lungs, stomach and intestines. The stomach can be eaten as tripe or stuffed like haggis. The intestines make good sausage casings but have to be processed whilst still warm, otherwise the digestive enzymes start to digest the gut itself post-mortem. In the case of billy goats, the testicles sliced and fried are considered a delicacy.

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