Thursday, April 24, 2008
Importing goats to Labasa
I thought this was a joke at first, but no, it is surely serious. Palmlea (which I undestand is an eco-friendly resort in the Tabia area) is importing goats from South Africa. I hope they have better luck than we had - we set up a little goat farm one time, but neighbours stole the goats, members of the extended family ate the goats, and the flock just disappeared! I'm sure there will be a few jokes forthcoming about the need for goats in Macuata. But we all know that curried bakhri tastes tine.
Notes adapted from a government story on-line, 24 April.
.....This follows the imminent importation of 60 Boer goats from Australia by PALMLEA Farms of Tabia Labasa after finalization with the Ministry of Primary Industries.... Government has gone into partnership with PALMLEA Farms in the Boer goat breeding programme and hopes to distribute this new breed to farmers in the not too distant future for up-grading their local stock...
According to PALMLEA Farms, CEO Joseph Smelser who will spearhead the program in conjunction with the Ministry of Primary Industry officials, the first phase of this program is to build a generous stock of Boer goats for Fiji, which will ensure the viability of this new industry.
“The second half of the first phase of our cross-breeding programme will provide fresh goat meat on a year-round basis for local consumers at better prices than currently available. The second phase is to ship frozen goat meat to our South Pacific neighboring countries,” he said. “The third phase should see Fiji shipping frozen goat meat to other parts of the world.”
Mr Smelser said Boer goats were imported to Australia from South Africa and between1993-1995 were released for cross breeding with Feral goats roaming in Australia.
“That programme proved so successful that Australia has become the largest exporter of frozen goat meat in the world,” he said. “The global demand for goat meat is larger than the current world supply. According to figures from the United Nations 64% of all red meat eaten worldwide is goat.
The first consignment of goats will arrive at Nadi Airport on 28th of this Month and will be ferried to PALMLEA Farms, where they will be quarantined for 30 days.
This will allow the Ministry of Primary Industry officials to monitor the animals for diseases. After the quarantine clearance the goats will be moved on to the farm for the cross breeding programme.