GI tag likely for Maharashtra’s ‘life saver’ goat

Radheshyam Jadhav Pune | Updated on January 09, 2020 Published on January 09, 2020

Osmanabadi goats have the potential to make farmers in the region prosperous

They have come to be known as ‘lifesavers of farmers’ in the suicide zone of the Marathwada and Vidarbha regions of Maharashtra, with good reason.

The Osmanabadi goat breed is known for its high kidding (a baby goat is called a kid) percentage, disease resistance, quick growth, and suitability to all types of rearing systems.

Thanks to their hardy qualities, these goats have helped many families to survive and sustain themselves amidst the region’s frequent droughts.

Now, the Osmanabad district administration has taken steps to get a Geographical Indication (GI) tag for the breed, saying that the tag will help the branding of the breed in the market and promote economic prosperity for farmers.

“Goats are lifesavers for poor farmers, especially women and landless farmers. The Osmanabadi breed has good reproductive capacity and milk production. Also, this breed is suitable for our arid zone and has a high resistance capacity. As cultivation is hardly profitable, many farmers are into goat rearing,” says Sunanda Kharate from Osmanabad.

The International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics has observed that the Osmanabadi breed is suited to all types of rearing systems, the most ideal being the semi-intensive system (grazing and closed enclosure) where higher production has been observed compared to the extensive and intensive grazing systems (zero grazing).

Key features

The breed is known for its early maturity, prolificacy, and good dressing percentage (percentage of the live animal weight against its carcass weight).

According to the Osmanabad district administration, the process of GI tagging will lead to expansion of the Osmanabadi goats’ milk and meat markets. The administration hopes to get the tag in the next couple of months.

With the GI tag, farmers here want the State government to tap the potential of meat export from the region. They aim to make goat rearing their main occupation.

Recently a self-help group of farmers in Tuljapur in Osmanabad district ventured into selling the packaged milk of Osmanabadi goats.

The economy of many villages in the drought-hit areas revolves around goats. Farmer Babytai Wagh claims that she was able to educate her children and get them married only because of goat rearing.

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Published on January 09, 2020
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