Goat milk a first choice in EC households

Research carried out by scientists at the Dohne Animal and Plant Research Centre in Stutterheim, shows that many households in the Eastern Cape produce goat and sheep milk more than cow milk.

This research was carried out by the scientists of the centre led by Dr. Jean Rust with the aim of obtaining comprehensive information about milk production in the Eastern Cape.

“Milk production in litres per household in the Eastern Cape in different districts shows that there is less cow milk than sheep and goat milk in the province as a whole,” said Rust.

Rust is conducting this research working with scientists including Mabutho Mkhungela and Tinashe Kumburai.

“The availability, how easy it is to raise them and the low cost of raising goats and sheep, play a big role in encouraging farmers to raise these livestock,” said Rust.

Rust said that there needs to be ways to grow goat and sheep milk products in the Eastern Cape.

“Five hundred households were visited to talk about milk production in the municipal districts including Alfred Nzo, Amathole, Chris Hani, OR Tambo and Joe Gqabi,” said Rust.

In each district, five villages were visited, and twenty households were visited in each village.

“The characteristics of the home, the methods of producing milk and the amount of milk produced are some of the things that were considered when people were asked in their homes,” said Rust.

The households that own these goats and sheep have a lot of contact with each other when they graze their livestock.

“The main reason for milking these goats is that their owners are just doing it to feed their families, the number of their goats or sheep are very low compared to cattle,” said Rust.

Goat milk has long been a part of emerging farmers’ lives in the Eastern Cape and other parts of the country. Reports from health scientists always confirms that goat milk contains important nutrients especially for young babies.

Middle Eastern and South American countries have a well-known history of relying heavily on goat milk over other dairy products. Saanen goats are the leading milk producers in the world, and rural farmers are not familiar with this goat breed.

Goat milk helps the body to fight against the heat of the blood that affects many people in the world every day. Nutrients including protein and calcium are available in goat milk.

The Middle East is one of the regions that use goat milk to make soap and other beauty products. Research conducted in the United States shows that 65% of the world’s population depends on goat milk.

Goat milk is recommended to help with food digestion, while cow milk does not do that for some people. The fat found in goat milk is at an acceptable level for the body, while cow milk produces high levels of fat.