A shift from traditional goat rearing

01 August 2022
In 2020 JOA launched the Renewable Energy Access for Livelihoods in fragile buffer Zones (REALiZe) project with Renewable World. This four-year project is working to enable over 8,000 poor people living in northern Bardia and Banke National Park Buffer Zones to generate a sustainable, renewable-energy enhanced income, regenerate the fragile forest landscape in which they live, and gain a louder voice in Buffer Zone decision-making. Manjula and her family live in Siteni Gaira community forest of Bardiya National Park, one of the project's target areas.

Manjula’s family of five, who live in Siteni Gaira community forest of Bardiya National Park, own only a small plot of land of approximately 0.05ha, and rely on goat rearing as a major income source. Interest in goat rearing is high in this region, with the Buffer Zone community forest acting as the main source of fodder. The low land requirement and high market demand commanding a high price, attracted Manjula to this business. Her husband, who has migrated to India for work, also sends home 80,000 Nepali Rupees (approximately £500) every year.

Manjula’s husband bought a doe with kids three years ago from money he earnt overseas. Thanks to Manjula’s hard work, she now has nine goats in total, which she used to take to the nearby community forest for grazing.

After hearing about Manjula and other similar stories in Babbai cluster, the REAliZE project team delivered a two-day training to improve goat rearing practice, promote stall-feeding and increase productivity in Bheriganga Municipality. As so many of the men from these communities have migrated overseas for work, 48 out of 63 participants in the training were women. They actively participated in the training and asked many questions. As there was such high demand for this training, the project team are planning to run additional sessions, reaching a far higher number of people than originally anticipated.

Stall-feeding not only increases economic benefit for farmers through increasing productivity, but also helps to reduce pressure on the Buffer Zone community forest and conserve the flora found there.

Manjula noticed the growth and development of stall-fed goats was faster than those who grazed in the forest, and disease infection was lower. She has now stopped grazing goats in the Buffer Zone forest.

“At the goat rearing training, I got information about nutritious grasses, grains, essential medicines, and mineral salts that goats require. I also learnt about different breeds of goats that could be reared in this region; and how breeding bucks need to be exchanged every year to avoid inbreeding. Now we make our own mineral salt at home and feed the goats two to three times a week. After understanding these things, I plan to grow different nutritive fodder species like mulberry, Epil-Epil, and Napeir on our own land. I hope this will support our daily lives and improve our livelihoods in the future.” – Manjula