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|China's Goat Industry|
China’s Goat Industry
China is home to more than 140 million goats. The goat industry can be broken down into 3 categories: dairy goats, meat goats, and cashmere goats. The 3 types of industries can expect low investment costs, low output and a long production cycle.
Similar to other industries, China has small backyard farmers as well as large goat operations. Small farmers tend to keep their goats near their household and feed them corn plant through fence line feeders. The goats also have an outside loafing area to graze and wander. Larger farm scale operations keep their goats in brick buildings with concrete floors. While their housing confines them, large-scale farmers feed their goats corn silage, hay and grain. This proves to be a better balanced nutrition than small scale farmers can afford.
China’s goat industry competes in 4 production areas in the market: meat, goatskin, milk, and cashmere.
China is home to more than 100 million meat goats. Farmers produce a total output of more than 1.5 million tons annually. Most of the meat produced is consumed by the nation while little is exported on the world market.
The production of goatskins is similar to the meat goat industry. China produces more than 300,000 tons of goatskin a year, making them the world leader in export. China’s goatskins are renowned for their high economic value and exquisite quality.
China has more than 4 million milk goats in production across the country. Unfortunately due to low utilization and processing ability, China is experiencing a limitation in goat milk products. Only 30% of the output is used for fresh milk consumption while the other 70% is for powder milk production.
The output of cashmere in China is more than 11,700 tons annually. Of all the goat products China exports, cashmere products hold top rank at approximately 60% of global trade. Unfortunately, demand for cashmere products are dependent upon fluctuations in price in the international market.
One of the major problems facing China’s goat industry deals with the enormous herd sizes of cashmere producing goats. Cashmere goats have grazed much of China’s grasslands down to nothing causing severe dust storms and pollution issues. Better management practices are needed in order to control this problem.