In 2016, we set out to establish the types of interventions that improve the livelihoods of girls and women from rural villages in Itojo Sub-County, where Ruhanga parish is located and this programme is part of that broader strategy.
We worked in collaboration with the NGO Joy Goat Development to introduce a new breed of dairy goats into Ruhanga parish. A limited number of participants, in this instance widows who were struggling to get an income, received a 50% cross breed female dairy goat as a loan. The women had to care for the goat until it produced the first kid.
Once the first births were weaned, the offsprings were returned to LTHT and the women at that point were given sole ownership over the initial goat.
This goat then became an asset that the woman could use to;
- generate income, support herself and her family through the continuous sale of the goat’s offspring,
- the sale of goat’s milk or improve the nutritional intake of their family if they opt for personal consumption.
Female kids returned to LTHT, went to the next widow on the waiting list whilst the male goats were sold and the money was put back into the project.
We have distributed 18 offsprings and the adult female goats have had a second round of pregnancies. Goat milk was a new concept to this community, but children were open to trying it. We hope that adults will start drinking it too as it becomes part of the diet in this area.
The whole community benefited from the program by crossing breeding their local female goat with dairy male goats. The aim of this aspect of the project was to increase the genetic pool for future generations.
Two years on, the people of Itojo Sub-county have a clear understanding of the benefits of crossbreeding, the importance of good record keeping, identifying when a goat was on heat, the benefits of timely deworming treatments, etc. Each of the three bucks has had 75 offsprings and the number continues to grow.