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Support for ongoing projects continued unabated in 2016 and into 2017, further establishing the influence that Trade Aid UK has been able to give to important relief programmes worldwide. Much of this has been enabled by the continued sale of Trade Aid UK Granulated and Caster Sugar through Tesco Stores and the sale of ethical travel insurance through its partner www.travelandinsure.com. The use of external aid agencies and charities has been instrumental in us being able to reach the remotest parts of the globe where often the needs are greatest. The individual aid projects supported by the Trade Aid UK Foundation can be viewed by simply scrolling up and down the project panel on this page and clicking on the project that interests you.

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Dairy Goat Improvement Programme

We have made several donations to buy hybrid goats from the Goat Improvement Programme of a UK NGO, FARM-Africa, in East Africa.  These ‘improved’ goats are the result of crossing the European Toggenburg with local goats, thereby increasing the milk yield by as much as four times and increasing bodyweight for meat consumption, whilst still retaining the vigour of the local bloodline. 

These goats benefit members of the Pokot community in North West Kenya through a local self-help group called the Pokot Rural Service, which is supported by a small group of farmers and business people based in Devon, UK – together they decided to set up their own Goat Improvement Programme run on FARM-Africa’s model.

The Pokot people include both pastoralists, who live in the increasingly arid regions to the north, which are frequently affected by severe droughts, and settled farmers in the highlands, who have to eke out a living from their tiny plots that are even too small to support one cow.  These ‘improved’ goats do best when partially or permanently housed in pens that are raised off the ground, thereby avoiding many diseases and the need for much land, and enabling the keepers to collect the manure for their vegetable gardens.

Through a number of women’s groups in the area, the Pokot Rural Service (PRS) identifies needy members of the community and gives training sessions to groups in ‘improved’ dairy goat husbandry.  At the same time the participants are encouraged to adopt a low-input, rotational crop planting system of agriculture to improve the productivity of their land, which has been ravaged for years by a monoculture system with maize – a greedy crop which is very dependant upon expensive inputs such as fertilizer.

When the PRS is assured the participants are properly prepared and have built their goat-pens, they are supplied with a female goat on a revolving credit scheme - in time they must return to the Project two female kids for the benefit of other trained members of the community so that eventually this becomes a self-sustaining system.  Several unrelated purebred Toggenburg bucks are distributed at the same time, to appointed buck keepers, for breeding with the Project’s ‘improved’ goats and crossing with local goats belonging to other trained farmers in the area, thereby improving the genetic bloodline, health and milk productivity of the local goat population, as well as the health of the families and children, in particular.  Just one ‘improved’ goat can make a huge difference to the well-being of a family, especially where lone parents - often widows - are struggling to bring up their children with no support.

The PRS intend to expand this programme into schools in the area, where they hope to establish small goat units, having first identified and trained a resident member of staff, who would be responsible for the goats.   The children would benefit from the fresh goats milk, occasional meat and possibly some basic training in goat husbandry.  The school would benefit from any stock sales in the future.  In the meantime, a second group completed their training in December 2009 and another batch of ‘improved’ kids will be purchased from FARM-Africa’s dairy goat programme in Kenya for distribution to more needy families.

For the increasing number of impoverished rural families who have no land at all and therefore cannot even keep a goat, the intention is to introduce an ‘improved’ poultry scheme, whereby a genetically-improved cockerel is exchanged for three local birds, which are then sold to pay for the cost of the cockerel.  The resulting ‘improved’ hen will produce double the number of eggs per annum compared to a local hen and because of the bigger carcase, meat production will also be considerably increased.The purpose of the Pokot Rural Service is to help bring about improvements to the health and well-being of this extremely impoverished rural community that is so dependant upon agriculture for its survival.

 

Goats Travel First Class !
Vets check goats on arrival
Counting on arrival
Goats are grazing in new surroundings
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