By the end of the session farmers should be able to: Understand the practice of goat marketing Understand the different market structures and marketing options available. § Understand the key areas they have to manage for effective goat marketing. Understand the requirements for effecting negotiation and bargaining power. Understand how to plan for their business. Understand how to keep records. Understand how to budget and finance the business.  



When one takes goat farming as a business, the major objective is to make a profit. One can make a profit by providing a quality product that meets the market requirements. Therefore in simple terms, marketing is identifying the needs of the customers/ buyers and then supply a product (goats) that meets the required needs in the right quantities at the right time and place.

11.1 Understanding goat marketing

  • Identifying needs: Buyers require goats of different ages, size, breeds, etc. Some buyers such as the local traders are much concerned about the size while some buyers from the urban, high value markets emphasize on quality. 
  • Specific group of customers: Some of the specific goat markets are individual traders, abattoirs, NGOs, ethnic groups and export market. 
  • Product: In the goat business the products that we can sell to the market are live goats, goat meat, skins, milk, mohair and manure.
  • Right quantities: It is also important for farmers to be able to plan their production so that they consistently supply the required quantities at specified time intervals (e.g. 250 slaughter goats every month). This is key in business as this helps towards building longstanding and mutually beneficial (win-win) relationships with your buyers. 
  • Right time and place: When we start our goats to organized high value markets, we need to plan our production and logistics to meet the market requirements.

11.2 Goat markets

  • Currently, the market for goats is highly informal and middlemen dominate transactions. 
  • Sales are predominantly at farm gate level. 
  • There is lack of market information. 

There following are some of the market options available to goat farmers. 

Individual traders   

 This market comprises individual buyers who buy goats for resell in high value urban markets.  

Private sector companies (Abattoirs, butcheries and others

  • These normally require huge volumes of goats to serve both the local market and the export market. . 
  • This market emphasizes on quality, consistency and timely supply.
  • There is high transport costs involved when accessing this market. 

Ethnic groups:  

  • The Moslem community provides a market during their religious events.
  • The goats are slaughtered according to Halaal tradition.  
  • There are specific butcheries and abattoirs that service the Moslem community.

Non-Governmental Organizations: 

  • NGOs involved in restocking programmes provide a market for breeding stock.
  • They pay competitive prices.  

Export market: 

  • The export demand is found in Asian countries and other African countries.
  • The market is more demanding in terms of requirements.

Why are the buyers offering low prices for your goats?



What do you think should be done to address the problems?

……………………………………………………………………………………………. …………………………………………………………………………………………….

Marketing Tips

  • Goat farmers should be able to negotiate for prices that are commensurate with the quality of the animal.
  • Farmers can come together as a group to strengthen their bargaining power.
  • Farmers should gather up to date information about market trends.
  • Produce good quality goats in the right quantities (optimum production).
  • .Farmers should avoid desperate/ distress selling.
  • The farmer can sell directly or sell at an auction.

Financing the Goat Business

Most farmers lack knowledge of how much they need for their goat businesses. Farmers should have an estimate of how much they require for start up costs and operating expenses.

They must produce a financial plan/budget. This will help the farmer to source for funding. The plan should state how much money is needed for the following items:

  • Infrastructure
  • Breeding stock
  • Feeds
  • labour
  • Veterinary supplies
  • Transport

It should also estimate income from the business.

Sources of finance are:

  • Own savings: which is normally cheap but not easy to raise. 
  • Loans from commercial banks: These are very expensive and not readily available to most rural goat farmers. The requirements for these loans are normally stringent and rigorous. The requirements include among other things:  Track record
  • Formal registration of entity or enterprise.  Financial information  Collateral.


Institutions that provide short term facilities include commercial banks like Agribank, ZABG, Premier Banking Corporation, Commercial Bank of Zimbabwe, development institutions like the SEDCO and the Infrastructural Development Bank and a range of lower level financial institutions such as microfinance institutions and village banks or savings and credit cooperatives. Issues financed through short term facilities are of a working capital nature such as feeds, veterinary medicine, breeding stock etc. 

  • Group lending: A scheme whereby groups comprising approximately five to fifteen smallholder farmers or rural entrepreneurs come together to borrow money from the bank. These should be staying within the same locality. They are bound by a group constitution and operate a group savings account. They should have similar project interests for them to qualify for the loan. The group will have joint liability on the group loan granted
  • Credit schemes: There are traditional schemes where communities loan each other animals. These are rare. There are schemes that are government driven on agricultural inputs. However most of them concentrate on crop farming.
  • Donors: available only for poor farmers for restocking exercises. These are cheap funds. They are available for group projects.  However, these funds are not usually enough to run viable enterprises. 
  • Contract farming or out grower schemes: are relationships in which buyers of agricultural products lend funds (either in-kind or in cash) to producers. The loan is generally tied to a purchasing agreement.  This scheme is not yet available in the goat sub sector. The out grower scheme is operational in the cattle, pigs, poultry and ostrich sub sectors. The processors provide farmers with inputs and deduct the equivalent amount plus interest from the farmer on delivering the products. Contract farming and out grower schemes allow producers to gain access to high-value markets, as well as to increase their productivity by offering them credit with embedded services such as technical and marketing assistance.



    When you are running any business venture it is very important for any businessperson to understand how much it costs to source or produce their products. The cost of the product (goat) will assist you calculate a good selling price for it.
  Many people do not know the cost of their products and sometimes the selling price of their products is too low, so that they do not make money from their businesses.  This is bad news!
If it costs you $400 000 to raise your livestock, it is no good selling that animal for $300 000. You should try to sell it for more that the cost of raising it.

To make money in a business you must make sure that the selling price of your product is more than the cost of producing it!


         50 breeding does

         2 bucks required

         Kidding once a year

         Kidding: 150%                           

         Kid mortality: 10%

         Replacement of breeding stock: 20 %

         Young male goats to be sold at an average age of 2 years

Budget of Raising Goats:

Herd Composition Biological Parameters 
Number of Does50Kids born75 (40 males and 35 females) 
Number of Bucks2Kid mortality8 (4males and 4 females) 
Adult Death Rate5%Kids raised67(36males and 31 females) 
Kids to be sold34 malesYoung bucks2 
Market Kids3435 60000Kg live71400000
Market Does104040000kg16000000
Cull Bucks15040000kg20000000
Milk sales10450 litres10000litre4500000
Capital CostsNumberCostsUnitTotalPer
Does502m 50m 
Bucks23 6m 
Fencing 3m 3m 
Housing  5m 5m 
Watering System 5m 5m 
Supplies and Equipment     
Working pens     
Start Costs     

Cash Flow Statement

    This statement lists the inflows (revenue generated by the business) and the outflows (expenses incurred by the business). The difference between the inflows and outflows give the net cash flow. This net cash flow can be positive or negative. If it is positive that means the project is making money but if it is negative it means the business is not generating enough income. It should be noted that this net cash flow could initially be negative but increase gradually to become a positive cash flow. 
Sales: Does              
TOTAL INFLOWS              
Capital Expenditure              
Feed Costs:              
Health program              
Deworming Adults              
Deworming kids              
Opening Balance              
Closing Balance