THE total number of goats slaughtered at abattoirs monitored by the Department of Crop and Livestock decreased by 43% to 3 979 in the first half of this year compared to the same period last year, a new report reveals.
BY MTHANDAZO NYONI
In its latest market watch report, the Livestock and Meat Advisory Council (Lmac) revealed that the decline was due to direct and indirect cost of slaughter at formal abattoirs. Slaughters for the first quarter of 2020 were also down at 65% and 58% when compared to the corresponding periods in 2019 and 2018, respectively.
Average monthly slaughters for the first quarter of 2020 was 663 as opposed to the same period last year that averaged 1 173.
“Direct and indirect cost of slaughters at formal abattoirs is believed to be a major deterrent to formalisation of goat slaughter and processing. This is even more the case in incidences where a goat producer elects to slaughter a low number of goats,” Lmac said.
It said patterns in monthly goat slaughters reflected a high rate of volatility, indicative of the absence of organised large-scale goat breeding in the country.
“Most goat production is conducted at a subsistence level and the low number of slaughters processed by formal abattoir operators as a percentage of total slaughters, reflect reluctance by goat producers to use formal channels as they seek to minimise costs through informal slaughters,” it said.
Lmac said the lowest number of slaughters for the period under review was registered in April which is also the lowest monthly slaughter since January 2016.
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For the six months to June 2020, goat super accounted for 11% of total slaughters, an increase of 3% over the corresponding period in 2019.
This trend, Lmac said, can be contrasted with the decrease in goat inferior as a percentage of total goat meat, compared with 2016 where it comprised 27% of total slaughters. For the period under review, Mashonaland West dominated slaughters, making up 22, 53 and 56% in April, May and June respectively. Cumulatively to June 2020, Mashonaland West also made up 36% of total slaughters.
Other provinces that made significant contributions were Midlands and Masvingo of 19 and 18%, respectively.