HARARE — Trade promotion body, Zimtrade, said on Tuesday Zimbabwe could make inroads in the lucrative goat meat export business to revive the country’s largely non-existent meat export business.
According to Zimbabwe’s New Ziana news agency latest data shows that the international market for goat meat has surged 140 per cent in the last seven years, with global trade in the commodity totalling US$372 million over the period.
Zimbabwe has not exported meat since the imposition of restrictions on beef exports by the European Union after the country was affected by foot and mouth disease over a decade ago.
And Zimtrade says Zimbabwe, which has a goat population of over three million, could exploit promising export markets in regional countries such as Angola and the Democratic Republic of Congo, which have a high goat meat demand.
“Zimbabwe is currently not exporting any goat meat,” the trade body said.
“After restrictions on the export of Zimbabwean beef due to the outbreak of foot and mouth disease, goat meat could be an option for the resuscitation of the meat export business.”
The major exporters of goat meat as at the end of 2014 included Ethiopia, Kenya, Somalia, Australia, China, Sudan, Brazil and India.
Top importers on the other hand are Middle East countries which include the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Oman and Qatar.
“Zimbabwean goat producers should engage in world standard animal husbandry practices, if they are to penetrate export markets,” Zimtrade said, adding that Halal certification was also important.
Goat meat is largely preferred as experts say it has lower cholesterol levels, lower saturated fats and higher nutritional composition compared to other meats.
Locally, goat meat is in demand as an alternative to highly priced beef.
Zimbabwe’s struggling meat processor, the Cold Storage Commission was previously involved in goat as well as beef export but stopped due to viability challenges the company faced.