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Ethiopia avails one of the most savory goat meat to the local and export market. Ethiopia goat meat is primarily sourced from smallholder herders as well as pastoralists communities across the country.
The origin of goats dates back almost 9,000 years ago. Goats were first domesticated in the Western Asian hills where herders kept the wild goats. Many years later new and improved breeds were adopted and eventually spread to other parts of the world. However, the first bunch of Ethiopia goats is said to have found their way into the country through the north between 4000-5000 years ago with a majority of those breeds coming from North Africa and the Middle East.
Ethiopia goat meat exports in unprocessed raw form were valued at $93689 in 2017.
Although, Ethiopia lowlands which comprise of West, East, and South of the country are the primary goat-keeping regions the highlands farms which primarily entail mixed farming also contribute a substantial figure to the national goat meat share.
A considerable chunk of Ethiopia goat meat comes from indigenous types which are extensively reared due to their ability to survive in different climatic conditions. Most of the goat keeping is done in the rural areas with the herders not only relying on them for food but also mainly as a source of income.
Ethiopia ranks in the top ten positions of Africa’s leading producers of goat meat, globally.
Ethiopia goat meat is available in three forms.
The raw, unprocessed goat meat is the most preferred form in the local market. The bulk set aside for the domestic consumption is delivered straight from the slaughterhouses to various selling points including retail joints, supermarkets, and whole sellers.
For the market, the most prevalent forms are chilled or frozen although many times it depends on the specifications of clients. These two forms entail taking the meat through several mechanisms that involve chilling and freezing it.
Frozen and chilled forms are convenient for the export markets because they help extend the shelf life of the meat. The meat thereby can be stored for a more extended period. On the other hand, it retains all essential nutrients as well as the delicious taste it contains in its raw fresh form.
The Main Varieties
There are various types of goats reared in Ethiopia. These include:
Worre: This breed originated from Rift Valley. They are mostly found in the Kolla and Weyna Dega areas which are dry, moist and dry in that order. They are short, have a concave facial appearance and have short horns. However, this breed is mainly reared for milking other than for its meat thus herders maintain a very minimal number of the males.
Afar: This type of goat is named after the region it is extensively reared. They are found in North-eastern Ethiopia and mainly the Afar region. These regions have arid and semi-arid conditions. A large proportion consists of females for milking while the males that exist are either used for breeding or selling mainly for purposes of meat. They have patchy coated color and long sharp pointed horns.
Abergelle: This is reared for purposes of meat. They are characterized by stocky body build; red hair and the male have spiral horns. Some of them have plain, patchy and coated hides.
Long-eared Somali: This breed is domesticated in the region bordering Somalia which comprises the lowlands of southern Ogaden.
Short-eared Somali: Just as the name suggests, they’re characterized by short ears and are found in the lowlands of Ogaden.
Keffa: Keffa is domesticated mainly in the Illubabor and South Shewa regions.
Arsi: This breed is predominant in the Bale Highlands of Arsi, Bale and south Shewa.
Other varieties include the Western Highland domesticated in the Highlands of western Ethiopia which comprise of Gojam, eastern, South Gondar, Wellega and Illubabor and the Western Lowland.
Ethiopia goats are reared extensively in the lowlands and mixed farming zones in the Highlands.
The primary sources are Arsi and Bale regions, Weyna Dega and Dega as well as southern Sidamo, South Omo, and areas of Wolayta Limu, Harar, Oromia, and Maji.
The climatic conditions of these regions range from arid, dry to semi-arid while others have humid and sub-humid conditions that consist long rainy seasons.
The housing of Ethiopia goats varies depending on the system of production.
The houses or shades serve several purposes such as giving the animals an ample environment, protecting against theft and predators, shielding from extreme climatic conditions including heat, rain and wind and minimizes cases of diseases.
Herders build the goat structures also based on what they can afford with some of them using available materials such as tree branches to cut costs while other construct modern facilities fitted with feeding and watering troughs. Nonetheless, herding the goats on natural pastures in the open fields as the majority do is linked to the sweet goat meat produced from the horn of Africa.
Ethiopia goat meat is available all year round.
Benefits of Ethiopia goat meat
Three ounces of goat meat is estimated to contain 122 calories, 3.2 milligrams of iron and 0.79 grams of inundated fat.
When compared to other types of meat including beef, Ethiopia goat meat has more protein, comparable lower levels of calories, cholesterol and saturated fats.
Ethiopians also have a liking for goat meat due to its tenderness and ability to cook well under low heat. The meat is characterized by a savory taste, and its color ranges from bright red to light pink.
The calcium in goat meat strengthens bones with Vitamin B it constitutes reducing fats while Vitamin B12 helps in the treatment of stress and depression. Goat meat also has essential selenium and chlorine which helps prevent cancer.
Post-harvest, handling, and Packing
Ethiopia goat meat is packed in sizeable chops referred to as quarters or smaller pieces in the form of six cuts. They are made up of either offal or boneless cuts. However, the goat meat is also delivered to the market as joints or whole carcasses.
All materials used for packing conform to all health guidelines.
To maintain the hygiene and safety of packed meat, brand new thermoforming film and polyolefin film is used to pack the meat. They are wrapped on the goat meat with their primary role being that of keeping the goat meat under modified temperatures in the course of the shipment.
The carcasses are also placed in white, inch fitting stockinette bags which have labels containing the name of the product plus source, slaughtering date and the destination.
The next phase involves fitting the goat meat in cartons that are corrugated in the inside with each one of them weighing at least 25 kilograms. The meat is frozen to extend its shelf life since most of the shipment travel over long distances. The carton also has clear labels placed on them.
Prior, to releasing the product to the port of Djibouti, the cartons are temporarily placed in cold rooms. Before transporting the meat, the vans and trucks set aside for the task are inspected by the health directorate and PubMed of Ethiopia to ensure all guidelines are followed.
For any volume of Ethiopia goat meat, you can order your shipment from anywhere around the globe. SelinaWamucii supplies high-quality goat meat sourced from Ethiopia. The company’s sources which include smallholder farmers and slaughterhouses meet all stipulated guidelines which help minimize cases of contamination and ensure products meet world standards.
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