Improving Liberia's Goat Population

Originally published on October 15, 2014.

By Judoemue M. Kollie
This article originally appeared June 26, 2014 in the Liberian Daily Observer

The Central Agriculture Research Institute (CARI) in Suakoko, Bong County, has received a shipment of 160 goats imported from Guinea and Ivory Coast. These goats will be key to improve the genetic resilience of Liberia’s goat stocks.

West African Dwarf goats, imported from Guinea and Ivory Coast to improve the resilience of Liberia's goat stocks, graze at the CARI quarantine facility in Suakoko, Bong County.
The goats are being housed at the Institute’s quarantine facility for at least three weeks before being distributed to local goat farmers. The goat breed, West African Dwarf, is a hardy breed and resistant to diseases in tropical climates. Introducing it in to the national goat herd is important to improve the health of goats in Liberia.

International NGOs Land O’Lakes (LOL), USAID Food and Enterprise Development (FED) Program and CARI have partnered to restock the country’s goats, increase production and reduce Liberia’s reliance on imported goats.

Earlier this year, USAID FED rehabilitated CARI’s livestock quarantine facility into a modern facility with the capacity to host over 500 goats.

“Land O’Lakes assists Liberian goat farmers by importing approximately 3000 goats over the next year,” the Chief of Party for Land O’Lakes, Allison Williams, told the Daily Observer.

She disclosed that her institution is supporting more than 190 goat producers in Lofa, Bong and Nimba counties to restock goats and improve husbandry.

USAID FED trains farmers in improved goat husbandry techniques in Bong, Lofa, Nimba and Grand Bassa counties using goat shelters and basic animal healthcare. A total of 103 goat production sites with more than 500 farmers, are currently participating.

Over the next month, the goats will be distributed to farmers participating in the USAID FED and LOL programs. CARI staff is tasked with managing and quarantining the animals.

The Director for Livestock at CARI, Dr. Arthur Karnuah, disclosed that an additional 21 goats were brought from Lofa a week ago, totaling 181 goats being quarantined at CARI at the moment.

“Our role is to make sure that these animals are free from disease before they are distributed to local farmers,” he explained.