Goat-raising is an accepted and indigenous practice to the people of the Philippines. It is a widespread act of livelihood and has a rich economic support system in the local markets. The agriculture and terrain of the Philippines is very conducive to goat raising, due to the immense amounts of forage found in the tropical climate. GG is able to be successful giving goats as a sustainable livelihood tool in the Philippines because it is a culturally compatible practice.
But why focus on goats? Aren’t there other livestock that could provide better income or resources for needy families? There are many other types of livestock raised throughout the Philippines. However, no animal provides more output and diverse material for such a low amount of overhead and space requirements as goats. Healthy female goats can produce two offspring each year. The goat provides milk, manure, and offspring—all of which have residual income sources. Goats are also easily upgraded with simple breeding programs. A native goat can be purchased for a very modest price and can be bred with a higher grade of goat. Therefore, its offspring will be of better quality than the mother. So only after one cycle of pregnancy the goats produced within our program will make more money than what was spent on the initial goat.
Goats require very little space to live and produce. This works very well with the sometimes scattered and limited terrain found in the Philippines. Goats are also known for eating just about anything. The fact that goats aren’t particularly picky eaters makes feeding them simpler and cheaper.
For all these reasons, SHI/GG believes that goats, when raised in the proper environment, are among the most viable means of lifting families out of poverty.