Running a small-scale goat project for farmers in African villages

Posted on 8 October 2019 by Makhosi Mahlangu

Article by Siduduzo Ndlovu an intern with the African Food Revolution

  1. Breed type

The selected goat breed was the indigenous Matebele goat. This breed selected due to its large frame, with the mature weight reaching up to 50 kg for males and 40 kg for females giving above 25kg dressed carcass weight. The Matebele goat is a dual-purpose breed, that is, produces meat and milk. It has multiple colours hence the hides will be attractive and provide variety for the leather products. It gives birth to singles, twins and triplets thus replacement stock will be obtained from within the flock. The Matebele goat is well adapted to local conditions and originates from the Southern part of Zimbabwe. It can be mated for the first time at 18 months of age and has a gestation period of between 145 to 154 days hence a faster stock replacement rate.

2. Slaughtering techniques and machinery

The goats will be restrained and killed in a humane manner using the captive bolt stunning technique whereby only the brain will be damaged hence making the animal unconscious without causing any pain (FAO, 2018). The technique guarantees the production of Chevon of high quality. This technique is safer and will ensure that the meat attracts a huge market as it is also recommended by the Moslem society which is a good market. The slaughter area will be in the form of shade with a conveyor line and a smooth, cleanable cement floor with a shallow canal leading the slaughter waste to a septic tank to ensure environmentally friendly and sustainable disposal (FAO, 2018). The carcasses will be suspended with their hind limbs and then bled by inserting a knife into the thoracic cavity and severance of the carotid artery and jugular vein as a way of ensuring optimal blood removal from the carcass. The blood will be dripped into aluminium containers during the slaughter process. The skin will be detached from the carcass using the fisting technique to prevent damage on the skin since the skin is too thin. The heads will be then detached, the carcass inspected, eviscerated, dissected and graded in accordance. To prevent bone fractures, after evisceration, and removal of the fifth quarter, the carcass will be cut strategically following the joint hence separating into different parts. The part will be sliced using a butcher’s saw at Lupane Butchery thus producing meat cuts of various packable sizes.  A tap will be sited close to the slaughter site to enable unlimited access to clean water hence the maintenance of good hygienic standards.

  • Product lines








  1. Processing techniques for the line (Chevon)

Since the farmer is in an arid area in a remote village in Africa, the processing techniques to be employed will be aimed at increasing the shelf life of the Chevon (Chukwuemeka , 2018). The meat will be salted, dried and smoked. All these methods are dehydration preservation techniques thus they can be combined to make biltong that can even earn higher prices in the cities. This will also be appropriate since Lupane is a gateway to Victoria Falls, a tourist destination hence they are a good target market for this product.

There are a lot of elderly people young children who face difficulties in biting meat in rural Africa hence the farmer can also grind the low-grade meat into mincemeat and enhance the flavor and taste through the addition of herbs and spices.


MBC for the product lines. Use of HACCP would be advantageous

  • Power cuts resulting in the breakdown of refrigeration facilities
  • Contamination from:

Mechanical hazards- this can be through broken blades, bone fragments, plastics or stones (Nandhu Lal, 2016),

Biological hazards -pathogens such as salmonella and E. coli which are meat borne pathogens that are carried by healthy animals and are undetectable by sight or smell (Nandhu Lal, 2016),

Chemical hazards- this can be from disinfectants, cleaning detergents and residues from drugs and inoculant acaricides.

  • Inaccuracies in the application of preservatives and additives and preservation techniques.


  1. Possible Packaging

The meat will be packaged in labeled khaki papers as they increase the shelf life of the Chevon and this will be a way of discouraging the use of plastics as they can be an environmental nuisance. The Khaki packaging papers will have stickers with the name of the product, the farmers contact details and a list of other products available thus acting as a marketing strategy.

  • Legislation and laws involved in goat processing techniques
  • Before slaughter, animals should be rested at least 12 hours before slaughter where they will be given water and denied access to feed. This is meant to reduce stress and also ensure that the best meat quality is obtained from slaughtered animals.
  • Animals should be slaughtered in a humane manner so as to obtain high-quality meat
  • There must be a footbath of water diluted with a disinfectant to prevent the contamination of the slaughter area.


Chukwuemeka , N. (2018). Methods of processing meat: meat processing and preservatives. Retrieved from Agriculture diary:

FAO. (2018). 3. Design and equipment recommendation for small to medium sized abattoirs. Retrieved from FAO:

Nandhu Lal, A. M. (2016). HACCP implementation in meat industry. Retrieved from Slideshare: