PUNE: Premium cars from big cities now stop at the nondescript goat farm of the 55-year-old Jijabai Narawade in village Savindane near Pune. Make no mistake, the visitors know for sure that Jijabai sells a rare breed of goat having seen ads on online platforms like Quikr, OLX and Whatsapp.
Editor's Note: 90,000 Indian rupes converts to about $1,429 U.S. dollars. The Indian per capita income is the equivalent of $1,219 U.S.
These are not the local Indian goats available in mutton shops but Boer goats, which are still rare in India. Boer goatsare popular the world over for their meat and adapt to any climate. Jijabai's son, Vinayak, who sells the animals online, has recently acquired a software to keep record of his 'Aai Goat Farm', which started with two Boer goats and has a herd of 70 goats today.
Goat meat costs about 400 rules per kg while the Boer variety is priced at 1,750 rupes per kg for male and 4,000 per kg for female goats. Depending on the weight, prices range from 60,000 rules per goat and 90,000 per goat.
"Affluent Muslims from big cities like Mumbai buy these goats and rear them for a few months at their homes before using them on Bakrid," said Vinayak Narawade. "There are very few buyers for such highly-priced goats. The use of technology helps us locate them across the country," said Narawade.
Boer goats are native to South Africa. In India, Pune-based Nimbkar Agriculture Research Institute (NARI) was the first one to import their embryo from Australia in 1993.
"Boer goats are used for cross-breeding with desi goats to increase their meat yield. The availability of goat meat is not keeping pace with growing demand as the number of goat farmers is declining fast," said Dr Pradip Ghalsasi, associate director, NARI who works on cross-breeding.
So promising is the goat-rearing business that Fakkad Nanekar, who has three small-scale factories in Chakan near Pune, has turned to the business after a proper training about goat rearing.