JOHANNESBURG, May 1 — South Africa’s Boerbok, a breed of goat which was developed in this country in the early 1900s for meat production, is becoming a globetrotter with demand for its meat accelerating over the past few years.
While it has previously been exported to the United States and Australia, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) is now also showing interest and about 10,000 head of the four-footed travellers are now on their way to the Gulf.
Recent US studies regard its meat as being healthier than ostrich meat. South Africans prefer the meat of sheep to that of goat on their plate but the local Boerbok industry is slowly trying to change that.
Increased demand from countries such as the US and parts of Europe show that this strategy is working. The Boerbok Association’s Freddy Stolper says: “We have a great demand from countries like Dubai, and some animals were exported to Malaysia, to neighbouring countries like Angola, Botswana and the Congo. so things are on the right track.”
Farmers are reaping the benefits. The demand from foreign countries has helped push up prices by 80 per cent in the last two years.
While stringent measures are in place to ensure quality exports, the local market is keeping the best genes to prevent other countries from overtaking South Africa as the top Boerbok breeder.