Current status of global dairy goat production: an overview

  • Miller, Beth A. (Department of Natural and Physical Sciences, University of Arkansas - PTC) ;
  • Lu, Christopher D. (College of Agriculture, Forestry and Natural Resource Management, University of Hawaii)
  • Received : 2019.03.26
  • Accepted : 2019.06.05
  • Published : 2019.08.01


The global goat population continues to grow and is now over one billion. The number of goats raised primarily for milk production is also growing, due to expanding demand. Most of the world dairy goat production and consumption is in Asia, but a global view of the dairy goat sector reveals important lessons about building successful modern dairy goat industries. The most organized market for goat milk is found in Europe, especially in France. The European goat sector is specialized for milk production, mostly for industrial cheesemaking, while also supporting traditional on-farm manufacturing. Government involvement is significant in sanitary regulation, research, extension, support for local producer organizations, and markets, and ensures safety and quality. Nonetheless, producers are still vulnerable to market fluctuations. New dairy goat industries are developing in countries without a long goat milk tradition, such as China, the United States, and New Zealand, due to rising consumer demand, strong prices, and climate change. The mix of policies, management and markets varies widely, but regardless of the country, the dairy goat sector thrives when producers have access to markets, and the tools and skills to sustainably manage their livestock and natural resources. These are most readily achieved through strong and inclusive producer organizations, access to technical services, and policies that enable the poor and marginalized groups to benefit from increasing demand.


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