FAO DIVERSIFICATION BOOKLET 9
Sheep and goats
SMALL RUMINANTS, SUCH AS SHEEP AND GOATS, FIT WELL INTO
SMALLHOLDER FARMING SYSTEMS. Their grazing preferences
enable them to feed on weeds, shrubs and other plants that
other species of domestic animals tend to refuse. Their small size
means they require less space than larger animals and they are
less likely to damage and compact soils. They are easier to work
with than large ruminants and are cheaper to buy and maintain.
Moreover, under the right conditions, they can be quite prolific.
The range of products produced by small ruminants is easy to
market because demand is high yet largely unfulfilled. Hence
there are considerable opportunities for smallholders to use such
animals more effectively and efficiently and thus increase their
contribution to livelihoods.
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