Written by Juan Capote, IGA past president
In 2016, Beth Miller as IGA president and I were invited by Prof. Binyun Cao from Northwest A&F University to participate the following year in a conference concerning the dairy goat industry. Beth Miller could not attend due to scheduling conflicts, so I went as IGA representative and also as Honorary President of the conference Organizing Committee. The conference, titled “The International Conference of Dairy Goat Industry Development & International Symposium on Dairy Goat Industry Technology” took place on October 10 to 12, 2017 in Quianxian, Shaanxi province. During this trip, I visited three large factories: one just completed, another one in construction and another one in the planning stages. It was my 6th visit to China as an IGA officer. In addition, I had been the guide of a Chinese delegation who visited Spain in 2015.
Personally, I consider that in China there is a dramatic change in the dairy goat industry. Goat milk is processed, mainly as powder milk, by the large dairy industry with high investment and profitability. It is a singular case and, as a consequence, dairy goat systems are changing fast. Moreover, China is the most important country as far as total goat numbers, and probably also about the number of dairy goats.
On October 9th, I participated in a ceremony at the location where the biggest goat dairy factory is going to be built, digging a hole with a shovel together with Chinese authorities. The factory is scheduled to be completed in five months. The next day I participated, together with Javier Fernandez, an IGA member from Spain, in a training session on production performance evaluation (linear traits) of dairy goats. On October 11th, I was part of a group of people who participated in the opening ceremony of the conference and the opening ceremony of the new Baiyue Youlishi Dairy Co. Ltd. factory. In this ceremony, the Organizing Committee gave me an award for my contributions and previous support. In the afternoon, I gave my presentation in the conference meeting room and attended the presentations given by other speakers. On October 12th, I attended several short presentations by local researchers. On October 13th and 14th, together with other foreign speakers, I visited two farms and the factory in construction. An important issue was to be informed of the feeding cost per animal and the price of the milk. From my point of view, it means that, with 500 liters of annual milk production per goat (approximately half of a dairy American goat), a suitable farm profitability is obtained. On the night of October 14th, I flew back to Spain.
The activity of the dairy goat industry in China is increasing rapidly. Within six years, they project to produce one hundred billion liters of goat milk per year. I asked several times about this amazing quantity and the information was always confirmed.
Another issue that shows the importance of the China dairy goat industry is the coverage from the media, including the central Chinese TV. Furthermore, an important project has been approved for industry development. Honestly, I think that it is very important that a global organization such as IGA continues to be linked to this remarkable activity.
The International Goat Association promotes goat research and development for the benefit of humankind, to alleviate poverty, to promote prosperity and to improve the quality of life.