Date: November 4, 2019
Bertha Cecilia Cardenas Sterling, Technician in administration and commercialization of perishable products, owner Interactive Farm Villa Cabras
Jair Trujillo Trujillo, Business Administrator, owner Interactive Farm Villa Cabras
Clara Viviana Rúa B, IGA Country Representative for Colombia
Villa Cabras Interactive Farm is located in Chucuní, a village located 9 km from the city of Ibagué, the musical capital of Colombia, in the department of Tolima. In terms of the local climate, the summers are short and hot, the winters are short, comfortable, humid and wet, and it is cloudy throughout the year. During the course of the year, the temperature generally varies from 17 to 28 °C and rarely falls below 16 °C or rises above 31 °C. It rains throughout the year but the driest month is January, with 91 mm of rain. With an average of 233 mm, the highest monthly precipitation falls in October.
The Villa Cabras Interactive Farm goat project is a family business which was created in 2008. This initiative stemmed from the recommendation by the family pediatrician to supply goat milk to their youngest daughter who suffered from bronchopneumonia (a respiratory disease). Out of necessity and due to the health status of their daughter, the parents decided to buy their first goat. The number of goats kept increasing as neighbors and relatives began to ask for goat milk for their children and older adults for their health issues.
One hundred percent of the family income is derived from the Villa Cabras Interactive Farm project. The objective of the project is to provide consumers, who have been developing a tendency toward healthier eating habits, pasteurized goat milk (under artisanal pasteurization) in glass bottles, facilitated through home sales in nearby towns and cities.
In 2014, the project diversified its activities through Agritourism, giving visitors the opportunity to explore and share a natural space with family and friends. Visitors also have the opportunity to interact with the goats and live a farming experience, thus generating environmental awareness, sensitivity and respect for natural resources and the rural sector. Similarly, based on the experience and knowledge acquired, training services and workshops for producers and students were offered along with technical advice for the establishment of goat projects.
Group of people participating in the guided tours and courses taught by the owners of Villa Cabras Interactive Farm. On the right, demonstration at the milk processing plant, on the left demonstration of the equipment for the preparation of goat feed.
Goat and sheep production system
At the Villa Cabras Interactive Farm, goat production is based on a drylot housing system where the animals are allocated to pens according to their production stage. The farm has an average inventory of 100 goats, predominantly females (adult and growing goats), followed by kids and bucks. The goats are mestizos, some of them with very predominant features from the La Mancha, Alpine and Saanen breeds. The farm counts with approximately 80 mestizos hair sheep, predominantly of the Creole or Sudan-type, with a few specimen of the Kathadin and Pelibuey breeds.
The farm has 0.4 ha dedicated to forages, the supplementation is made of chopped Angleton grass (Dichantium aristatum), orange peels, corn silage and of a balanced feed that is designed and prepared at the farm.
On average, there are 25 goats in milk for an average production of 40 liters per day, and 1.6 liters of milk per goat. Goats are milked mechanically in a set up allowing 12 goats to be milked simultaneously and in compliance with the sanitary protocol of Good Milking Practices (BPO).
Products and services
In addition to increasing the income derived from goat production, it is of great interest of the Villa Cabras Interactive Farm to promote the strengthening of the guild, to increase the consumption of goat-derived products, to successfully market goat by-products, and to contribute to the recovery of rural activities at the regional and national level.
Visit their fan page to learn more about this project, www.granjavillacabras.com.
Facebook: Granja Villa Cabras
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.