A new app for small-scale goat marketing in Nepal is ready to roll out. The smartphone app uses a short messaging system (SMS) to connect smallholder sellers and buyers of goats. On May 25, master trainers from Heifer Nepal International introduced the app to female managers of goat cooperatives, who in turn plan to train 1,400 representatives from support groups for goat smallholders by the end of July.
The app development is part of the multi-year project – Designing and evaluating innovations for development of smallholder female livestock cooperatives in Nepal – led by Dr. Conner Mullally from the University of Florida. Its two other main components focus on evaluating forage options to optimize feeding of goats and providing distance learning to women so they can stay at home and fulfill their various domestic obligations while acquiring the training to become village animal health workers. Plans call for the distance learning tool to enter a training phase in August. The winter fodder crop trial (oats, ber, vetch) and feeding trial with fodder from these crops has been completed, and summer fodder crop trials (cowpea, red bean and teosinte) are underway.
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.