Written by Prof. Stela Zamfirescu, IGA Country Representative for Romania
Founder and Honorary President of ANCC CAPRIROM
The favorable conditions for the breeding of small ruminants in Romania determined the continuous development of these species. Goats continue their numerical development, as the leading milk suppliers. This increase is determined, on the one hand, by the visible decrease in dairy cows, and on the other hand, by consumers’ awareness of the benefits of milk and goat milk cheese.
At the beginning of 2019, the total number of goats exceeds 2 million, of which the total number of females was 1,715,000 heads, with an increase of 117,365 heads, which represents a weight of 7.3%, compared to 2017. A recent analysis of the National Agency for Animal Husbandry mentions a new aspect regarding the breed structure of goats. The native breeds raised in Romania are the Carpathian and Banat White. However, due to the massive imports, over the last ten years, of specialized dairy breeds, namely Saanen, Alpine and Anglo-Nubian, the structure of these breeds has changed dramatically.
In 2018, we found the following breeds raised and exploited in our country: 34.6% Carpathians, 1.7% Banat White, 1.1% other breeds, and 62.6% hybrids. The average milk yields of the last two years, per goat head, was 240-300 liters, on a lactation period of 210-240 days. Milk production control is currently carried out on 190,000 goats by the CAPRIROM National Association of goat farmers.
The continuous numerical increase of goats in Romania is also due to the support provided by the Romanian government and EU funds. This year, under the combined zootechnical support scheme (SCZ sheep/goats), i.e. for animals registered in the Genealogical Register and under the Official Production Control, breeders receive from European money 17.7 Euro per animal head. Apart from this amount, the farmers will also benefit from the Transitional National Aid (ANZ), but for this scheme, the budget and the related amount is established after the adoption of the national budget for 2020, from which this state subsidy, granted by the Government of Romania, will be paid. In addition to these aids, other programs provide financial support to breeders for the purchase of males originating from productively controlled farms and have certificates of origin.
The most critical problems, still unresolved, are the lack of networks for the collection of milk from farmers and the organized capitalization of goat cheese. These shortcomings determine that a small part of the milk and cheese production will be capitalized by the milk processing factories, and the rest will be obtained by their consumption and on the local markets. We hope for an improvement of the goat network to increase the consumption of goat milk and meat as well as processed products, in the interest of growing income for farmers and full consumer satisfaction.
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.