The Goat Industry - A Route To Poverty Alleviation!

In preparation for this article I decided to consult my Strong's Comprehensive Concordance of the Bible, a book which every Christian should have in their home.
It is no secret about my determination to make goat the animal of choice in St. Lucia and the rest of the Caribbean and give the ruminant/the product an international recognition.
Many people may not be aware of my religious faith but I am not a Christian, I am a disciple and prefer to be known as a Biblicist. So in everything I do I seek guidance from my Creator - Yahweh.
In the Old Testament, goats were used as Sin offering, goat skin for the covering of the tabernacle, goat's hair for making pillows, goat skin for clothing, goat milk for food for the household and the maintenance of maidens. The foregoing good things about goats in the Old Testament has nothing to do with Matthew 25:32 &33 where reference was made to dividing the sheep from the goat.
Goats were presented for an offering for Sin and will again come to the assistance of the poor among us to be a prime mover for the alleviation of poverty.
While I was living in Guyana, I attended a few goat races and always wanted to own a goat that I will race. Way back then I saw goat racing as the poor man's equivalent to horse racing. It is managed on the same principles.
Horse racing is the king's sport and it is the only sport that wagering is legal on the tracks. So don't jump to conclusion. This law is an exception in the Criminal Code Chapter 519. Sometimes we forget that our laws are based on the British Jurisprudence.
In July of 2000 I visited Tobago to see for myself the development of the sport in that island. I discovered that the sport had a 75 years history at that point in time.
A special field was provided with starting gate, commentary box and fenced area for the actual races. It was still a cultural experience and not commercialized as it is in Guyana. The only problem being that in Guyana races are not held frequently.
The Bucco races in Tobago is internationally known. Expatriates even own goats on the island which are taken care of by local trainers.
Let me get off the subject of racing for now and look at the other aspects of goats breeding that should appeal to most of us. There is a demand for goat meat and milk. Moreover, goat meat is even exported to neigh-bouring islands. The time has come for farmers to get serious about goat meat, milk and its by products production. Apart from the current areas of demand - as was in Bible days what do we do with the hair and the skin - could we put it to use and sell to tourists. Example - a few persons dressed in national outfit offering complete skins for wall decoration and goat hair as a special items.
Now let us get back to racing in St. Lucia and the wider Caribbean. For the past year I am associated with a gentleman based in Ireland whom I met via the internet and we are seeking to establish the International Goat Racing Association to be located in St. Lucia. Do you for a moment think this is impossible? The West Indies Cricket Board is headquartered in Antigua, small island states have great potentials which are being translated into reality in many instances, IGRA will be one of them.

What is in it for participating countries.

  1. The development of commercial goat farming.
  2. The development of a goat book for racing goats breeders.
  3. Income opportunities for trainers, pilots/jockeys, sport administrators, manufacturers of racing gears, sale of promotional materials, printing of posters, programmes, etc., staff for racing venues, wagering clerks, special transportation, racing goats, vendors, sale of feed and medicines for goats.
  4. The pride of ownership of a Champion goat.
  5. Increase activity for Vets.
  6. International exposure for St. Lucia. Races will be carried live internationally.

Goat racing is emerging as a serious sport and offers St. Lucia a unique opportunity to lead the industry. My co-sponsor is involved in software development that drives this area of activity.
However it goes, goat racing will be good for St. Lucia, especially at this present time. We have the goats why not use them productively. We do not need predigree goats - our local goats are best because they can withstand the heat. Six months from the time the structure is put in place - the goats will be off and running.
I am very interested in meeting with current owners of goats around the island and would be pleased to discuss the future of goat racing and related projects in St. Lucia and as soon as possible to start a Goat Racing Association in St. Lucia.
I am pleased to announce the relaunch of My internet subscribers to Harris @ Large can now expect a new posting every Friday morning. In the meantime, my real estate site was launched on June 17, 2002 and is doing very well.
Keep the Faith! God is in Charge!
Friday 2 August 2002