Zambia’s total goat population stands at 3,476,790, the latest Livestock and Aquaculture Census has shown.
The census was conducted in 2017 by the Central Statistical Office in collaboration with the Ministry of Fisheries and Livestock.
The results mean that Zambia’s entire goat population would be wiped out if the country is to go ahead with the goat export deal with Saudi Arabia of a million goats per year.
Saudi Arabia is said to want to import a further 1 million sheep from Zambia.
Livestock and Fisheries Minister Kampamba Mulenga told ZANIS that the Zambian government is waiting for a delegation from Saudi Arabia to arrive and conclude the export deal with Zambia.
This follows the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding in 2016 after President Edgar Lungu undertook a state visit to Saudi Arabia.
But the figures released by the Central Statistics Office show that the livestock export deal to Saudi Arabia could be a non-starter.
The The Goat population as at census date was 3,476,790 of which Southern Province accounted for the highest population (1,233,435) at 35.5 percent of the total national goats stock, followed by Central province( 585,277) at 16.8 percent.
Western Province accounted for the lowest percentage of goats’ population at 1.9 percent of the total national stock.
Southern is still leading in Cattle, Goat, Sheep population while Eastern Province lead in Pigs in Zambia.
The Cattle population (both Household and Establishment) as at census date was 3,654,668, of which Southern Province accounted for the highest percentage (1,293,715), at 35.4 percent of the total national stock.
Seconded by Central Province with 826,322.
Luapula Province accounted for the lowest percentage (12,359) of cattle population at 0.3 percent of the total national stock.
The Sheep population as at census date was 165,243 of which Southern Province accounted for the highest population (57,855) at 35 percent of the total national Sheep stock.
Western Province accounted for the lowest percentage of Sheep population at 0.1 percent of the total national stock.
The further more the population of Pigs as at Census date was at 996,390 and Eastern province recorded the highest of this national pig population( 282,140 ) at 28.3 percent.
Southern and Copperbelt provinces accounted for 16.8 percent and 10.5 percent respectively.
The province that recorded the lowest pig population was Luapula province at 1.9 percent of the total national stock.
The purpose of the 2017 Livestock and Aquaculture Census was mainly to provide comprehensive livestock, fisheries and honey production statistics so as to better estimate the contribution of these sectors to the economy.