This Small Research Activity will assess the opportunities and constraints for more efficient and more market-focussed small ruminant production in the Pacific. It will evaluate the production systems, people, markets and institutional stakeholders involved in sheep and goat farming to identify ways of improving how production systems work, align with markets, and contribute to small-scale producers’ livelihoods.
Goat and sheep production is culturally and economically significant in the Pacific Island countries, but local supply cannot meet demand. Making smallholder small ruminant producers more productive will benefit smallholder livelihoods, as well as national trade balances because countries will not have to import the animals.
Since small ruminants are an ideal “entry-level” investment into livestock production, ownership, and income generating asset ownership, this Small Research Activity will examine how women and marginalised groups (landless, ethnic minorities, etc.) can produce small ruminants and improve their involvement in and the benefits flowing to them from raising sheep and goats.
This Small Research Activity will report on the extent of the small ruminant sector in Fiji, Vanuatu and Samoa. It will analyse production systems and farmers in Fiji, which has the largest small ruminant population in the region, with 24,000 farmers running 270,000 goats.
This Small Research Activity will produce a report or publication describing the market for small ruminant animals and products in the South Pacific, the production systems and producers of small ruminants in Fiji, associated value chains, research questions and interventions that can improve the productivity and market focus of small ruminant production systems in Fiji, and the benefits that would flow to poor, marginalised and female producers.