SYDNEY, Nov. 28 (Xinhua) -- With farmers on Australia's east coast experiencing some of the worst drought conditions on record, the high price of feed has forced many producers to sell down their sheep and cattle stocks.
But while the production of other some animals is slowing, there appears to be a sharp surge in interest when it comes to farming goats.
"We are seeing quite a rise in the number of inquiries around goat farming and this is happening because of the high prices and producers are seeing for goat meat," project manager for the goat industry Julie Petty from Meat and Livestock Australia (MLA) told Xinhua on Wednesday.
"We have got an increasing demand and a shortening of supply so there are a lot of opportunities and more and more people are realizing there is a growing industry here," the project manager said.
With prices above five Australian dollars (3.6 U.S. dollars) per kilo of carcass weight, Julie said the export focused on goat meat market to Australia and New Zealand was worth over 257 million Australian dollars (186 million U.S. dollars) to the domestic economy in 2017.
"Last year around 88 percent of all goat meat was exported, predominantly to the U.S., but domestically we are seeing an increase in demand and inquiries, so it is looking really promising from a producer's perspective," Julie said.
Julie said that one of the major things that Aussie farmers on the east coast are attracted to is the positive effect goats can have of pastoral land.
"Goats can be really good for the environment if they are stocked appropriately and well managed. A lot of producers will use them as wooly weed control to clean up the environment and get rid of pest plant species," Julie added.