Birbhadra Acharya decided to commence Bagaicha Farm House and Resort Pvt Ltd in 2015 at Gaidakot in the Nawalparasi district. That time he had two different plans up his sleeve. The first plan was carrying out goat farming and the second one was building a resort. Then Acharya set out himself to execute the former by raising some 30 local goats. Such goats were primarily raised in order to sell for breeding purposes. “But the very business idea did not work at all. The reason was that all these goats were below 35 kg and there was literally no profit by trading them in the market,” shares Acharya, who is chairman of Bagaicha Farm House and Resort Pvt Ltd.
This prompted him to explore other viable options to make his venture really grow. In the course of this, he meticulously went through various literatures and documents pertaining to goat farming. “Following the research, I came to draw one important conclusion. Such a conclusion was that the adoption of cross-breeding techniques could well help boost my farming business,” Acharya divulges.
After this, Bagaicha imported the genetically superior breed of goats known as Boer from Australia with an aim to cross-breed them with indigenous ones. In fact, some 17 Boer goats were brought by paying around US $ 1,600 for each.
There were some strong reasons behind the selection of this particular breed of goats for the purpose of cross-breeding. “They offered promising business opportunities because of their suitable size, short gestation period (physical growth of 200 or 300 gram per day) and healthy meat (low cholesterol level), among others,” he informs. This very breed was first developed in South Africa by Dutch Farmers, that’s why it got it’s name “Boer” meaning Dutch Farmer.
In the first year of its establishment, Bagaicha was able to produce as many as 100 goats via the process of cross-breeding. Now the number of such goats has already crossed 300.
According to Acharya, the current business strategy of his farmhouse focuses more on quality than quantity when it comes to producing goats. “Just expanding the numbers of products without first improving their quality does not make a good business sense. So, we are fully engaged in the process of producing the third-cross and fourth- cross goats having the pedigree blood of 87 and 93 percent respectively.”
Bagaicha has already created the first-cross and second-cross goats with such blood standing at 50 and 75 percent respectively. As the percent of pedigree blood increases, the animal simply becomes more genetically prolific.
The firm house currently sells particularly the first- cross and second-cross goats at Rs 12,00/per kg and Rs 2,000 per/kg respectively. Its major buyers are livestock farmers who purchase the products for carrying out the process of breeding.
“We have a broad network of the clients spreading across as many as 60 districts in the country. And, remarkably, many of them have placed their full trust on us for providing truly quality products,” claims Acharya. “Moreover, it is taking other proactive initiations to facilitate the clients to start goat farming. This has also played a catalyst role in bolstering its market performance. Bagaicha is instrumental in helping establish as many as 200 such enterprises across the country till date.
By increasingly garnering the unflinching faith of its buyers, it has undergone a metamorphosis from a loss-making entity into a profit-making one over the last five years.
For the first three years of its establishment (2015, 2016 and 2017), it had been in the red. But, the company reached the break-even point in 2018 and was able to accrue profits in 2019. In the last year, it registered a total turnover of Rs 20 million by selling some 500 goats. Its earnings made out of such turnover stood at Rs 1.8 million. In line with gradual financial growth in the company, its investment volume is also witnessing a significant upward turn. The initial investment of the company was just Rs 300 million, which has now jumped to Rs 700 million.
On the other side, Baigaicha looks to establish itself as a learning center for goat farming in the South Asian region. It has been taking some important measures toward this end. For instance, on the 1st and 15th days of every Nepali month, it is conducting training programs so as to make the farmers well aware of the technical knowledge and other important factors related to goat farming.
Similarly, it is focused on streamlining the management of basically 8 components-feed, shade, breeding marketing, human resources, health, and finance- related to goat farming. Moreover, the company is also in the process of getting the required affiliation from the Council for Technical Education and Vocational Training (CTVET).
Acharya is now so much busy in realizing the vision of turning Bagaicha into the said learning center that he has postponed the second plan of building a resort. “We have realized there is a great need to fully leverage financial and other resources for the sake of such a vision. This is why Bagaicha will resist itself from diverting such resources into another area at least for some time to come,” he justifies.
While talking about major challenges facing the company, Acharya says, ”It is the alarming mortality rate among the raised goats due to various diseases.” He further laments that the government is being utterly lackadaisical towards addressing this problem. “For example, enterotoxaemia is one of the major killers of goat kids, but the concerned authorities do not have any vaccine against such autoimmune disease. Moreover, the goat farming companies are also not in a position to import this kind of vaccine from India since it is not mentioned in the country’s import policy.
According to Achaya, veterinary doctors appointed by the government also tend to shy away from visiting rural agro firms. “So, we are compelled to depend on para-vets in the villages, who are not qualified enough to provide effective medical treatments to the goats suffering diseases.”
Another prime challenge is the lack of adequate supply of nutritious feed for the farm goats.These anomalies are responsible for alarmingly high mortality rates among the goats raised by a firm like Bagaicha.
It is mandatory for the government to take concrete actions to address them besetting the goat farming, according to him. One of such action could well be to distribute an agro machine-like TMR (Total Mix Ration) to the professional goat firms like us as technical assistance. The very machine produces the kind of feed that provides adequate nourishment to the cattle like goats.
“Enhancing the productivity of goats is simply the need of the hour. After all, they are a valuable source of food and economic security in an underdeveloped nation like Nepal,” justifies Acharya.