Panaji, Feb 18 : A new scheme promoted by the BJP-led coalition government in Goa wants to promote goat breeding in the coastal state because goat-meat or mutton, does not have religious taboo.
The scheme promoted by the state's Department of Animal Husbandry and Veterinary Services comes at a time when the price of beef has doubled in recent years, the supply of red meat has been affected due to harassment of traders by right-wing vigilante groups and also due a steep drop in fish sales over fears of adulteration by formalin, a mortuary preservative.
"The meat (mutton) is generally acceptable, delicious and of higher demand which is consumed by all communities in India and has no religious taboo," the Department said in a gazette.
It also said that goats are prolific breeders, its milk has medicinal properties and setting up a goat rearing unit requires low initial investment.
According to the gazette, goats play an important role in the rural economy at national level and that the scheme is an effort to make the state self-sufficient in meat production, as well as to provide subsidiary occupation to unemployed youth and women.
Over the last few years, consumers have complained of scarcity of beef in the coastal state, where the beef-eating minorities account for nearly a third of Goa's population of 1.5 million.
Last year, beef traders had gone on strike alleging harassment by vigilante groups.