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Goat Ranch in Ghana Aims to Start an Industry

By Kathryn McConnell | Staff Writer | 16 May 2012
Henry Adobor (Courtesy of Henry Adobor)

Henry Adobor

This is part of a series about African-born entrepreneurs.

Washington — “Goat farming is my passion; it connects me to my childhood,” said Ghanaian entrepreneur Henry Adobor. When Adobor was young, his mother kept a few goats as a source of meat for the family.

Adobor wanted to turn his passion into a commercial enterprise. So in 2010, he started Aceritas Ghana Ltd., which owns and manages Green Acres Goat Ranch in Ghana’s Volta region.

Beginning with 50 Boer goats from South Africa and 20 Sahelian goats from Mali, the goat farm used modern husbandry methods to produce the animals for meat and breeding. After two breeding seasons, the farm now has 100 goats. Adobor hopes eventually to have 200 goats and market their meat locally.

“This is a huge improvement over traditional small-scale livestock farming, which is inefficient and unsustainable in the long run,” Adobor said.

Besides raising goats, Adobor wants to create a place where he can pass on what he has learned to others. “With a small laboratory and education center, the ranch will work as a platform for sharing knowledge with local farmers to help them upgrade breeding and farming methods and grow,” he said.

Aceritas has partnered with a local university to promote research on goat breeds. “My hope is that this project becomes the nucleus of an emerging industry,” he said. “I plan to entice others to form a commercial goat breeders association to lay the industry’s foundation.”

Because the market for goat meat is huge in Ghana, the initial focus is on selling the animals to large buyers, brokers and individuals directly from the ranch. Breed stock will be sold to farmers.

Adobor is also thinking ahead. He said that Aceritas will prepare for farming milk goats and selling goat milk in the future. Adobor plans to start cross-breeding his goats and to begin to grow organic vegetables for the local market.

In 2010, Adobor, who teaches strategic management at Quinnipiac University in Connecticut, was one of 14 winners of the African Diaspora Marketplace competition sponsored by the U.S. Agency for International Development and the Western Union Company. His company was awarded $100,000 to help it expand.

“The ADM grant has come [in] handy. It has helped to defray the cost of importing the breed stock from South Africa and building housing for goats,” Adobor said.

Goats inside a holding pen (Courtesy of Henry Adobor)

Some of Green Acres’ goats line up before being set out to pasture.