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Analysis of a goat milk cheese industry in a desert rangeland of Mexico

Walter J Gómez-Ruiz, Juan M Pinos-Rodríguez*, Juan R Aguirre-Rivera and Juan C García-López

Author Affiliations

Programa Multidisciplinario de Posgrado de Ciencias Ambientales e Instituto de Investigación de Zonas Desérticas, Universidad Autónoma de San Luis Potosí, San Luis Potosí 78377, Mexico

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Pastoralism: Research, Policy and Practice 2012, 2:5  doi:10.1186/2041-7136-2-5

Published: 17 May 2012

Abstract

The study aimed to identify the goat milk value chain for the benefit of producers in a desert rangeland of Mexico. Using retrospective analysis, we characterized goat milk and cheese production and commercialization and profitability at the community and regional levels. What should be done for a cooperative with all stakeholders, using strategic management methodologies is determined. Goat husbandry had an explosive growth in the second third of last century, but disorganized growth deteriorated the rangelands and the activity is declining. Milk productivity has declined up to seven times in some regions compared with the 1960s. It is still the main source of earned income in the region but disorganization persists in all aspects from production to commercialization, and the common use of the rangelands. Producers are depleting their natural resources due to low incomes. Milking and cheese production are unhygienic, uncomfortable and too time consuming, while commercialization is informal. The vision and mission show a group that wants to succeed through profitable and sustainable commercialization. Milk production potential should be increased through better use of natural resources and optimization of the herd’s general management. Organization for the use of the rangelands, standardized small-scale processing, commercialization and technology transfer is the hope for sustainable rural development in this region. The high fat content of the goat milk in the region should increase its price.

Keywords:
Goat milk; Goat cheese; Commercialization; Strategic planning