Do goats damage pasture? No they don't
Environmental issues are also of a concern for us. When it comes to cashmere business, there is not accurate message spread amongst people that “An increased number of goats cause overgrazing and desertification”. Why the message is inaccurate? Obviously an increased number of all livestock – sheep, goats, cows, camels and horses, would cause overgrazing. There is no particular damage that goat is making. If to determine, which livestock damages pasture the most, then it’s horses. Because horses dig the soil with its powerful hoof and eat roots if there isno sufficient grass to graze on, whereas goats don’t do so.
If it was in Bodio’s power, politically and economically to solve the issue of increased livestock, we would have solved it as WIN to environment and WIN to herders. Our country, the government needs to do everything possible to promote Mongolian eco meat on the world market and export at least 20-25% of livestock annually as meat besides domestic consumption. This would have doubled herders’ income and would have prevented the pasture from overgrazing. About 40% of all livestock is reproductive female that is why Mongolia must sell big portion of livestock as 100% eco meat on the world market. Why Mongolian meat 100% eco? - Because out of all livestock only the very healthy and strong ones survive the long harsh winter and spring. Those naturally selected survivors continue breeding naturally and graze on natural grass freely and boundlessly. No chemical interference. We have two giant markets as Russ
ia and China next door. So it’s a matter of good marketing and trade deals to make meat export, which would positively impact the environment.
Herders and cashmere producers cannot do much to balance out livestock number. Herders have nothing more than the livestock that they make a living of. Besides their meat and dairy consumption the only income they get from livestock is wool and cashmere at the moment. Meat export would have been an immense support for herders’ welfare.
Of course THE BIGGEST AFFECT CAUSING DESERTIFICATION IS LESS RAIN AND SNOWFALL. Fortunately the summer of 2016 was very auspicious with sufficient amount of rainfall throughout the Gobi and desert regions of Mongolia. Naturally the desert plains turned into green pastures with so many different plants. Flowers were blooming virtually from a rock on mountainous slope. The Gobi people were so happy and some old herders mentioned that they saw such a favorable summer the first time in their life. So if goats were damaging pasture, eating roots, then even with rainfalls the grass wouldn’t have grown that much. The roots of plants are there in the soil, but there is not sufficient rain to blossom.