How to Start Sheep Farming in United Arab Emirates (UAE) : Breeds, Business Plan, Obstacles, and Management

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Sheep Farming in United Arab Emirates (UAE) : The practice of breeding and raising sheep for their meat, milk, wool, sheepskin, and parchment is known as sheep farming. As a branch of animal husbandry, sheep farming is also known as sheep husbandry. The livelihood of the farmers is significantly influenced by sheep husbandry. The farmers can pick from the several breeds offered on the market to carry out sheep farming.

The farmer should be aware that those breeds should be chosen so that they can swiftly adapt to the local, regional, and market conditions. Learn more about how to begin goat and sheep farming in the United Arab Emirates.

 

Advantages of sheep farming

1.Sheep wool is warm and has many other advantages: Sheep wool is used to make bedding and clothing in addition to insulating homes. Sheep wool aids in the removal of pollutants from the home and is flame resistant. It may also block noise, is non-carcinogenic, and the thread is recyclable and sustainable. But the farmer should always make sure the wool is squeaky clean and germ-free.

2. Sheep meat: It is standard practice to raise sheep with the intention of selling them to butchers or retail stores. Sheep meat is delicious and packed with minerals. To make money, farmers can sell the meat from their sheep.

3. Nutritious milk: Sheep milk is incredibly nutritious, contains twice as much calcium as cow milk, and is rich in vitamin C, B, B-12, riboflavin, and thiamine. The immune and nervous systems of the body are strengthened by sheep milk. Due to its higher solid content, sheep milk yields more cheese than cow milk. Feta, ricotta, and Roquefort are a few of the various varieties of sheep cheese that are offered in the market. The milk-producing sheep breeds should be purchased by the farmer if selling and using sheep milk is their main objective because they yield more milk than the non-dairy breed.

4.Sheep breeding can be lucrative: The market for sheep and sheep products is expanding. Given that sheep milk and meat are more nutrient-dense than cow’s milk, people have begun to desire them. Because certain nations have import requirements for sheep and sheep products, the sheep farmer should always keep the sheep healthy and free of diseases before selling live sheep or sheep products.

5.Sheep can be used as lawn movers: All the undesirable plants and grass can be removed by sheep. They are organic lawn movers that are employed everywhere to remove undesirable grass, including golf courses. As a result of the fact that many individuals hire sheep to maintain large lawns without the use of lawn movers, their capacity to graze also aids farmers in saving money.

6.Sheep are very friendly pets: Sheep make excellent pets since they require little care. Also available for free to the sheep owner are homemade cheese and organic milk. Small sheep can also teach kids responsibility, according to some research.

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Meaning of goat farming

The practice of raising and breeding goats for their milk, meat, fiber, and skin is known as goat farming. Goat husbandry, a branch of animal husbandry, is another name for goat farming. The farming of goats is very important to the farmers’ livelihood. Goat farming is an extremely low-cost kind of animal husbandry. An individual farmer can support himself with just five goats. There are many different breeds of goats available on the market for the farmer to pick from, but only those breeds should be chosen because they will quickly adapt to the environment and atmosphere in which the farmer lives.

Despite the fact that there are numerous goat breeds, they can all be divided into five groups: meat goat breeds, dairy goat types, pet goat breeds, breeding goat breeds, and skin goat breeds. The farmer benefits from goat farming since he can see immediate returns on his investment and needs considerably less land.

 

 

Benefits of goat farming

  1. Goats require very little space: Goats require much less room than other animals such as cows, camels, horses, etc. to live. Making a location for goats to live does not require the farmer to spend a lot of money. Goat housing has much fewer restrictions, and occasionally they can coexist with other domestic animals.
  2. Goats need less food: Goats require less feed than larger household animals because they are smaller creatures.
  3. Goats can be raised for various purposes: Goats can be produced for many different uses. Goats can be utilized for both milk and meat. The demand for goat meat and milk is rising as a result of the growing population and decreasing amount of arable land. Additionally, eating goat meat is not prohibited by religion, which contributes to the sizeable market for both goat milk and meat.
  4. Numerous varieties of goats: There are many different varieties of goats on the market, but when choosing one, buyers should take their intended usage into account. Additionally, the farmer should keep in mind that only certain goat breeds can easily adapt to the local environment and weather while purchasing goats.
  5. Compared to other animals, goats develop more quickly, thus they give the farmer a speedy return.
  6. Because goats mature quickly, there is a ready market for their products, and there are no restrictions on their production, goat farming is a great source of income.

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Large-scale farming of goats and sheep/ challenges faced by farmers in UAE in sheep and goat farming

 

Due to several difficulties in the farming industry, such as the harsh climate and lack of natural grazing pastures, sheep and goat rearing is done on a big scale in the nation. Small and marginal farmers cannot operate successfully since it takes a lot of resources to overcome the obstacles. The following are some of the major difficulties faced by farmers of goats and sheep:

 

Intense heat and humidity: The harsh climate of the area is a major barrier. The temperature rises above 50 degrees in the summer. Although farmers often only use those goats and sheep that can withstand such harsh temperatures, the goats and sheep need protection from such temperatures.

Non-availability of natural fodder: Due to the country’s physical location, there are not many or any grazing fields. The farmers are forced to rely on animal feed produced in factories in such circumstances.

 

The approximate number of sheep and goats found in the UAE till 2020

By 2020, there were over 20.54,572 sheep and 23.99,264 goats in the United Arab Emirates, for a total of around 5 million sheep and goats.

 

Sheep: The top three emirates, Abu Dhabi, Ras-Al Khaimah, and Sharjah, are responsible for roughly 91% of all sheep. There are approximately 16,68,134 sheep at their highest density in Abu Dhabi.

Goats: The top three emirates are Abu Dhabi, Ras Al Khaimah, and Fujairah, which together account for over 78% of all goats. There are approximately 13,45,128 sheep at their highest density in Abu Dhabi.

 

Current sheep and goat market conditions in the UAE

To accommodate the nation’s growing demand from its citizens, live goats and sheep are primarily imported. However, the nation is unable to import live goats and ships from every countries. The Ministry of Climate Change and Environment of the United Arab Emirates publishes a list of nations that are authorized to import sheep and goats. For instance, sheep and goats can be imported from Argentina, Australia, Armenia, and other nations.

 

On the other side, there is a list of nations, including Austria, Bolivia, etc., into which sheep and goats cannot be imported. The UAE imports live goats and sheep from countries like Australia, Oman, Somalia, and Oman. With over 33% of all imports, India is the top exporter of goats and sheep to the UAE.

To break it down even more, sheep account for 58% of all live sheep and goat imports while goats make up 41%. The principal country to which the country exports live sheep and goats is Oman, which accounts for about 54% of the overall export of live sheep and goats. The country also exports dead sheep and goats.

 

How to begin raising goats and sheep in the United Arab Emirates (UAE)

Location of the firm: Establishing the firm’s location is the first stage in starting a sheep and goat farm in the UAE because various rules and regulations change depending on where the farm is located. The individual considering starting a sheep and goat farm must first choose the emirate where the farm will be situated. Although there are seven emirates in the United Arab Emirates, Abu Dhabi is famous for its sheep and goat farms and other agricultural endeavors. Abu Dhabi is hence the ideal location to start the business.

 

The next step will be to decide on the economic zone after the emirate in which the businessman intends to open the farm has been chosen. The Free Zone and the Mainland are the two economic zones. The location affects the laws and fees as well as the price of the establishment. It is preferable to start a new farm close to where there is already goat and sheep farming because the logistics and other resources will be easily accessible.

 

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Choose whether to own the farm or rent it.

The next stage in starting the farm is deciding whether the business owner wants to buy the land or rent the farm. The farm company owner must file the tenancy agreement to the Department of Economic Development (DED) if the entrepreneur decides to rent the land. EJARI is also offered if the farm is to be opened in Dubai. Evidence of a tenancy contract is EJARI, a government initiative to regulate all tenancy agreements.

 

Legal requirements

The owner of a sheep and goat farm needs get approval from the UAE government and other pertinent authorities. Obtaining a livestock production agricultural license is crucial for livestock farming. The United Arab Emirates’ Ministry of Climate Change and Environment (MoCCA) is in charge of issuing the license. Some of the paperwork that must be sent to the government to get a permit for animal production:

  1. Trade name of the firm obtained from local authority
  2. A replica of the applicable authority’s environmental license.
  3. The farm plan, which shows a picture of the location and its installations
  4. The location of the farm and its plan should be approved by the appropriate authority.
  5. A  thorough breakdown of the different structures, such as the administration building, the feed storage facility, the animal isolation facility, etc.
  6. A copy of the veterinarian facility’s lease or ownership contract
  7. Original trade license
  8. A technical employee who will work at the facility must register their information, including their ID number, name, and the number of licenses they already hold.
  9. Document outlining the procedures to be followed in animal breeding
  10. The establishment’s operating plan (including its health care, nourishment, and emergency plans, among other things).

Arranging a visa

Anyone who wants to start a goat and sheep farm needs to be a citizen or have a residency permit. Because of the numerous steps the government has taken to increase food security, foreign businesspeople are interested in farming businesses. The government has additionally granted foreign investors 100% ownership.

Given all of this, livestock farming is of interest to many foreign businesspeople. A foreign resident residency visa is required for engaging in such activities. The steps involved in getting a residence visa are:

1. Entry Permit Request

2. modification of status

3. Health Test Results

4. Registration of Emirates ID

5. visa attestation

 

Purchasing sheep and goats

 

The farmer or businessperson should make arrangements for the livestock before starting a sheep and goat farm. The sheep and goats that are most frequently employed are ones that can easily adapt to the arid climate. See below for a list of sheep and goat breeds used for farming in the United Arab Emirates.

Key breeds of goats and sheep found in the United Arab Emirates

  1. Omani Jebel Akhdar Goat: The Jebel Akhdar mountains and Oman’s interior are home to the Omani goats. They have the biggest bodies, long golden to brown hair that varies in hue, long pendulous ears, and twisted-back horns.
  2. Kashmiri Goat:Native to the Himalayan state of Kashmir, Kashmiri goats are called. This particular breed of goat is raised economically so that it can sell the fine and soft wool that it produces. The Kashmiri wool is well known throughout the world and offers the goat farmer excellent profits.
  3. Somali Goat: This kind of goat is indigenous to Djibouti, Somalia, and northeastern Kenya. These goats are employed for farming throughout the nation since they can readily live in arid environments. In the nation, this breed of goat is primarily raised for meat. This breed can endure dry conditions and has a high level of disease resistance. It also requires less maintenance.
  4. Jaziri Goat: Goats from Jazira are mostly farmed for food. They are originally from Egypt and are primarily imported from there. Imports of Jaziri goats were formerly prohibited, however that restriction was removed in 2020.

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The most popular sheep breeds utilized in agricultural pursuits are:

 

  1. Najdi Sheep: The Najd region of the Arabian Peninsula is where the Najdi sheep first appeared. It is mostly grown for its wool and milk.
  2. Nuaimi Sheep: Southwest Asia is home to the Nuaimi sheep, which were first seen in the Syro-Arabian desert.
  3. Kashmiri Sheep: The Kashmiri sheep lack horns and are primarily bred for their wool.
  4. Somali Sheep: Native to Somalia, the Somali sheep, also called the Somali blackhead, has a thick tail. The majority of the sheep are raised for meat.
  5. Jaziri Sheep: Sheep grown in Jazira are mostly raised for food. They are originally from Egypt and are primarily imported from there. Imports of Jaziri sheep were formerly prohibited, however the restriction was removed in 2020.

Arranging feed for goats and sheep

 

Due to the lack of natural grazing areas and little arable land in the UAE, sheep and goats must be fed with market-purchased feed. National Feed and Flour producing and Management (NFFPM) is one of the top and biggest feed producing businesses in the UAE. It is imperative that feed businesses hold HACCP and ISO certifications.

To develop, breed, and give milk, sheep and goats require a variety of nutrients, including protein, minerals, fiber, vitamins, and water. The amount of feed required by goats and sheep varies depending on a variety of factors, including the animal’s weight (the bigger and fatter the animal, the more feed it needs), how much milk is produced, the animal’s age, how active it is, etc.

Water: The sheep and goats require water to survive. Sheep and goats need roughly 5 liters of water per day, or 10% of their body weight, on average. Sheep and goats’ and their needs for water are also influenced by the weather, the amount of water in their feed, and whether or not the animal is pregnant.

Energy: Sheep and goats require energy to grow, move around, and produce milk. The sheep and goats are given starches, sugars, cereals, fibers, mature grasses, molasses, etc. as nourishment for energy.

Proteins: Proteins are necessary for both goats and sheep because it impacts the quality of milk and meat. Essential sources of protein that are given to the animal as feed are alfalfa, disodium, cereals, molasses, cassava meal, etc.

Minerals: Sheep and goats require minerals including salt, calcium, and salt since a lack of these nutrients will impair the animals’ development, decrease their fertility, and diminish their hunger. In the case of sheep, a lack of these minerals will also result in poor fur quality and poor development.

In conclusion, legumes (such alfalfa, white and red clover, birdsfoot trefoil, etc.), sod-forming grasses (like Kentucky bluegrass, red canary grass, etc.), and bunch grasses (like Italian ryegrass, tall fescue, etc.) should make up the majority of the feed.

 

Arranging Shelter for the goats and sheep

Sheep and goats need have appropriate shelter built for them given the difficult climate of the nation, which features intense heat, humidity, and winds. In order to prevent high humidity, condensation, harmful ammonia levels, etc., sheep and goat producers should also make sure their facilities have adequate mechanical and natural ventilation. The business owners should use heavy curtains to block the sun’s rays and shield the sheep and goats from direct sunlight in order to protect them from it.

Furthermore, it should be made sure that the roofs are insulated and that there are no ceiling leaks. The shelter must also have good drainage for the remaining animals, and it must be cleaned and sanitized frequently. Barbed wire should be used to construct the fences and hedging that serve as boundaries. To prevent danger to sheep and goats, the boundaries and obstacles should be well-maintained and routinely inspected.

 

Arranging equipment necessary for sheep and goat farming

 

The business owner should plan for every form of equipment required for raising sheep and goats. The business owner should provide for equipment like sorting pens, lambing pens, tools for tail docking, castrating, ear tagging, shearing, etc.

 

 

Disease management

Foot and mouth disease: 

Symptoms: Fever, foot lesions along the coronary band, unrecognized interdigital gap, decreased milk production, mouth mucus inflammation, no rumination, etc. are a few indications of foot and mouth disease.

Treatment: Inform the veterinarian, isolate the animal, and do not move it. The veterinarian should contact the relevant authorities about animal health right away. According to UAE Federal Law No. 8 on preventing and controlling contagious and epidemic animal diseases, the disease must be reported to the relevant authorities.

Precaution: Avoiding the entrance of new sheep and goats without proper health checks, routine cleaning and sanitization of tools, animal equipment, and transportation, and reporting new cases right away are some prevention strategies that can be used. Vaccinations should be administered regularly as well.

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Goat and Sheep Pox

 


Symptoms:
Fever, skin rash, and blisters, particularly around the eyes, mouth, and nose, are some signs of sheep and goat pox.

Treatment: Inform the veterinarian, isolate the animal, and do not move it. The veterinarian should contact the relevant authorities about animal health right away. According to UAE Federal Law No. 8 on preventing and controlling contagious and epidemic animal diseases, the disease must be reported to the relevant authorities.

Precaution: Avoiding the entrance of new sheep and goats without proper health checks, routine cleaning and sanitization of tools, animal equipment, and transportation, and reporting new cases right away are some prevention strategies that can be used. Vaccinations should be administered regularly as well.

Peste des petits ruminants (PPR)

Symptoms: PPR disease can cause abrupt temperature increases, sneezing and snoring, appetite loss, inflammation of the lower lip, gums, and gum line, diarrhea, sluggishness, and other symptoms.

Treatment: Inform the veterinarian, isolate the animal, and do not move it. The veterinarian should contact the relevant authorities about animal health right away. According to UAE Federal Law No. 8 on preventing and controlling contagious and epidemic animal diseases, the disease must be reported to the relevant authorities.

Precaution: Avoiding the admission of additional sheep and goats without proper health checks, routine cleaning and sanitization of tools, animal equipment, and transportation, and reporting new cases right once are some prevention strategies that can be used for PPR. Additionally, regular vaccination should be ensured.

 

Brucellosis

 

Symptoms: Brucellosis signs and symptoms can include inflammation of the fetal membrane, infertility, etc.

Treatment:  Keep the animal in its current location; do not move it, and let the veterinarian know. The veterinarian should contact the relevant authorities about animal health right away. According to UAE Federal Law No. 8 on preventing and controlling contagious and epidemic animal diseases, the disease must be reported to the relevant authorities.

Precaution: Avoiding the admission of new sheep and goats without proper health checks, routine laboratory tests to detect the disease, routine cleaning and sanitization of tools, animal equipment, and vehicles, and reporting new cases right away are some of the methods that can be used to prevent PPR disease. Additionally, regular vaccination should be ensured.

Opening bank accounts and arranging funds

Any business owner who conducts financial transactions (like borrowing money) in the nation is required to have a UAE bank account. It is important to examine the advantages offered by various banks prior to creating a bank account so that you can choose the bank where you want to open an account with confidence. Banks typically charge an interest rate of about 10%. The location, breed type, and quantity of visas needed all affect how much money is needed to start a sheep and goat farm in the United Arab Emirates.

Conclusion

In conclusion, live sheep and goat imports are a substantial source of income for the United Arab Emirates. Due to the numerous programs the government has implemented to boost the nation’s food security, there will be more sheep and goat farms in the upcoming years. The above-mentioned steps are necessary to start a sheep and goat farm in the United Arab Emirates.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Bhumika

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