Why goat meat prices are rising to a record high


Goat traders and buyers negotiate prices for goats at Kiamaiko Market in Nairobi.  

Photo credit: File photo | Nation Media Group

Goat meat is increasingly becoming expensive as farmers opt to sell to export markets, with butchers now forced to buy a whole animal for Sh17,000, compared to Sh15,000 last year.

Demand from Muslim households celebrating Idd-ul-Fitr, especially those who must serve goat meat delicacies such as mandi as part of the celebrations, has also pushed up the prices.

A spot check by Business Daily Lifestyle shows butcheries are now selling goat meat at Sh750 per kilogramme.

“The exportation of goats overseas has significantly impacted the market, resulting in a surge in prices to Sh750 per kilo. The recent increase underscores the dynamic nature of the market,” said Mohammed Sora, a vendor at Nairobi's Kiamaiko Market.

Last year, goat prices ranged from Sh500 to Sh580 per kilo.

Mr Sora said the shortage of goats is also attributed to adverse weather and transportation constraints. Goats are sourced from various regions, including Maasailand and North Eastern.

“However, one positive aspect is the growing variety of goats sourced from various regions. Despite road closures due to rainfall, affecting transportation in certain areas, there remains a supply of small stock from regions such as Kajiado,” he said.

Ahmed Rajid, a buyer, said although Eid al-Adha is when Muslims sacrifice an animal, a holiday when goat meat records an even higher jump in prices, many families buy the meat from butcheries for Idd-ul-Fitr.

“This time is different because we do not need to slaughter a goat, Muslims can buy from butcheries and although prices have soared, we're steadfast in our quest to find the perfect goat for our family's festivities,” he said.

Ibrahim Abdullahi noted that Idd-ul-Fitr, is a time that he is reminded of the blessings of sustenance provided by Allah and the importance of sharing with those in need.

“In every transaction, there lies a sacred connection to the tradition of Eid-ul-Fitr, reminding us of the sacrifices made for the greater good. However, going to the market to buy a goat I was shocked because the biggest was almost Sh20,000. But I usually want to celebrate with my family and friends so it does not matter, symbolising the unity and compassion of our Muslim brothers and sisters,” he said.

Mr Sora said a majority of sellers of big goats were asking for Sh17,000, compared to Sh11,000 just a year ago.

Medium sized goats sellers were demanding Sh12,000, up from Sh7,500. Small goats went for Sh9,000, a significant increase from Sh5,000.

Mr Sora said there is an especially fast-growing export market for smaller goats, further diminishing the available supply for domestic buyers.

“Consequently, the limited supply we have becomes highly sought after and the higher the prices the higher the demand,” he said.

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