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Roma families in Tatra Mountains run business with breeding goats

THIRTY Roma families in Strane pod Tatrami are trying to improve their financial situation by breeding goats. The families, who live in the Kežmarok district in the Prešov region, are taking part in a project launched two years ago. Heifer International is financing the project. A civic association based in Kežmarok, is providing organizational help.

Marta Kulíková is head of the civic association, which is called Community - a place for everybody. She told the news wire agency TASR that the project entered its second phase in August. She explained that several of the Roma family members had worked in farming or forestry previously.

"It has been a lot of work. The families had to build or reconstruct sheds for the animals and make sure that enough dry fodder was available. An adult goat eats approximately 300 kilograms of hay during the winter," Kulíkova said.

The positive results of the first phase motivated 21 other Roma families to participate, including one from the village of Rákusy, also in the Kežmarok district.

"Some of the breeders have already shown an interest in cheese production," Kulikova said, adding that the animals' health is being looked after by veterinary surgeon Jozef Schwartz.

Compiled by Beata Balogová from press reports
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