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Traditional breeding practices and trait preferences of cattle farmers in Gamo Goffa Zone, Southern Ethiopia

  • C. Chebo (a1), W. Ayalew (a2) and Z. Wuletaw (a3)

Summary

The study was conducted in Gamo Goffa Zone of Southern Ethiopia to characterize traditional cattle breeding practices and cattle trait preferences of the Gamo Highland and Gamo Lowland cattle types. Data collected through group discussions and individual interviews were synthesized and summarized using descriptive statistics. Indigenous cattle in the study area provide multiple functions, are well adapted to their production environments, and managed under traditional and subsistent modes of production. Farmers' cattle trait preferences slightly differ across highland and lowland sites. Whereas lowland farmers prefer carcass yield and traction capacity, cattle farmers in highland areas give more weight to adaptation, milk production and manure contributions. Common breeding system in all sites was pure breeding, although very few farmers residing in mid and highland areas exercise crossbreeding with introduced Holstein Friesian bulls for dairy improvement. The main reported selection criteria of farmers for breeding their animals were body size and conformation, milk production, fertility and breeding history of animals. Cattle breeding and management practices of the study area are traditional and low input.

El estudio fue llevado a cabo en la región de Gamo-Gofa del Sur de Etiopía con el fin de caracterizar las prácticas tradicionales de selección y los rasgos preferidos en las variedades bovinas Gamo de las Tierras Altas y Gamo de las Tierras Bajas. Se sintetizó y resumió la información, obtenida mediante debates de grupo y entrevistas individuales, con estadísticos descriptivos. El ganado bovino autóctono del área de estudio desempeña múltiples funciones, está bien adaptado a sus entornos de producción y es manejado según modelos de producción tradicionales y de subsistencia. Los rasgos preferidos en los animales por los ganaderos difirieron ligeramente entre la zona de las Tierras Altas y la de las Tierras Bajas. Mientras que los ganaderos de las Tierras Bajas prefieren el rendimiento a la canal y la capacidad de tracción, los ganaderos de las Tierras Altas dan mayor peso a la adaptación, la producción lechera y el aporte de estiércol. En todas las zonas, lo más habitual fue la cría en pureza, habiendo también unos pocos ganaderos afincados en áreas de altitud media y alta que cruzan el ganado con toros Frisones Holstein para mejorar el rendimiento lechero. Los principales criterios de selección identificados fueron el tamaño corporal y la conformación, la producción lechera, la fertilidad y la ascendencia de los animales. La selección del ganado y las técnicas de manejo siguieron un modelo tradicional y de bajos insumos en el área de estudio.

L'étude a été menée dans la région du Gamu-Gofa dans le Sud de l'Éthiopie pour caractériser les méthodes de sélection et les caractères préférés chez les variétés bovines Gamu des Hautes Terres et Gamu des Terres Basses. Les données obtenues au moyen de groupes de discussion et d'interviews individuels ont été synthétisées et résumées avec des statistiques descriptives. Les bovins autochtones de la région d'étude remplissent de nombreuses fonctions, sont bien adaptés aux systèmes de production et sont élevés selon des modes de production traditionnels et de subsistance. Les caractères préférés par les éleveurs n'ont pas été tout à fait les mêmes dans les Hautes Terres et les Terres Basses. Alors que les éleveurs des Terres Basses préfèrent le rendement de la carcasse et la capacité de trait, les éleveurs des Hautes Terres donnent plus d'importance à l'adaptation, la production laitière et l'apport de fumier. Dans toutes les zones, l'élevage en race pure a été le système le plus commun. Pourtant, quelques éleveurs résidant dans des zones à altitude moyenne et élevée font du croisement avec des taureaux Holstein pour améliorer le rendement laitier. Les principaux critères de sélection identifiés ont été la taille corporelle et la conformation, la production laitière, la fertilité et l'ascendance des animaux. La sélection des bovins et les pratiques d'élevage dans la région d'étude ont été traditionnelles et à faible intensité d'intrants.

Copyright

Corresponding author

Correspondence to: W. Ayalew, Workneh Ayalew, NARI, P O Box 4415, Lae, MP 411, Papua New Guinea. email: Workneh.ayalew@nari.org.pg

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Keywords

Traditional breeding practices and trait preferences of cattle farmers in Gamo Goffa Zone, Southern Ethiopia

  • C. Chebo (a1), W. Ayalew (a2) and Z. Wuletaw (a3)

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