Ethiopia’s millions of cattle owners face challenges to increase the productivity of their animals. They often struggle to keep them healthy and well-fed. Managing the quality of the breed is one of the challenges that is getting better, thanks to improvements in the ways that artificial insemination (AI) services are provided.
World Milk Day was celebrated in Hawassa city, the capital of Southern Nations, Nationalities and Peoples Regional State (SNNPRS) in Ethiopia on 30 June 2014. Milk is an important part of a healthy balanced diet and World Milk Day is the perfect opportunity to spread word on the nutritional benefits of drinking milk. This was the first time the day was celebrated in Hawassa though in other parts of the world, the event has been observed for fourteen years.
Although Gamgofa zone is agro-ecologically very suitable for cattle fattening, smallholder cattle fatteners are not earning much from the sector. The beef value chain actors who attended livestock commodity platform meetings organized by Livestock and Irrigation Value Chains for Ethiopian Smallholders (LIVES) project, prioritized the poorly developed cattle marketing system as the number one challenge in the zone.
Maize is a major food crop in the lowlands and mid-highlands of Ethiopia, but its stover is hardly utilized efficiently as animal feed, particularly in rain-fed maize production systems. Irrigated maize production offers an opportunity for fodder production which rain-fed maize farming does not.
Nurhussien Aligoshu’s first experience in dairying was in 2006 when a local organization offered him money to purchase a crossbred dairy cow. Nurhussien was able to expand his crossbred dairy herd from 1 to more than 15 cows in just 8 years. His daily milk sales fluctuate between 30 and 70 litres per day depending on demand. Over the same period, Nurhussien’s monthly income from the sale of milk grew from barely 500 Birr to 15,000 Birr.
Oestrous Synchronization and Mass Artificial Insemination (OSMAI) in cattle has now been fully taken-up by Regional Livestock Resource Development and Promotion Agency and its zonal and district offices in Ethiopia. The current support of LIVES project on OSMAI in cattle is limited to generating scientific evidence that can help fine-tune the approach and efficiency of the technology under different framing conditions. The project is also focusing on genetic improvement of sheep through hormone assisted estrus synchronization. The first round of OSMAI on sheep was undertaken at Debre Birhan Sheep breeding and Multiplication center.
The idiom ‘the tragedy of the commons’ was coined in the 19th century Britain. It expresses the failure of farmers to achieve the collective good of their communal grazing lands through their destructive competitive use. The tragedy is caused by overstocking and overgrazing and expressed in land degradation, feed shortage, low livestock productivity and loss of farmers’ livelihoods from livestock. The Atsbi livestock keepers in Tigray region however, acted proactively in a community-based approach to govern their communal land.