Sheep Production System and Farmers' Perception towards Dorper Crossbred Lambs in Eastern Amhara, Ethiopia

Mesfin Lakew Assefa

Abstract


The study was conducted to assess the production system and farmers' perceptions of Dorper crossbreds in Eastern Amhara, Ethiopia. Data on the sheep production system and farmers' perceptions were collected using participatory rural appraisal in Kalu and Gubalafto districts. According to this survey, the average landholding in Kalu and Gubalafto districts was 0.75 and 0.55ha per household, respectively. The average number of sheep per household in Kalu (0.64TLU) was higher than in Gubalafto (0.42TLU). In the districts, sheep were virtually kept under low-input, traditional management systems; sheep production was entirely dependent on local sheep, and pure breeding was common. However, following the introduction of the Dorper sheep, few farmers were found to participate in crossbreeding activities. The primary goal of keeping sheep in Kalu and Gubalafto was to generate income with indexes of 0.31 and 0.32, respectively, followed by social security with the same index (0.24). In Kalu and Gubalafto, in approximately 77.3 and 68% of cases, respectively, children were found to be involved in sheepherding. In the Kalu district, feed scarcity and disease ranked first and second, respectively, with indexes of 0.40 and 0.27. In Gubalafto, feed scarcity ranked first with the same index (0.40), and still, the disease ranked second with a lower index (0.23). Because of their fast growth, all farmers expressed a strong desire to keep Dorper crossbreds. Farmers also reported that the 25% Dorper crossbreds had a high market demand and price due to their larger body size. In conclusion, to use Dorper sheep properly and increase the profitability of sheep producers, effective ram dissemination and breeding strategies need to be designed by considering the current production system and the farmers' needs.


Keywords


Crossbreeding, Dorper crossbred, Gubalafto, Kalu, Perception

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