Community-based breeding programs for small ruminants in pastoral production systems
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Tesfaye Getachew, Aynalem Haile, Barbara Rischkowsky. (11/12/2019). Community-based breeding programs for small ruminants in pastoral production systems. Lebanon: International Center for Agricultural Research in the Dry Areas (ICARDA).
The small ruminant production system in Ethiopia is predominantly at the subsistence level with very low productivity despite a huge potential due to the large animal numbers and genetic diversity. Growing market demand both at local and export market and the current attention given by the Ethiopian government are good opportunities to boost small ruminant productivity. Local breeds in the lowlands of Ethiopia, reared by pastoralists are highly preferred for export by slaughterhouses and live animal exporters. Even though successful breeding programs and specialized breeds are available worldwide, importing and adopting exotic breeds and technologies in Ethiopia has not been successful for the last four decades. Community-based breeding programs, born from the previous lessons, have shown promising results in the highland smallholder systems. However, flock mobility, very high temperature, frequent droughts and poor infrastructure in the pastoral systems limited designing and implementation of community-based breeding programs in pastoral areas. Tailoring these programs to fit the pastoral systems, considering its context, need to be considered. Mapping of the mobility pattern, use of mobile extension and organized youth/community group to assist the breeding program during mobility are crucial
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