Small ruminant production in Lebanon's Beka'a Valley
Impact factor: 1.273 (Year: 1999)
MetadataShow full item record
Timeless limited access
S. K. Hamadeh, Farouk Shomo, Tom Nordblom, A. Goodchild, Gustave Gintzburger. (22/3/1999). Small ruminant production in Lebanon's Beka'a Valley. Small Ruminant Research, 21 (3), pp. 173-180.
A formal survey was conducted in 1993 to identify small ruminant production systems and constraints in the Beka'a Valley of Lebanon. Cluster analysis revealed three basic production systems. Cluster 1 consisted of medium size (200 head) sedentary village flocks comprised of > 70% sheep with rangelands supplying less than 20% of their annual diet. Cluster 2 consisted of large migratory flocks (400 head) of sheep and goats in roughly equal numbers. The flocks owned by landless farmers made heavy use of rangelands (> 45% of annual diet). Cluster 3, with medium size (200 head) mixed flocks, made moderate use of rangelands, 30% of annual diet. The results indicated seasonality in production components and low productivity in all three clusters. Supplemental feeding and grazing reflected differences in feed sources used among clusters. Hand-feeding, however, accounted for 85% of diets between December and March. Small ruminant production contributed an average of 70% of farmers' income in all clusters, supplemented by off-farm activities (19%) and crop production (11%). Farmers' perception of the major constraints to sheep and goat productivity were similar among clusters. They include: (1) health problems, namely infective diseases and parasites, and lack of veterinary services, (2) feed availability, in particular expensive feed supplements, (3) poor marketing of animal products. Future research is needed in the following fields: (1) full-screening of all diseases to develop an adequate health program, (2) on-farm feeding trials to optimize feeding systems, (3) range and grazing research to determine proper stocking rates and season of use, (4) bioeconomic analysis and marketing research to asses the future viability of the small ruminant sector.
- Agricultural Research Knowledge