Characterization of the indigenous goat production system in Asossa zone, Benishangul Gumuz region, Ethiopia
Most of the livestock population in Asossa zone is comprised of indigenous goats, which have remarkable socioeconomic relevance to the society. This study aimed to generate information on the production system and production constraints of goats in the study area. The study was conducted based on a household survey in which 192 households
were purposively sampled. The households were located in Sherkole, Kurmuk and Menge districts that have a high goat population in Asossa zone. Data were recorded in
MS Excel data sheet and analyzed using SAS. A chi-square and GLM procedure of SAS was used to test significant differences among categorical and quantitative variables. The primary reason for keeping goats was for cash income with an index value of 0.46, 0.34 and 0.31 for Sherkole Kurmuk and Menge districts, respectively. Milk was the second purpose for rearing goats, with a ranking index value of 0.29, 0.30 and 0.30 for Sherkole, Kurmuk, and Menge districts, respectively. Grazing on natural pasture was the major feed source for goat production in the three districts (with an index of 0.86, 0.91 and 0.0.87 for Sherkole, Kurmuk and Menge districts, respectively). Although the majority of households (59 %, 75% and 62.5% in Sherkole, Kurmuk, and Menge districts, respectively) used yard type of housing, the number of households that used this type of housing was significantly different (p<0.05) among the three districts. Majority of goat owners used an uncontrolled type of mating that accounts 92.2%, 89.1% and 85.9% in Sherkole, Kurmuk, and Menge districts, respectively. Feed shortage (with ranking index value of 0.30, 0.34 and 0.28 in Sherkole Kurmuk and Menge districts, respectively) and water shortage (with ranking index value 0.21, 0.23 and 0.22 in Sherkole Kurmuk and Menge districts, respectively) were the first and second goat production constraints. Age at sexual maturity was 7.52 months for males and 7.84 months for female goats in this region. Goats play a multi-functional role for the community by adapting to the different constraints that need intervention mechanisms from responsible bodies to boost the productivity of the sector.
Key words: constraints, Ethiopia, feed, housing, indigenous goats, reproductive performance, production system, water