Management practices and production constraints of central highland goats in Emba Alaje District, Southern Zone, Tigray, Ethiopia
A cross-sectional study was conducted from March to June 2016 on randomly selected 250 households who reared goats in Emba Alaje District to assess management practices of central highland goats and their major constraints. A pretested and semi-structured questionnaire was used to collect the required data. Out of the total respondents, 213 (85.2%) were male and 38% of them had a basic education. Almost all 249 (99.6%) of the respondents practiced a mixed crop livestock production system, and majority of them (85.2%) reared goats for an immediate cash source. About 78.8% of the respondents had a separate farming area for their goats. Regarding the feeding management, majority of the respondents, 223 (89.2%) used a communal grazing/browsing area. Provision of supplementary feeds for goats was not common, and the breeding system was almost uncontrolled. Majority of the respondents 154, (61.65%) did not select buck for breeding, and 88 (35.2%) of them did not know the source of the bucks that mated their goats. In the present study, 100% of the respondents complained that, there were diseases that affected the health and production of their goats, of which 33.6% of the respondents complained, pasteurellosis as one of the major goats’ diseases in the study area. Feed shortage (36%) and diseases (33.6%) were among the major constraints raised by the respondents. Therefore, solving the above constraints is of paramount importance to improve the goat production potential and livelihood of the farmers in the study area.
Keywords: Central highland goats; Constraints; Emba Alaje; Management; Tigray