Organisation of Smallholder Goat Breeding under Low Input Agricultural Systems of Ethiopia
Tatek Woldu, André Markemann, Christoph Reiber, Anne Valle Zárate
University of Hohenheim, Inst. of Agricultural Sciences in the Tropics (Hans-Ruthenberg-Institute), Germany
Understanding the enabling environment for livestock genetic improvement is a pre-requisite to design and implement functional breeding programs under smallholder conditions. The present study aimed at identifying major organisational elements of goat breeding and highlighting possibilities to link them with goat community-based breeding programs (CBBPs) to be implemented in three districts of Ethiopia. The study defined organisation of smallholder goat breeding as part of a system, which is affected by institutions and other organisational elements at different levels. Accordingly, focus group discussion with 68 farmers, key informant interview of public and private institutions and social network analysis (SNA) were conducted in Abergele, Konso and Meta Robi districts of Ethiopia. Own and village flocks were the major sources of breeding goats in all districts. In Abergele, however, NGOs and research centres also supplied breeding goats to farmers. Farmer organisations such as marketing cooperatives, farmer development groups, farmer networks and informal farmer associations, which could be linked with the CBBPs were identified. Farmer organisations in Abergele were actively involved in goat production and marketing in contrast to those in Konso and Meta Robi districts. Key informants of the investigated agricultural research institutes indicated that a majority (80%) of the current goat breeding research topics focused on crossbred goats, while limited emphasis was given to improve local goats by within breed selection schemes. The SNA indicated that public actors such as extension officers had the highest average centrality (73.0%) and closeness (77.5%) values indicating their prominent role in goat production and marketing networks, while private actors such as traders and export abattoirs had the lowest centrality and connectedness values. Key actors such as research institutions and NGOs were missing in social networks of Meta Robi district. Extension officers should play a major role in the establishment and operation of the CBBPs due to their key position in the social network structures. Moreover, agricultural research institutions should rather contribute to the success of CBBPs by providing continuous technical backstopping and allocating infrastructures for multiplication of selected breeding goats from the CBBPs than putting too much effort in promotion of insignificant number of exotic goats.
Keywords: Breeding organisations, goat, production systems, social networks analysis
Contact Address: Tatek Woldu, University of Hohenheim, Inst. of Agricultural Sciences in the Tropics (Hans-Ruthenberg-Institute), Garben Str. 17, 70599 Stuttgart, Germany, e-mail: tatekwbeleteyahoo.com