Cattle Fattening Practice and Marketing System

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Published on International Journal of Agriculture & Agribusiness
Publication Date: March 22, 2019

Kindalem Bayew & Lakech Ewnetu
Animal Health Department Head in Janamora Wereda Livestock Development Office
Animal Health Disease Surveillance Expert in Janamora Wereda Livestock Development Office
Janamora, Ethiopia

Journal Full Text PDF: Cattle Fattening Practice and Marketing System (Study in Janamora Wereda).

A study was conducted from January to February, 2019 with the objective to assess cattle fattening and marketing system in Janamora Wereda by interviewing 45 cattle fattener households selected from three kebeles (Mekane Birhan, Deresgie and Rob Gebeya) purposively. Fattening length and age for oxen were 3 months and 7 years, respectively. Household source of income were livestock production (48.89%). Half of the respondents were selecting red coat colour cattle’s for fattening and 84.44 % of them are castrating male animals before the commencement of fattening. Marketing fattened animals during main holidays. The price was highest from February to June, where as low from September to January. Major sources of feed used for fattening cattle were bean straw, nug cake, chick pea ,wheat bran, wheat straw, barely straw and teef straw, 24.44%, 17.78%, 15.56%, 13.33%, 11.11%, and 4.44%. Lack of capital (40%) were the main constraint to begin cattle fattening and other constraints were feed shortage, shortage of land, and animal health problem in order of importance 24.44%, 15.56%, 13.33%, 6.67%, respectively. Therefore, from the present study, it can be conclude that cattle fattening in Janamora Wereda is one of the potential strategy to improve the livelihood of the family.

Keywords: Cattle Fattening, Janamora & Marketing.

In Ethiopia, agriculture is the main economic activity and more than 80% of Ethiopian population is dependent on agriculture of which livestock play a very important role [1], According to (BOFED) report [2], the agricultural sector in the Amahara region contributed nearly 64% to the regional GDP between the period 1994 to 2001.The crop sector takes the lion’s share (61%) and forest covering 12% of the total 3.2 million hectares cultivated area. The area under irrigation and improved seeds was 1.77 and 2.72 % respectively while the area applied with fertilizer was 33 % [3].
Between 1974 and 1998, human population increased by 78% while cattle population increased by 31%, and small ruminant population decreased by 5.6% Annual growth rate for human population was 2.5% while that for cattle and small ruminants was 1.1 and –0.2%, respectively. During the same period meat, milk and skins and hides production have increased by 23.8, 42.7 and 5.7%, respectively [4].
Despite the large number of livestock, there has been a decline in national and per capita production of livestock, livestock products, export earnings from livestock, and per capita consumption of food from livestock origin since 1974, in comparison to other African countries [5]. Among exports of livestock products, skins and hides have the largest share of exports followed by live animals [6].
In recent years, exports of live animals to the Middle Eastern countries, the traditional outlet for Ethiopian animals, have substantially decreased since these countries have imposed ban on imports of live animals from the Horn of Africa due to prevalence of certain diseases such as Rift Valley fever. In Ethiopia according to [7], 99.4 % of the total cattle populations in the Country are local breeds and the remaining are the hybrids and the exotic breeds that accounted for about 0.5 % and 0.1 %, respectively. Indigenous cattle have been naturally selected for adaptive rather than for productive traits. Selection takes a long time and requires sustained effort to make substantial genetic progress and impact on productivity. However, due to high genetic variability among those indigenous animals, there is a potential to select for productive traits. There are some individual animals with relatively high meat production. Indigenous cattle are preferred to adaptive attributes. Subsistencially smallholders select particularly fattened animals for a range of desirable attributes of their animals, but some of them attributes are related to behavior and body form of animals, which are not necessarily direct related to production functions [8, 9]. Ethiopia is characterized by a high livestock population but low productivity, at least in terms of conventional products such as meat and milk. Meat production and consumption is important in the Ethiopian economy and ruminants contribute over 3.2 million tons, representing over 72% of the total meat production [10]. As cattle population has not kept up with the rate of population growth, there is a strong unsatisfied demand, in the majority of tropical countries, for milk and meat. However, the actual consumption is seriously restricted by the low purchasing power of the majority of the consumers, for whom retail prices are already too high. At the other extreme, the producer is in a difficult position and the course taken, notably for beef, does not allow to envisage the introduction of more intensive techniques, the only ones which would enable an increase in production when the limits of expansion of the pasture area are reached [11].
Crop-Mixed farming system is the predominant farming systems in the highland of Ethiopia. They inhabit nearly 90% of the human population and 70% of the livestock population of the country [12]. Due to the rising of population growth, lack of land pushing many farmers either to intensify the cropping system or diversify the system using other, integrated activities.

1.1. Statement of the Problem
Janamora Wereda was estimated to have less supply of crop-residues; there may be mishandling and lack of awareness about crop-residue improvement. As a result, utilization efficiency of the residues may be low. Besides, there may be lack of proper selection of fattening cattle, fattening practice, lack of market information and also poor managements in relation to feeding system, healthcare, housing etc. Which may lower the performance of cattle fattening? Hence, the producer may not get reasonable benefit from their fattening activity unless appropriate improvement strategies have to be introduced.

1.2. Justification of the Study
Despite good fattening practice associated with excess crop-residue production, market access and suitable cattle breeds have been expected in Mekane Berhan, because little attention given to livestock development in general and cattle fattening practice in particular and much has not been studied about utilization of the available feed resources, fattening practices and marketing system of cattle in the area. Cattle fattening practice and marketing system was under developed which needs deep-investigation about the management and its performance. Thus, on the basis of this background, the current study was initiated to address some research questions about improvement strategies of cattle fattening practices and marketing system in Janamora Wereda.

1.3 Objective of the sudy
The objective of this study was
 To assess cattle fattening practices and marketing system in Janamora Wereda.
 To assess cattle fattening practices on-farm level.
 To evaluate marketing system of cattle fattening in Mekane Birhan town.
 To assess major constraints of cattle fattening in Janamora Wereda.
 To identify major feed and feed source of fattening cattle in the study area.

2.1. Description of the Study Area
The study was conducted in Janamora Wereda Janamora Wereda is located in North Gondar Zone of Amhara region, at the latitude and longitude of 12o59’N 38o07’E at a distance of about 180km from Gondar town. Janamora Wereda is well-known with Semien mountain National Park, Ras Dashen i.e the highest point in Ethiopia and it is a home to a number of endangered species including the Ethiopian Wolf, waliya ibex, and a wild goat which no found in elsewhere in the world. The area has an altitude range of 2900 meters above sea level. The region is marked by numerous mountains, hilly, and sloppy areas, plateaus, rivers, and many streams. Livestock population of the area comprises 100,386 cattle, 32,975 sheep, 131,041 goats, 2,540 horses, 634 mules, 7758 donkeys, 119,347 poultry. The farming system of the study area is characterized by a mixed crop-livestock production system. Transhumance, from the highlands to western lowlands, is practiced as an important strategy to secure grazing resources for the highland livestock during the dry season of the year. In the case of the lowlands, crop farming is not as intensive as high and mid-highland areas and livestock has larger contributions to the farmer’s livelihoods [13].

2.2. Data source and type
On this study both primary and secondary data was employed. The primary data was obtained through questionnaire which was distributed for the selected sample and semi structured interview with the concerned bodies: such as owner of cattle fattener. The secondary data were gathered from the reference book, internet and other. The qualitative parameters included gender participation in the cattle fattening farm, the background of the cattle owner, reasons for doing fattening, main constraints for cattle fattening and market system. The quantitative parameters included the family size of the households, total cattle number of the households, number of fattening cattle and length of fattening.

2.3. Sampling Technique
Purposive sampling techniques were employed to select 45 cattle fattener households from three kebeles. They are Mekane Birhan, Deresgie and Rob Gebeya. From the individual who participate in cattle fattening practice are, the owners of cattle fattener in Janamora Wereda were the target population of the study.

2.4. Data analysis and presentation
The data was checked, coded and entered in to Microsoft excel work sheet and was analyzed using SPSS software version 16. Descriptive statistics like percentage was used to express prevalence while chi-square (χ2) test, binary and multivariate logistic regression were used to compare the association of tick infestation rate with sex, breeds, age groups as well as body condition scores. In all the cases, 95% confidence level and 0.05 absolute precision errors were considered. A p-value≤ 0.05 will be considered statistically significant.