Cattle Fattening Practices in West Hararghe: Potentials and Constraints of Beef Cattle Production in Oromia Regional State, Ethiopia

  •  Bezahegn Abebe    


The present study was conducted to investigate the status of beef cattle production system, major available beef cattle feed, constraints, and challenges of cattle fattening in Gemechis, Mesela, Tulo and Oda Bultum District, Western Hararge Zone, Oromia National Regional State. To select the districts and individual cattle fatteners, purposive selection techniques were applied based on their potentiality and beef cattle ownership, respectively. Accordingly a total of 120 cattle fatteners were included and interviewed using pre tested structured questionnaire. In addition to semi-structured questionnaire, group discussions and key informant interviews were carried out to support the survey data. As the assessment result showed fattening length in highland regions was significantly (p < 0.001) higher than those of midland regions with mean value of 5.0±0.18 and 4.1±0.18 respectively. Green feeds from maize and sorghum origin which includes thinning contributes a major role as livestock feed during wet season whereas crop residues (mainly maize and sorghum stover) in wet season and wheat bran ‘frushika’ are the dominant feed resources supplement for cattle fatteners in the study area. Feed shortage and marketing of fattened animals were major constraints reported by the farmers. Beef marketing constraints prioritized by the respondents in the study area included problems created by brokers (77.5%), seasonality of market price variation (14.17%), low market price (0.83%) and others (7.5%). It can be concluded that cattle fattening could be one potential strategy to improve the income of the fatteners if utilizes seasonally available feed resources by improving utilization efficiency and controlled cattle marketing system by governmental bodies for sustainable market service, to protect the negative influence and interference of the broker’s.

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