West Gojjam Land Administration and Use, Finoteselam, Amhara Region, Ethiopia
*(e-mail : email@example.com)
(Received : 26 June 2020; Accepted : 10 September 2020)
The study was carried out to characterize the beef cattle production system and to characterize marketing system of the current smallholder cattle fattening practices. The study was conducted using questionnaire-based survey by interviewing a total of 120 household heads involved in cattle fattening practices selected by a systematic random sampling method from seven rural kebelles in the mid altitude and two kebelles in Low altitude agro-ecologies of Jabitehnan district in Amhara National Regional State, Ethiopia. Moreover, focus group discussions, field observations and Rapid Market Appraisal (RMA) techniques have been carried out. Descriptive statistics, one way ANOVA and DMRT for comparison of means were carried out using SPSS version 16 software and Chi-square (c2) test was employed to test the association of different qualitative categorical variables. The basal feeds were fresh cut green forage including improved forage and weeds took higher proportion (63.3%), followed by maize stover and stubble grazing (22.4%), pasture grazing (9.7%), and hay (5%). The three types of houses for fattening cattle are separated room in the family house (62%), enclosed barn with simple shade (22.4%) and housed together with humans (15.6%). Sources of fattening cattle were culled oxen due to old age or being unproductive (34.6%), immediate purchase for fattening (55.7%) and both culled oxen and immediate purchase (9.7%). Lack of capital and credit significantly affect (P<0.05) the practice in the mid altitude than in the low altitude. Average price of cattle before and after fattening were about 2297 and 3670 birr, respectively, which resulted in gross profit of about 1359 birr per fattened cattle that came from price margin and feed margin over 97 days of feeding period. It can be concluded that even though the cattle fattening practices carried out by smallholders are more of traditional; it could be one potential strategy to improve the income of smallholders if the present existing constraints could be avoided.
Key words:Agro-ecology, production system, cattle fattening, feed resources, marketing system