MENGISTE YIHUNIE AND YIBELETAL AYNALEM
West Gojjam Zone Land Administration and Use Department, Finoteselam, Ethiopia
Woldia University, Department of Animal Production, and Technology, P. O. Box 400, Woldia, Ethiopia
*(e-mail : firstname.lastname@example.org)
(Received : 05 June 2020; Accepted : 30 June 2020)
The study was carried out to characterize the beef cattle production system, to identify the major constraints and opportunities for smallholder cattle fattening practices the current smallholder cattle fattening practices. The study was conducted using questionnaire-based survey by interviewing a total of 120 households heads participates in cattle fattening practices selected by a systematic random sampling method from seven rural kebeles including one kebele from Finoteselam town in weina-dega (Mid-altitude) and two kebeles in sub-kola (low land) agro-ecologies of Jabitehnan district in Amhara National Regional State, Ethiopia. Moreover, focus group discussions, field observations techniques have been carried out. Descriptive statics, one way ANOVA and DMRT for comparison of means were carried out using SPSS version 16 soft ware 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%). Feed shortage, lack of enough capital and credit, lack of family labor during seasons of peak agricultural activities lack of extension service and capacity building were the major constraints of smallholder cattle fattening in decreasing order of importance. Chi-square (c2) correspondence analysis showed that the availability of feed shortage, lack of extension service, and capacity were not significantly (P>0.05) different between the two agro-ecologies. However, lack of family labor during seasons of peak agricultural activities significantly affect (P<0.05) cattle fattening practices in the sub-kola than in the weina-dega and lack of capital and credit significantly affect (P<0.05) the practice in the weina-dega than in the sub-kola. 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.
Key words:Agro-ecology, cattle fattening, feed resources and constraints