Community-based improvement scheme for washera sheep: Lessons from Yilmanadensa and Quarit Districts in Westren Amhara Region, Ethiopia


Asresu Yitayew, Mengistie Taye, Agraw Amanie, and Getenet Zeleke

This paper evaluates performance of community-based improvement scheme for Washera sheep in Yilmanadensa and Quarit districts. Primary data were collected from 63 farmers and analyzed using descriptive statistical techniques. Since the inception of the scheme (ram shortage) was solved, the number of lamb born per ewe was increased. However, smallholder farmers did not provide proper management for common ram. This is due to the adverse effect of existing social taboo in the study districts. Small holder farmers were given higher priority for body conformation to select both rams and ewes. In contrast, they were given less focus for the inheritance (prolificacy and mothering ability) of animal that selects for breeding purpose. Farmers practice of selecting breeding ewes and rams might result loss of prolific trait of Washera sheep. Furthermore, farmers’ practice of inbreeding coping might result to loss of best performing breeding sheep. About 21, 35, and 43% of keepers adopted urea treatment of straw, improved forage grass production, and administration of anthelmint in recommended amount and frequency, respectively. The primary source of feed in the community was communal grazing. The main crop residue which is the second source of feed was teff straw. The scheme should understand farmers’ practice of sheep production, introduce common ram with copayment strategies, distinguish the feed which is easily adopted by farmers for sheep and emphasize awareness creation on disease prevention strategies and inbreeding coping mechanism.

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