This study was conducted in Adami Tulu, Arsi Negelle and Fantale districts of Oromia Regional State, Ethiopia. The objective of this study was to assess and identify the challenges and opportunities of goat production under farmers’ management system. For this study, 6 Peasant Associations (PA: is the smallest administrative unit in Ethiopian government structure), 2 from each district, were selected. From each PA, a group of 15 to 20 farmers were organized at each study site and different types of Participatory Rural Appraisal were conducted. The data collected were analyzed using PRA tool of pair-wise rankings and results expressed in simple descriptive statistics. Goat production system in these study areas were identified as mixed crop-livestock production systems in Arsi Negelle and Adami Tulu districts. Farmers in the Fantale administrative district practiced pastoral and agro-pastoral production systems. Goat production purposes were also identified as mainly to provide milk and meat for home consumption and cash income generation. The rankings of these purposes varied across study areas. Goat fattening is a recent appearing practice in these rural communities. Farmers in the Arsi Negelle and Adami Tulu districts practiced traditional fattening system mostly from July to September. A common operation in traditional fattening system was castration, which improves body condition. Farmers identified feed shortage from November to December, disease incidences , predatory attacks and water shortage as challenges to goat production. Farmers’ major sources of income were mainly crop and animal production (goats, sheep and cattle). Animal feeds were mostly available from late May to October. Great oopportunities exists for goat production and productivity improvement in surveyed administrative districts, in which the environment was still conducive and animal productivity can be improved by improved management.
Key words: Goat fattening, Income sources, feed shortage.
Abbreviation: PA, Peasant association.
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