With the main aim of scrutinizing cattle production system in pastoral areas of Hadiya zone, Ethiopia, this paper characterises the system by explaining the purpose of production, breed and breeding methods, feed and watering system, purpose of marketing, mortality and commercial off take to the nearby markets. Both secondary and primary data were employed. Face to face interviews took place in the two districts considering 160 pastoral households. Focus group and key informant discussions were also conducted to acquire information which could not be generated during the personal interviews and to get general understanding about the production system and trends. The results showed that the Hadiya pastoralists are keeping large number of cattle like other pastoralists not as a security against risks but it is their cultural obligation to do so and attain the cultural titles. Therefore, economic factors have little effect in affecting cattle marketing. The study gives a meaningful insight into the Hadiya pastoralists’ production system and serves as useful reference for interventions in pastoral areas.
Key words: Cattle production system, pastoralism, Hadiya, Ethiopia.
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