The objective of this review was to map dairy feed resources and milk yield in Shashemene to Dilla milkshed area. Shashemene to Dilla milkshed area include West Arsi zone, Sidama zone, Gedio Zone (includes Dilla town), Shashemene and Hawassa towns. This milkshed area is a smallholder mixed cropâ€“livestock dairy production system that concentrates in the mid and high altitude agro-ecologies where cereals and cash crops are dominant farming activities. Enset and coffee-based dairy cattle production system is the subsystem in the rural parts of Dale woreda (Sidama zone) and Dilla areas, and cereal crop-based dairy subsystem were reported in the rural areas of Shashemene and also in part of Awassa milkshed area. Feed sources and feeding system has a great contribution in improving dairy production and reproduction. It is not only that rather the quantity and quality of feed are among the factors influencing the milk yield of dairy cow. Natural grazing is the major one followed by crop residue in the area. Specifically, in West Arsi and Shashemene town, conventional feed types such as residue of local liquor â€œAtelaâ€ production from â€œArekeâ€ is also a common feed resource. Additionally, purchased feed types together with limited grazing and crop residues were also reported in Shashemene and Hawassa towns. Regarding the milk yield, the average milk yield for Shashemene to Dilla Milkshed area is 1.8 liters for locals and 9.34 liters for crossbred cows. Moreover, out of the reviewed milkshed areas, a better milk yield record was for West Arsi (i.e. 10.5 litters) for crossbred cows as well 2 liters for local cows. Feed shortage, high cost of feed, disease prevalence, poor marketing (market information), traditional way of production, lack of skill in different aspects of dairy activity and poor extension are the major constraints for dairy production in the milkshed area. Despite these constraints there are also opportunities such as large and diverse dairy animalsâ€™ genetic resources, accessing adequate land and extension and training services, production and entrepreneurial skills development. Thus, the review indicated that by improving the feed source and feeding system, and efficiently utilizing the existed opportunity, it is possible to improve dairy production and milk yield of local and crossbred cows in the milkshed.
Keywords: Feed source, milk yield, milkshed, dairy, Shashemene, Dilla