The study was conducted in East Shoa and West Arsi Zones of the Oromia Regional State of Ethiopia with objective to assess purpose of keeping Arsi cattle and production constraints. Accordingly Adami Tulu Jidokombolcha and Bora from East Shoa Zone and Dodola, Shala and Nagele-Arsi from West Arsi Zone were purposively selected. About 240 respondents were identified using random sampling techniques. The average of age and average family size of the respondents were 43.1 years and 8.9, respectively. Study result indicated that family size were higher in Shala where the poly marriage practice was more common than others districts. Cattle population per house hold were higher in Shala while sheep population were higher in Dodola and Bora districts. Goat population were higher in Negele-Arsi, ATJK and Shala districts. Study indicated that farmers were keeping cattle mainly for draft, milk, risk aversion and income source. Major production constraints identified were feed shortage, water scarcity, disease and shortage of improved genotypes in the studied districts. However water shortage is not secondarily critical in Dodola district. Forage development, water conservation, disease prevention and improving genetic potential of cattle is needed to solve the main livestock production constraint to improve the livelihood of small holder farmers.
Keywords: Arsi cattle breed, cattle production constraints, traditional breeding objectives