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FEED THE FUTURE INNOVATION LAB FOR LIVESTOCK SYSTEMS

FEED THE FUTURE INNOVATION LAB FOR LIVESTOCK SYSTEMS

Ethiopia

Addressing Young Stock Mortality in Smallholder Farms and Pastoral Herds of Ethiopia

Principal investigator (PI) and lead institution

Dr. Woutrina Smith, University of California, Davis

Co-PI and collaborator institutions

Results

Mr. Chalachew Yitbarkek, Dr. Tsegaw Fentie, and Mrs. Berhanu Tewabe pose  double-guarded culture swabs

Left: Mr. Chalachew Yitbarkek, Dr. Tsegaw Fentie, and Mrs. Berhanu Tewabe pose with some of her dairy calves at her peri-urban farm in Gondar town. (J. Lane/UCDavis)

Right: Graduate students are holding double-guarded culture swabs that will be used for sampling in dairy calves for detecting respiratory viral and bacterial pathogens. (W. Jackson/UCDavis)

Summary

Ethiopia is poised at the brink of a new era, with the population rapidly increasing while the food supplies cannot keep up with the demand. As an integral part of Ethiopian agriculture, livestock contributes considerably to an economy that accounts for 19% of the GDP and 20% of the export earnings. Although the livestock population is the largest in the continent, the productivity and competitiveness is in general low due to various animal diseases, feed problems, poor husbandry, and poor marketing infrastructures.

Traditionally, livestock owners have been raising many animals under an inefficient system to buffer against losses in production that result from disease, compared to the alternative of raising fewer animals in a more efficient, well-managed system. Ongoing investigation of the epidemiology of young stock morbidity and mortality will help in prioritizing major health and management problems along with critical control points in livestock systems.

The project goal is to understand causes and risk factors for young stock mortality in cattle, goats and camels, while also providing input on the pilot testing of health interventions. For the latter, the project team works closely with the Young Stock Mortality Consortium led by the Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock Resources that also includes Tufts University and the University of Edinburgh.  The consortium has developed animal health intervention packages that this Reach project will pilot.

The project is focused on mixed-crop livestock farms, peri-urban dairy farms, and pastoral production systems.  The project also has a strong human and institutional capacity development at the universities of Addis Ababa and Gondar, as well as at the main government laboratory system for Ethiopia.  Researchers, graduate and postdoctoral students from these institutions are involved in the collaborative research.

Objectives

The main goal of this project is to generate new epidemiological information on the major causes of young stock morbidity and mortality that hampers the productivity of livestock in Ethiopia, and evaluate government-planned intervention strategies.

Specific Aims

  • Collect epidemiologic data on young stock management, farm factors, feed resources, livestock disease, and socio-demography of livestock producers.
  • Assess risk factors for young stock mortality in Ethiopia.
  • Evaluate intervention strategies for reduction of young stock losses that align with the Livestock Master Plan of the Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock Resources.
    Build human and institutional diagnostic and research capacities at Addis Ababa University, University of Gondar, and the National Animal Health Diagnostic and Investigation Center.
  • Provide training to extension officers, livestock keepers, and prioritize involvement of women in all study components.

More Information


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Feed the Future Innovation Lab for Livestock Systems
livestock-lab@ufl.edu


This website is made possible by the generous support of the American people through the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and it Feed the Future Innovation Lab for Livestock Systems managed by the University of Florida and the International Livestock Research Institute. The contents are the responsibility of the Feed the Future Innovation Lab for Livestock systems and do not necessarily reflect the views of USAID or the United States Government.


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