Certain aspects of the dairy systems in the Harar milkshed, Eastern Ethiopia
Kurtu, Mohammed Yousuf
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English: A study, comprising a survey and a. monitoring component, was undertaken to characterize and identify the major constraints for dairy systems in the Harar milkshed, eastern Ethiopia. Important implications from the findings can be divided in five key areas, namely: intensification of smallholder systems; constraints to dairy production; access to services; role and importance of urban dairies; and identification of target groups. The results have showed that the majority of rural households are agricultural (91% of the surveyed households) and many (89%) of the agricultural households' practices dairy farming. Rapid intensification of smallholder dairy production is occurring in the Harar milkshed as a result of the shrinking land due to continuous population pressure. Over the past two decades the farming .systems have shifted increasingly to increased use of stall-feeding and planting of food crops on land previously used as natural pasture and thus livestock production has to rely increasingly less on grazing. There is an increasing shift towards intensification of dairy through the use of crop-residues and thinnings from crops, particularly sorghum, with cut-and-carry feeding systems and the keeping of unimproved local cattle on the ever decreasing land available for agriculture. However, there are large differences in levels of intensification in the area depending on agro-climatic factors and access to the market. The main implication is that while improved technologies for sustainable intensification are required they cannot be applied uniformly throughout the Harar milkshed. Blanket recommendations for intensive production strategies should be avoided. A difficult challenge may be to assist the appropriate intensification of farming practices especially in those outlying . areas where many resource poor farmers are found. These areas do not have a high agro-ecological potential due to moisture constraints, soil and rangeland degradation and poor access to markets, yet need to improve productivity from dairy activities. Households that were surveyed in the rural areas fell into four clusters based on the results of the cluster analysis. The majority of the rural households surveyed fell into Cluster 1, named the Traditional Intensive Dairy (TID) farmers (3%) and Cluster 2, named the Traditional Semi-intensive Dairy (TSID) (40%). Households in Cluster 3, named the Traditional Extensive Dairy 'based on Extensive Agro-pastoral systems (TAD) and Cluster 4, named the Traditional Extensive Agro-pastoral Dairy (TEAD) constituted about 7% and 23% respectively of the rural households surveyed . .Households in Clusters 1 and 2 had smaller areas of land and smaller cattle herd sized compared to households in Cluster 3 and 4. Households in Cluster 1 did not have grazing and had smaller crop lands than the other three clusters. Despite the small crop areas, households in Cluster 1 had larger quantities of crop residues than Clusters J and 4. This larger quantity of crop residues produced in Cluster 1 is attributed mainly to the higher amount of rainfall received compared to the other two clusters. Two major feed resources identified in the rural areas were the thinnings and weeds that are normally obtained from sorghum and maize crops, starting from early stages (at knee height) until harvest. No hay making practices were detected in the rural areas surveyed. It was noted that traditionally milking, processing, marketing and delivery of milk are the affairs of women in the rural area of the Harar milkshed. The survey showed that milk equipment was generally washed and some special herbs were used as local disinfectants. These herbs include "Baka Arkate" "Lantana Kamara " which is available almost everywhere in the area surveyed. The milk equipment is further smoked with the various plants in order to clean the micro-organisms that spoil milk. Some farmers boil the night milk to help them in preserving milk during marketing. Three milk delivery channels were identified in the Harar milkshed. Milk delivery association groups were dominant, followed by delivery of own milk or direct delivery and individual collectors/milk women traders in the Harar milkshed. Milk from cattle and camel are used by the urban population in Harar. However, cattle milk is preferred to camel milk by the majority of the urban population. Babile (Erer and Kore) and Bisidimo were found to be potentially important sources of both camel and cattle milk to supply milk to Harar. A total of 375 and 685 liters of cattle and camel milk were supplied daily from Babile and the corresponding volumes for Bisidimo were 840 and 523 liters per day. Fluctuations in daily milk supply however, were quite apparent over different months of the year. A number of constraints were mentioned by the farmers concerning milk delivery and marketing situations in the Harar milkshed. An overwhelming majority (75%) of the farmers interviewed ranked the transportation problem first, followed by the risk involved (12%) and the remaining (16%) reflected on the lower price obtained for one liter of milk. Milk processing equipment and the processing methods used are quite traditional requiring improvement in order to enhance the productivity and efficiency of dairying in both rural and urban areas of the Harar milkshed. Considering the urban dairies, results from the survey indicated that the majority of the households are none-agriculturists (84%) and are engaged in other business and regard the dairy as a sideline business. Intensification of dairying through the use of purchased feedstuffs, mainly industrial brewery by-products and conserved hay in a stall feeding system and keeping Holstein upgraded dairy cattle breeds are the main features of the urban dairies of the area. The cluster analysis from the 50 urban households surveyed showed that there are three dairy production sub-systems that can be identified in the urban sector of the Harar milkshed, designated as Clusters 5, 6 and 7. Farmers in the urban area falling in Cluster 5 (URP - Urban Resource Poor) have a very small land size (0.3 ha) and no grazing but they buy a little fodder (less than Birr100/year). The second largest group falling in Cluster 6 (URMDS - Urban Medium Resource Dairy System) is composed of farmers with a slightly larger (n = 11) herd size, but they purchase more fodder and other feedstuffs. The last group of farms in Cluster 7 (SPUD) is distinguished priinarily by a larger (4 ha) land size and 98% more fodder is purchased than for Cluster 5. Farmlhousehold resources, such as labour, may be critical for intensification of dairy farming where dairy farming requires labour not only for a cut-and-carry feeding system, but for the overall management activities such as herding, cattle housing, feed and other input. Eleven different feed types were identified during the survey in the urban dairy production system. Grass hay and the industrial brewery waste were the commonest feed types used in the urban dairy production system of the Harar milkshed. Hay is conserved and stored in a hay barn, but in a loose form. The industry brewery waste was successfully conserved in non-cemented silos or pits in the ground. The chemical composition of the feedstuffs showed that there are diverse feed resources available in terms of their chemical composition and digestibility in the urban dairy production system. Most of the basal diets in the urban dairy production system are of fibrous nature, including sorghum stover and grass hay and these feedstuffs are low in protein content (less than 7%) which makes it difficult to promote rumen function. Hence, non-conventional feeds, notably industrial brewery waste and local brewery waste are potential feed resources to supplement low quality feeds in the Harar milkshed. The majority (50%) of the urban dairy farms used bucket feeding for calf rearing. The remaining half of the farms were using suckling for calf rearing as well as milk letdown initiation in different sequences in relation to milking. No farm was observed using udder washing for milk letdown. Most used a milk ration during milking. The total amount of milk provided to the calves was 430 liter and age at weaning was about 129 days on average. However, there were differences among the cluster groups of the urban dairy farms. All the dairy farms housed their crossbred cows in barns with roofed shelter, equipped with a feeding trough. About 54% of the barns for dairy cows were cleaned once a day while the remaining were cleaned either twice or even three times a day. The majority of the farms were very crowded and the cows were not separated by age and production. In urban dairy farms more than 60% of the manure _produced was not used and wasted, 11% used it as fuel, 28% sold it as manure for crop farmers in the rural areas and about 1% used it for biogas production. The main constraint resulting in manure accumulation on the urban dairy farms appears to be the lack of adequate disposal. This tends to limit the use of manure utilization and consequently causes environmental problems threatening the prospects of dairy production in urban areas. The overall mean annual disease incidence was 80% (47% for reproductive diseases and about 33% for other conditions). Reproductive problems (47%) and mastitis (18%) occurred most frequent. Placental retention and abortion were among the major reproductive problems representing about 69% of the clinical cases reported. Other clinical cases included digestive and respiratory disorders with an occurrence of about 8%. Important threats to productivity in the urban and peri-urban dairies may be the constraints posed by irregular calving distribution, irregular mille production during the year and lack of strategic feeding systems. Dairy rations were deficient in both quantity and quality to meet the nutritional requirement for dairy herd. The ration was particularly deficient in energy and calcium. These deficiencies were much larger in farms with large herds than for medium and small herd sizes. Reproductive performance of cows deviated negatively from the target values and was larger in farms of larger herd size compared to medium and small herds. Lower body weight and poor body condition scores before and after calving were found to be important in management of urban dairy farms influencing the productivity of the dairy farms in the Harar milkshed. Reproductive and breeding problems were also identified as important problems in the urban and peri-urban dairy production systems. Although the artificial insemination (AI) service is used by a relatively large group of the farms, frequent interruption of the service seems to have forced the farmers to resort to use bulls of unknown pedigree. The access to AI services for dairy operation in the urban area is mixed with apparently successful private entry into veterinary services, but no attempt is made so far in the private provision of AI services. However, these services are used mostly by the large and advanced dairy farmers in the urban areas. The survey highlighted the existence of an enormous supply-demand variance in milk products for Harar city, which indicates that potentially there exists good opportunities for development of the urban dairy sector in the Harar milkshed. Large- scale dairy farms and small urban dairy farms have the potential to minimize milk shortages in Harar. Constraints to increase dairy productivity revolve around the inadequate and seasonal nature of feed sources. Solutions to these problems will have to keep in mind the limited access to opportunities outlined above in the Harar milkshed. The use of planted grass fodder for stall-feeding may be limited in the intensive areas where land rather than labour is the limiting factor. Access to markets may be considered as a major constraint, particularly for those farmers' associations located far from the milkmarket sites. Improvement in milk processing techniques could be a good prospect particularly for the places far from marketing centers. Urban and peri-urban dairy production systems are important in supplying milk to Harar. One of the threats to productivity in the urban and peri-urban dairies may be the constraints posed by reproductive disorders, diseases and breeding problems. A cluster analysis indicated that more than half of the rural dairy farms in the Harar milkshed are resource poor farmers with small land holdings and usually located far from market sites in the urban areas. Improving the sustained productivity of dairy farms and profitability of the rural dairy farms and households will be a key to success in rural development, poverty reduction and environmental protection in the Harar milkshed. However, unless serious attention is given to improved and adequate feed sources and feeding programmes, much of the other high priority needs will not reach the required impact if applied.Afrikaans: 'n Studie bestaande uit twee komponente, naamlik 'n opname en monitering van melkerye, is uitgevoer om die melkvoorsieningsgebied van Harar, oostelike Ethiopië te karakteriseer en die belangrikste knelpunte te identifiseer. Die belangrikste implikasies van die bevindinge kan in vyf sleutel areas verdeel word, naamlik: intensifisering van kleinskaalse melkerye; beperkings op melkproduksie; toegang tot dienste; rol en belangrikheid van stedelike melkerye; en die identifisering van teikengroepe. Snelle intensifisering van kleinskaalse melkerye vind in die melkvoorsieningsgebied van Harar plaas as gevolg van die krimpende grondoppervlakte as gevolg van die menslike bevolking se toenemende behoeftes. Oor die afgelope twee dekades het die boerderystelsels toenemend verskuif na stalvoeding van diere en die aanplant van voedselgewasse vir mense op grond wat voorheen as natuurlike weiding deur vee benut is. Daar is egter groot variasie in die vlak van intensifisering in die gebied as gevolg van agro-klimatologiese faktore en toegang tot die mark. Die implikasie is dat terwyl daar 'n groot behoefte is aan volhoubare tegnologie vir intensifisering van produksie, kan dit egter nie eenvormig in die gebied toegepas word nie. Algemene aanbevelings betreffende intensiewe produksiestrategieë in diegebied moet liefs vermy word. 'n Groot uitdaging bestaan veral rondom bystandverlening met toepaslike intensifikasie aan die hulpbron-arm boere in afgeleë gebiede. Die gebiede het nie 'n hoë agro-ekologiese potensiaal nie as gevolg van vogbeperkings, degradering van grond en natuurlike weidings en swak toegang tot markte, maar nogtans moet produktiwiteit van die melkerye verhoog word. Beperkings om produktiwiteit van die melkerye te verbeter is veral geleë in onvoldoende voerbronne en die seisoenale aard van die voedingsbronne. Oplossings vir hierdie probleme moet die beperkte toegang tot geleenthede in die melkvoorsieningsgebied van Harar in gedagte hou. Die aanwending van aangeplante grashooi vir stalvoeding mag beperk wees in die intensiewe gebiede waar grond eerder as arbeid die beperkende faktor is. Toegang tot markte is 'n groot beperking veral vir daardie boereverenigings wat ver van die markte geleë is. Verbetering van melkprosesseringstegnieke mag groot voordele inhou, veral vir die afgeleë gebiede. Stedelike en omstedelike produksiestelsels is belangrik in die voorsiening van melk aan Harar. Die aanwesigheid van siektes wat reproduksie aantas en ook teelprobleme hou egter 'n groot bedreiging vir die melkerye in. Alhoewel die kunsmatige inseminasie (KI) diens wel deur 'n relatief groot groep boere gebruik word, dwing aanhoudende probleme in die onderbreking van dienslewering vele boere om bulle van onbekende oorsprong te gebruik. Die toegang tot KI dienste vir melkerye is swak in die landelike gebiede. In die stedelike gebied is toetrede van private veeartsenydienste bespeur, maar geen privaat inisiatief bestaan ten opsigte van 'n KI diens nie. Hierdie veterinêre dienste word ook veral net deur die groot en gevorderde melkery in die stedelike opset gebruik. 'n Trosanalise het getoon dat meer as die helfte van die landelike melkerye in die melkvoorsieningsgebied van Harar hulpbronarm boere is met klein gronde en wat ook ver vanaf die mark in die stad geleë is. Verbetering van volhoubare produktiwiteit van melkerye en winsgewendheid van die landelike melkplase en huishoudings is die sleutel tot . suksesvolle landelike ontwikkeling, verligting van armoede en beskerming van die omgewing in die melkvoorsieningsgebied van Harar. Indien ernstige aandag nie terselfdertyd aan voldoende voerbronne en voedingsprograrnme gegee word nie, sal vele van die ander hoë prioriteitsbehoeftes nie die verlangdeimpak hê nie.