Tropical Animal Health and Production

, Volume 47, Issue 7, pp 1417–1425 | Cite as

Sheep production and marketing system in southern Ethiopia: the case of Awassazuria district

  • Estefanos TadesseEmail author
  • Tegene Negesse
  • Girma Abebe
Short Communications


A survey was conducted in Awassazuria district of southern Ethiopia to characterize sheep production system. A structured questionnaire was used to collect data. Using purposive sampling, a total of 120 households from the district were included in the survey. Collected data were analyzed using descriptive statistics. Result indicated that Kajima neighbourhood has more (p < 0.05) grazing land than the others. Communal grazing, roadside grazing, enset (false banana, Ensete ventricosum), banana leaf and private grazing land were major feed resources for sheep. Lake Awassa and tap water were permanent water sources. Watering frequency of sheep varies from once a day to once in 4 days. Sheep are primarily kept to generate income and equilibrate benefit and risk and for home consumption. The criteria used by the households for purchase and sale of sheep are physical characteristics (coat colour, horn and tail) (46.7 %), body conformation (35 %), age (10.8 %) and known local ecotype (7.5 %). The reasons of slaughter of sheep include festival (55 %), childbirth (18.3 %), wedding (12.5 %), mutton for home (9 %), circumcision (5 %) and for guest (1.7 %). Farmers fatten sheep for New Year (60 %), Easter (30.8 %), Christmas and Arefa (Eid al-Adha celebration (Feast of the Sacrifice); <10 %). The reasons for expansion of sheep flock in the future were market price, high market demand, immediate return, ease of management, equilibrium between benefits and risks and suitability for home consumption, ranked in decreasing order of importance. The sheep production in southern Ethiopia is constrained by shortage of grazing land (23.3 %), recurrent drought (17.5 %), disease and parasite (15 %), marketing (10.8 %), water shortage (9 %) and other constraints including predators and lack of input, capital and lack of extension service. The presence of diversified and environmentally adaptable sheep breeds, high demand of mutton in the Awassa town and presence of nutritious and unutilized feed resources like fish meal and poultry litter were some of the opportunities for sheep production in the area


Constraints Keeping sheep Opportunities Production system Smallholders 



The authors would like to acknowledge IRISH operational research fund under Awassa University for funding the research.

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Estefanos Tadesse
    • 1
    Email author
  • Tegene Negesse
    • 2
  • Girma Abebe
    • 2
  1. 1.Adami Tullu Agricultural Research CenterZewayEthiopia
  2. 2.Awassa University of AgricultureHawassaEthiopia

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