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Investigation of major cattle production constraints in Kembata Tambaro zone of Southern Ethiopia using participatory epidemiology methods

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Ethiopia has enormous livestock resources from which rural households derive their livelihoods. A cross-sectional study based on participatory appraisal methods was conducted in Kembata Tambaro zone to assess major constraints to livestock production and major diseases of cattle and their treatment options. Four districts were selected purposively for this study, and 18 peasant associations were randomly sampled from the selected districts. Focus group discussion, semistructured interviews, simple ranking and scoring, proportional piling, pairwise ranking, and matrix scoring were the participatory epidemiological tools used in the study. Feed and free grazing land shortages and diseases were found to be the major constraints to cattle production in the area. Mastitis was ranked as the most serious disease of cattle. Modern veterinary treatments are used alongside traditional herbal remedies. Matrix scoring showed strong agreement between focus groups in identifying the major diseases using their indicators (clinical signs). Hence, it was concluded that indigenous knowledge complemented with participatory methods and approaches allow community and field researchers to jointly study specific livestock problems and help identify appropriate solutions.

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Authors are thankful to the technical and practical support they get from the Agriculture Development Office of Kembata Tambaro zone.

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Correspondence to Birhanu Ayele.

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The authors would like to declare that they have no conflict of interest with any individual or organization, and this document is their original research. No part of it is submitted anywhere else for conference or publication.

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Ayele, B., Tigre, W. & Deresa, B. Investigation of major cattle production constraints in Kembata Tambaro zone of Southern Ethiopia using participatory epidemiology methods. Trop Anim Health Prod 48, 109–115 (2016).

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