On 17-18 December 2015, a group of about 25 people gathered in Debre Birhan, Ethiopia, to devise the next steps for small ruminants breeding. This group comprised most of the country’s experts in sheep and goat breeding, from across the country.
Selected participant farmers drawn from community-based breeding programs in Doyogena, Horro, Menz and Bonga sites are gearing up to undertake phase 2 of their sheep fattening project that runs from 15 January to 15 April 2016.
Earlier this year, the Debre Birhan Agricultural Research Centre was awarded a gold medal for outstanding research on Menz sheep breeding from the Federal Ministry of Science and Technology.
Genetic improvement of small ruminants has been identified as a “best bet” in Ethiopia’s highland areas. As part of the Livestock and Fish small ruminant value chain development activities in Ethiopias, community-based breeding programs established through an earlier project (located in Horro, Menz, Bonga and Abergelle) were strengthened and new ones were established in Atsbi and Doyogena.
A community in Mena, Ethiopia, is running a community-based breeding project with their sheep. After 5 years, researchers are seeing positive results in terms of people’s livelihods and income, collective efforts, community empowerment, and the quality of the local sheep.
ICARDA recently invited livestock breeders, livestock nutritionists and socio-economists from partner research centers in Ethiopia to a consultative workshop to discuss the possibilities of modifying existing feeding strategies in sheep flocks in the context of the ongoing Community-Based Sheep Breeding Program in Ethiopia.