Authors: Tamrat Gebiso
Despite its vital role in the country’s economic activities, livestock sector was considered as poor investment for development in Ethiopia. But currently, it is being given due attention in government policy planning, especially in the last two growth and transformation plans. Arsi zone is known for its own cattle breed known as “Arsi breed” (one of the six local breeds of the country) and has huge livestock population. However, the production system and constraints have not been studied. Therefore, this research was initiated to characterize the production system and prioritize associated production constraints in Arsi zone. In general, the livestock production constraints were studied to be identified and prioritized in order of their importance in each farming system. Overall constraints were categorized into five clusters as feed related constraints, health related constraints, breed related constraints and financial and human power related constraints. Therefore, to solve these constraints, establishment of feed development research program in nearby center (most likely in Asella Agricultural Engineering Research Center) and strong extension system to promote improved forages, better health care and use of improved breeds are suggested as a solution. Provision of credit system in order to enable farmers use all the services like purchase of initial livestock, concentrates and the like must be given due attention. Key words: Livestock, Arsi zone, production system characterization, Arsi breeds, production constraints.