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Tadesse E.,Adami Tullu Agricultural Research Center | Negesse T.,Hawassa University | Abebe G.,Hawassa University
Tropical Animal Health and Production | Year: 2015

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 © 2015, Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht. Source

De Clercq E.M.,Catholic University of Louvain | Leta S.,Adami Tullu Agricultural Research Center | Estrada-Pena A.,Veterinary Faculty | Madder M.,Institute of Tropical Medicine | And 3 more authors.
Preventive Veterinary Medicine | Year: 2015

Rhipicephalus microplus is one of the most widely distributed and economically important ticks, transmitting Babesia bigemina, B. bovis and A. naplasma marginale. It was recently introduced to West Africa on live animals originating from Brazil. Knowing the precise environmental suitability for the tick would allow veterinary health officials to draft vector control strategies for different regions of the country. To test the performance of modelling algorithms and different sets of environmental explanatory variables, species distribution models for this tick species in Benin were developed using generalized linear models, linear discriminant analysis and random forests. The training data for these models were a dataset containing reported absence or presence in 104 farms, randomly selected across Benin. These farms were sampled at the end of the rainy season, which corresponds with an annual peak in tick abundance. Two environmental datasets for the country of Benin were compared: one based on interpolated climate data (WorldClim) and one based on remotely sensed images (MODIS). The pixel size for both environmental datasets was 1. km. Highly suitable areas occurred mainly along the warmer and humid coast extending northwards to central Benin. The northern hot and drier areas were found to be unsuitable. The models developed and tested on data from the entire country were generally found to perform well, having an AUC value greater than 0.92. Although statistically significant, only small differences in accuracy measures were found between the modelling algorithms, or between the environmental datasets. The resulting risk maps differed nonetheless. Models based on interpolated climate suggested gradual variations in habitat suitability, while those based on remotely sensed data indicated a sharper contrast between suitable and unsuitable areas, and a patchy distribution of the suitable areas. Remotely sensed data yielded more spatial detail in the predictions. When computing accuracy measures on a subset of data along the invasion front, the modelling technique Random Forest outperformed the other modelling approaches, and results with MODIS-derived variables were better than those using WorldClim data. © 2014 The Authors. Source

Leta S.,Adami Tullu Agricultural Research Center | De Clercq E.M.,Catholic University of Louvain | Madder M.,Antwerp Institute of Tropical Medicine
Experimental and Applied Acarology | Year: 2013

The brown ear tick Rhipicephalus appendiculatus, vector of East Coast fever (ECF) and related cattle diseases caused by Theileria parva has never been reported from the Horn of Africa. Habitat suitability for this tick species was predicted using Maxent modelling technique based on R. appendiculatus records in Sub-Saharan Africa. Two models were developed: the first is based on the tropical R. appendiculatus distribution and the one is based on the distribution records in the temperate region of Sub-Saharan Africa. The tropical model shows favourable habitat in much of the Ethiopian highlands. The whole Djibouti, the south eastern Ethiopian lowlands, majority of Somalia and Eritrea were found to be not suitable for the survival and development of this tick species. Highly suitable areas occur in areas which have moderate temperature and high precipitation. Introductions of R. appendiculatus into the Horn of Africa probably have been prevented by the natural barrier between the known R. appendiculatus distribution range in East Africa and the Horn of Africa. The effect of an introduction of R. appendiculatus and thereby ECF into the Horn of Africa could be catastrophic since the cattle in this area have no immunity against ECF, and mortality might be considerable in all age groups of cattle. © 2013 Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht. Source

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