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ARS Home » Northeast Area » Beltsville, Maryland (BARC) » Beltsville Agricultural Research Center » Animal Genomics and Improvement Laboratory » Research » Research Project #437943

Research Project: African Goat Improvement Network: Upscaling of Community-Based Breeding Program in Konso District, Ethiopia

Location: Animal Genomics and Improvement Laboratory

Project Number: 8042-31000-112-014-S
Project Type: Non-Assistance Cooperative Agreement

Start Date: Mar 1, 2020
End Date: Jun 30, 2022

The Animal Genomics and Improvement Laboratory, through the USDA African Goat Improvement Network under the Feed the Future Initiative, seeks to support the expansion of Community Based Breeding Programs (CBBPs) in the Konso district of Ethiopia. This will be achieved through the dissemination of improved genetics through natural mating and/or artificial insemination (AI) from established CBBPs and lead to self-sustainability.

1. Konso district has a goat population of more than 400,000, spread in 39 villages. There are five established CBBPs. These structures will be used as a source of breeding bucks for natural mating and artificial insemination (AI). These 5 CBBPs have 6950 goats, with average of 1390 goats per CBBP. There are 765 breeding does and considering mating ration of 1 buck to 40 does, 19 bucks are needed to serve in one CBBP. However, considering the 3 years bucks remain in service, being annually rotated between buck user groups, and 95% survival rate, in fact only 7 bucks are needed as replacement per village and year. The total number of breeding bucks produced from one CBBP in a year is 82, assuming a proportion of 30% of selected bucks based on recording. Therefore, an estimated 410 breeding bucks from the 5 CBBP already established. The agreement plan to cover the whole goat population of the five administrative units for ease of implementation and capacity. These five units have almost 25% (around 100,000) of the goat population of the district. The number of replacement breeding bucks needed per year for the five administrative units is 497. Therefore, with the bucks produced from CBBPs and Al could cover the whole population. The agreement plans to maintain 400 bucks from the program fund for replacement and the remaining service of 97 bucks could be covered by AI. The bucks after service would be sold and the funds would be used to buy the second group of replacements, therefore, the program is expected to support the first batch of bucks only. Additionally, group of carefully identified community members will gradually be capacitated to take up the role of producing and selling breeding bucks to the whole community and beyond. The new communities will have their own bucks in the flocks. Mechanism for culling through castration and value addition could be instituted through awareness creation and training. 2. Steps to implement Oestrus synchronization and artificial insemination include: 1) selection of recipient females; 2) ultrasound pregnancy diagnosis to eliminate pregnant females; 3) non-pregnant females will be oestrus synchronized with 2 single injections of PGF2a analogue at an interval of 11 days; 4) fresh non-cooled semen collected from bucks with the highest estimated breeding values in the community flocks will be used; and 5) the goats will be ultrasound scanned for pregnancy diagnosis 30 to 35 days after AI. 3. The established CBBPs already possess enumerators who collect data and assist communities in various ways. For the new communities, enumerators will be recruited to collect data on growth and reproduction performance of 30 sample household flocks in each village. 4. Development of market opportunities for breeding bucks (and does) in non-CBBP villages and linking producers with lucrative markets for live animal and product sale are the two additional goals.