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Animal Health

1. Background:

External parasites such as keds in sheep and mange mites in goats cause considerable damage to quality of small ruminant skins in Ethiopia. This is particularly grave in the lowlands. Ectoparasite infestation is one of the most important health constraints in small ruminant production in Ethiopia not only in terms of skin quality, but more importantly in transmitting tick and insect borne diseases, limiting growth rate and often causing mortality. This is a constraint for which adequate knowledge of necessary and cost-effective management strategies exist for mitigation. Establishment and promotion of private Spraying/ Dipping Service Providers (SDSPs) for external parasite control offer a long-term sustainable solution to the problem and an economically viable opportunity for many individuals. 

Moreover, mortality rates of lambs and kids in some parts of the country are estimated to be over 60%. It is very important to know the causes in order to reduce this.

2. Project strategy:

  • Develop private Spraying/ Dipping service providers: Individuals to be trained as SDSPs will be selected by the community and assigned the task of providing external parasite control service. The SDSPs will charge owners of small ruminants for the service they provide. The Service Cooperatives will buy the acaricides as well as other inputs and sell to the SDSPs to make the provision of acaricides sustainable. Some SDSPs may work as individual entrepreneurs others will work within the context and support of a community or Peasant Association. In addition to training, some supplies such as mobile dipping vats or knapsack sprayers and initial start up acaricides and safety equipment will be provided to communities, producer groups, and trained SDSPs. The dipping vats and knapsack sprayers, in majority of cases, will belong to the Peasant Associations. Should the person trained as SDSP cease providing service, these items will be returned to the Peasant Association.
  • Conduct monitoring of major causes of lamb/kid mortality and develop disease prevention and control strategies and extension messages: This will be done in the six target regions of the project in collaboration with the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development and the Regional Bureaus of Agriculture and Rural Development.

3. Partners:

  • Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development;
  • Regional Bureaus of Agriculture and Rural Development;
  • Pastoral Livelihoods initiative (PLI);
  • Sanitary-Phyto-Sanitary-Livestock and Meat Marketing (SPS-LMM);
  • National Animal Health Diagnostic and Investigation Center;
  • National Veterinary Institute;
  •  Ethiopian Tanners Association;
  • Ethiopia Agribusiness and Trade Expansion project, Hides and skins component.

4. Key Activities:

4.1 SDSPs

  • Design SDSP business prospects
  • Design training and support programWith partners, identify pilot kebeles in which to initiate training and support activities.
  • Identify trainees.
  • Train SDSPs
  • Support & monitor activities of trained SDSPs
  • Collect impact information.
  • With partners evaluate performance and impact, identify problems, revise approach

4.2 Monitoring major causes of lamb and kid mortality

Prepare monitoring methodology

  • With partners, identify kebeles where to initiate monitoring
  • Identify and train enumerators
  • With partners monitor major causes and collect data
  • Analyze the monitoring data.
  • Prepare appropriate prevention and control strategies and extension messages in order to decrease lamb and kid mortalities.

5. Progress synopsis:

External parasite control: A training curriculum for SDSPs was prepared. Thus far, 105 individuals have been trained as SDSPs and provided with dipping vats/knapsack sprayers, chemicals and protective gear.  The ESGPIP contracted a consultant to conduct the financial cost-benefit analysis of SDSPs.  Suggestions on how to make the service sustainable were provided. A workshop was held to discuss the finding of the consultant and enrich the document. The final report has been distributed to partners and relevant stakeholders. The current external parasite control activity of the program focuses mainly in the areas where the Nucleus and BED sites where the newly introduced exotic breeds and their cross are stationed.

Study on the major causes of lamb mortality: A monitoring methodology was prepared and discussed with professionals of the collaborating institutions. Weredas, peasant associations and farmers were selected for the monitoring activities in the Amhara, Tigrai. Memoranda of understanding were signed with partner institutions. The monitoring activity in the Amhara Region started in July, 2008 and it will run for one year. The activity in Tigray also started after a little bit of delay.


Figure 1. Dipping sheep in a mobile dipping vat

Figure 2. Practical training of laboratory personne

Animal health activities at the Nucleus and BED sites: Constant follow up on the health of animals at the nucleus sites was also one of the tasks continuously accomplished.

Training activities: A two-week training on internal parasite control and laboratory diagnostic technology was offered to34 animal health staff from National Animal Disease Investigation Center, Regional laboratories and the ESGPIPs nucleus stations. Support was also given to the training program of the ESGPIP in terms of involvement in training, preparation of technical bulletins and contribution of a chapter in the book “sheep and goat handbook for Ethiopia”.