Nutritional limitations and dairy genotypes interactions in Ethiopia

Tekeba E, Wurzinger M, Zollitsch W

Abstract


Nutritional limitations and poor response of dairy genotypes are the two common features observed in most developing countries. One factor that has received little attention is the interaction effect of different diets with various dairy genotypes in these regions. Breeds which were developed in distinctly different environments may not perform similarly in other settings, particularly under different feeding regimes, due to a genotype by environment interaction. This study was therefore implemented to review the nutritional limitations in Ethiopia and the response of dairy genotypes to limited resources and the concomitant effect on individual milk consumption and seeking strategic feed supplementation option. Data on major feed supply, different feed supplementation experiences and the response of dairy genotypes were addressed from Ethiopia and some African and Asian countries. Therefore, the study indicated that, shortage of feed in terms of quality and quantity during the dry season is the main factor responsible for low productivity of dairy cows in most African countries including Ethiopia. As a result, the per capita milk consumption in Ethiopia is below the African average and far behind its neighboring countries. Efforts made so far to upgrade dairy genotypes brought hardly any improvement in milk production and consumption in Ethiopia. Therefore, using the collected data on available feed resources, productive and reproductive performance of dairy breeds, per capita milk consumption and benefit-cost ratio, future development and research intervention options are suggested and opportunities for utilizing breed differences based on response variables are outlined


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