This project report by Solomon Abegaz Kebede, Okeyo Mwai, Grum Gebreyesus, Aynalem Haile, Barbara Ann Rischkowsky, Solomon Gizaw and Tadelle Dessie was released by the International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI) in August 2014.
Ethiopia is home, excluding some pastoral areas of Afar and Somali regions, to approximately 24 million goats. Goats are amongst the commonest farm animal species which sustain the livelihoods of smallholder farmers, pastoralists and agropastoralists alike. They fulfil various functions such as generating cash income, serving as household security, accumulating capital, and fulfilling cultural obligations.
Goat production in Ethiopia contributes significantly to national export earnings and the livelihoods of producers, especially poor rural households. Across the whole country, goats provide meat, milk, cash, skins, manure and security (insurance), as well as banking and gifts.
The total goat population of Ethiopia has increased by 30 per cent in the last 12 years. Goats comprise 5.32 per cent of the total tropical livestock units of Ethiopia, contribute an estimated 12 to 14 per cent of meat products, 10.5 per cent of milk production and 6 per cent of all animals exported.
This report reviews past and present goat research and development activities in Ethiopia, drawing key lessons, identifying key constraints and opportunities, and suggesting research and development interventions to improve goat production and productivity.