Economic performance of small ruminants in mixed-farming systems of Southern Ethiopia

Getahun Legesse*, Marianna Siegmund-Schultze, Girma Abebe, Anne Valle Zárate

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

9 Citations (Scopus)


This study evaluates the household income contribution and the profitability of traditional small ruminant enterprises in two mixed-farming systems of southern Ethiopia (viz. Adilo and Kofele). Small ruminant production is an integral part of mixed systems in the Ethiopian highlands. The assessment of the current economic performance of small ruminants indicates production-related opportunities and constraints and provides baseline data against which the success of future interventions can be measured. Detailed information on economic parameters was gathered through a 1-year period of flock and household monitoring (155 households) between September 2005 and August 2006. Structured surveys were conducted with the participating households to elicit information on incomeexpense details of small ruminant and other agricultural enterprises. Small ruminants contributed considerably to cash income and to a limited extent to human nutrition especially when other sources were in short supply. The annual profit per animal ranged from 20 to 37 Ethiopian Birr. The return to capital was 17% in Kofele and 29% in Adilo, with both values vastly exceeding the national interest rate. The sale of small ruminants contributed to 39% and 23% of total farm cash income among small ruminant keepers in Adilo and Kofele, respectively. Sale prices are highest before holidays. Researches should target at how to use available feed resources in a timely and cost-effective fashion to make use of the seasonal market opportunities.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1531-1539
Number of pages9
JournalTropical Animal Health and Production
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2010
Externally publishedYes


  • Economic performance
  • Enterprise budgeting
  • Ethiopia
  • Marketing
  • Mixed farming
  • Small ruminants


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