The effects of zero grazing in Ethiopia

E. De Cao, M.M. van den Berg, C.Y. Tizale, T. Wondwosen

Research output: Contribution to conferenceConference paper


In the high lands of Ethiopia, almost every plot of farmland is allotted for crop husbandry, leaving no or only road sides and marginal lands for grazing. However, land is scarce in these areas and this limits the role of crop production in poverty alleviation and it also limits the availability of local off-farm employment. Moreover, with the years, livestock feed has become scarce and crop residues are the major feed source for the animals. This feed problem also potentially affects crop production, if the straw is eaten for example, this affects soil quality negatively. Therefore, a potentially useful innovation against low productivity and limited availability of feed is a zero grazing approach. The aim of this approach is to reduce the number of animals to a level that can be supported by the available resources. This means shifting from the traditional type of livestock husbandry to a system that focuses on the quality and performance of the livestock. An Ethiopian NGO implemented a project that focuses on zero grazing and improved heifer production targeted towards 1,700 farm households in Akaki and Ada’a districts and East Shoa Zone of Oromia National Regional State. In these areas a further motivation to implement the zero grazing is the high potential for dairy production, given that a market (the capital Addis Ababa) is relatively close and accessible. The main goal of this paper is to understand if zero grazing is a way out of poverty and if dairy production is a good and feasible strategy to reduce poverty in Ethiopia.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 2013
EventCSAE Conference 2013: Economic Development in Africa, Oxford, UK -
Duration: 17 Mar 201319 Mar 2013


ConferenceCSAE Conference 2013: Economic Development in Africa, Oxford, UK


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