Article Index


Improving the Small-Scale Poultry: designing diseases prevention and control strategies, improving production, and enhancing marketing system in selected areas of Sidama Region, Ethiopia

PIs:  Gizachew Hailegebreal (Dr.) et al., 2022

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Executive Summary

This study was conducted to evaluate small-scale poultry production practices, major constraints and opportunities in selected districts of Sidama regional state, Ethiopia. The study was aimed to identify major health constraints, production practices, challenges and opportunities of small-scale poultry production in selected districts of Sidama regional state.

For identifying major health constraints in Shebedino and Dale districts, the chickens on the selected farms were monitored for morbidity and mortality every week. Diagnosis of different diseases was made based on the flock history, age of birds, clinical signs, characteristic gross and microscopic lesions, and fecal flotation technique for coccidiosis. Semi-structured questionnaires were also administered to gather information on the risk factors and farming practices. The incidence rate of morbidity and mortality in the studied farms was 16.14 and 12.69 per 1000 chicken-week at risk, respectively. The minimum and maximum incidence rates of morbidity were 2.02 and 58.43 cases per 1000 chicken-week at risk, respectively. The minimum and maximum incidence rates of mortality were 0.21 and 58.18 deaths per 1000 chicken-week at risk, respectively. Among the risk factors studied feed type, age of chickens, and number of sick chickens on farms were significantly associated (p<0.05) with the incidence of disease. Age of chickens and number of sick chickens found on the farms were significantly associated (p<0.05) with the incidence of death using multivariable logistic regression. Newcastle Disease (ND), Infectious Bursal Disease (IBD), Fowl typhoid, and Coccidiosis were the important diseases identified during the follow-up period in the study area. Of the overall mortality and morbidity, 90.48% and 42% were respectively attributed to ND. Infectious bursal disease and Coccidia co-infection occurred in 31.55% of chickens in the infected farms.

For identifying major health constraints in Hawassa city, the chickens on selected farms were monitored for morbidity and mortality twice per week. During each visit, clinical examination of sick birds and pathological investigation of dead birds were conducted. Cloaca samples were collected for isolation and identification of Salmonella spp. and E. coli. A questionnaire was also used to gather information on various aspects of the farms and flocks. Cox proportional hazard model was used to quantify the effects of various risk factors on the morbidity and mortality rates observed. Of the total 8976 chickens followed for five months, 106 of them developed clinical disease giving morbidity of 1.18 % (95 % CI: 0.97, 1.43). The overall morbidity rate was 2.37 (95 % CI: 1.94, 2.87) per 1000 chicken months. During the follow-up period, 101 of the chickens under study were found dead, yielding mortality of 1.13 % (95% CI: 0.92, 1.37) and a mortality rate of 2.26 (95% CI: 1.84, 2.75). Multivariable Cox regression analysis showed that farm hygiene, the experience of farm manager, housing condition, housing systems, the availability of veterinary services and age of chicken were important risk factors for morbidity and mortality. Out of 58 cloaca samples collected from sick chicken, 7 (12.07 %; 95 % CI: 4.99, 23.29) of them gave positive results for Salmonella spp., while 25 (43.10 %; 95 % CI: 30.16, 56.77) of them yielded positive results for E. coli.  Out of swabs collected from 8 randomly selected sick chickens after necropsy 3 (37.50 %) of them were found positive for Salmonella spp. whereas 4 (50.00 %) of them were positive for E. coli. Swabs were collected and cultured from 15 dead chickens and of these 2 (13.33 %) and 7 (46.67 %) of them were found positive for Salmonella spp. and E. coli, respectively. Farm hygiene, age of study chicken, and housing conditions were significantly associated with the occurrence of colibacillosis. Farm hygiene, age of chickens, and frequency of use of antibiotics were important risk factors of infection with Salmonella spp. The veterinary and public health authorities should take this into account. Identification of the serotypes of Salmonella spp. and E. coli isolated should be carried out.

For identifying production constraints, a total of 118 respondents (Hawassa city=33, Dale = 40, and Shebedino = 45) were selected purposively who were engaged in poultry production with a minimum of 50 chickens. Primary data were collected by using semi-structured questionnaires. According to this survey result, 42.79% of the small-scale poultry producers have completed diplomas and first-degree and above. About (57.36%) of the small-scale poultry producers were males. The majority (76.66%) of the respondent were having production experiences of between 1-5 years. The dominant flock structures of poultry in the study area were hens followed by pullets.  The majority of the poultry producers have purchased their chickens from private farms. In the study area, the dominant chicken breeds were exotic breeds. The major types of houses used for poultry production were separate houses and cages. Disease, high cost of feed, cannibalism, and predators were the major constraints affecting poultry production, productivities, and demand for poultry and poultry sector in the area. The major opportunities available are the increase in price and demand of chicken products, veterinary and extension services and feed access. It was concluded from this study that chickens production in the study areas was good but, it needs further work for improved and better health care, nutrition and better management.


Enhancing Food Security through Improved Productivity and Nutrition of Barley (Hordeum Vulgare) in Southern Ethiopia- Away Towards Food Security

PIs: Hewan Demissie (Ph.D.) et al.,2020

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Executive summary

Aluminum is one of the dominant elements on the earth's crust. This element is toxic to plants' growth and development if it is released in the form of an Aluminium ion (Al3+). Mostly, Aluminium stays as a metallic oxide, which is less toxic to plant growth. However, in Acidic conditions, this metallic oxide changes to Al3+ in the soil. The presence of such toxic metal will affect the growth and development of crop plants. This reduces the root growth which intern affects the acquisition of nutrients from the soil. The consequence of this is stunted growth and reduced grain yield and nutrients. Enhanced Aluminum tolerance is a major target for improving and sustaining food security in acidic soil. And barely is one of the most sensitive crop plants towards acidic soil/Al3+ toxicity.

However, the research identified that there are tolerant accessions or cultivars. Their tolerance mechanism to Al3+ toxicity is by releasing citrate and malate exudate. Recently researchers shed light that this process is controlled by a major gene called HvAACT1 (Al-activated citrate transporter 1), which is expressed in response to Aluminum toxicity. This gene is responsible for the formation of a protein family called MATE (multidrug and toxic compound extrusion), which extrude Aluminum ion. We proposed that polymorphisms in 1kb insertion in the 5’UTR (untranslated region) and 20 base pair deletion in the 3’ region of HvAACT1gene is responsible for the expression of this gene and controlling Aluminum tolerance in barely, or their paralogues affect variation in root morphology and consequently Aluminum tolerance. This project has three components: 1: Molecular and Soil Science component, 2. Agronomic component and 3. Nutritional Component.

The material for this research is two hundred 200 barley genotypes which are collected from the different zones of SNNPR and Sidama regional government barley growing areas. The collected samples are analyzed for changes in primary root length and root architecture under four different levels of Al3+ concentration at the seedling stage. The same sample was also characterized using DNA sequence variations (SNPs (single nucleotide polymorphism, Indels (insertion-deletion)) on the 1kb insertion in the 5’ and 20 bp deletion in the 3’ UTR region of HvAACT1gene from each barley line. The screening result identified ten barley lines that are tolerant under acidic conditions. Furthermore, a field experiment was conducted to evaluate the performance of tolerant barley lines against soil acidity with and /or without lime application with 11 barley accession (27895a, 208855b, 234911b, 212954b, 215453b, 215454a, 217176b, 234911, 240478, 244773 plus a check HB –1307) and with four fertilizer types (control, DAP, NPS and NPSB) and four barley genotypes (217176b, 240478, 234911b and 208855b) and one barley variety (HB- 1307) as a check on under acidic soil of Southern Ethiopia- Hagereselam, Sidama. The experiment was laid out in Split Plot Design with three replications in which lime (0 and 4.8 t ha-1 ) and fertilizer (control, DAP, NPS and NPSB) were assigned to sub-plots. Data on the yield and yield components were collected and subjected to ANOVA using SAS software. Results revealed that days to emergence and days to grain filling were highly significantly (P ≤ 0.001) affected by genotypes; while days to heading, days to maturity, numbers of the effective tiller, number of seed per spike, thousand-grain weight, - 7 - above-ground biomass, straw yield, grain yield, and harvest index were highly significantly (P ≤ 0.001) affected by main effects of lime and genotypes. The analysis of data revealed significant differences due to the interaction effects of lime and genotypes on plant height and spike length. The genotype 217176b has the highest mean grain yield of 3.75 t ha-1, the larger total biomass of 9.3 t ha-1 and a high harvest index of 40.33%. There was a statistically significant difference between 217176b and 215453b in terms of grain yield. The economic analysis revealed that the higher net benefit of 23432.5 Birr ha-1 was recorded for un-limed, and the lower benefit of 16277.7 Birr ha-1 was obtained for limed treatments. Similarly, genotypes gave the higher net benefits 217176b and 240478 of 44372.5 and 41187.5, respectively, Birr with an acceptable, marginal rate of return. Their marginal rates of return were 1479.08 and 716.56, in that order. Therefore, genotypes 217176b and 240478 are recommended for use by farmers on acidic soil conditions without the application of lime for barley production.

Even though liming has made positive contributions for various soil characteristics and productivity, its use cannot be recommended under the current condition due to the associated expenses. Given the fact that grain yield performance between the two genotypes in combinations either with NPSB or DAP is not statistically significant, either of the two genotypes (217176b and 240478) with the NPSB or DAP fertilizer can be forwarded as a working recommendation for the production of barley in acidic soils of Hagereselam and acidic soils of similar agro-ecologies in the highlands of Ethiopia. It would be worthwhile to perform farmer participatory experiment over more sites of the district with the inclusion of more lime rates to refine the findings and release varieties adapted to acid soil in Ethiopia and the world. The output of the research is ten Acid/Aluminium ion tolerant barely lines, training of six MSc students who got Excellent for their thesis project and presentation. The Manuscript for Agronomic research, molecular research and Nutritional research is under preparation. The identified barley lines should become a useful community resource for Aluminum and acid tolerance cultivation and breeding program.

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