Research Output

Improving the productivity of donkeys in Ethiopia.

  In Ethiopia, animal traction contributes significantly in supporting both rural and urban livelihoods. Draught
animals provide smallholder farmers and transport operators with vital power for agricultural and transport work, and is a major player in peri-urban economies. According to FAO (1995), 85 % of the Ethiopian population is engaged in agriculture and 90 percent of rural population use draught animals for various purposes. Production systems vary in which 19.6 % grow pure crops, 2 % keep livestock and 78 % are involved in mixed livestock production. Ethiopia has the largest livestock population in Africa, accounting for over 40 % of the GDP. Whether as pack animals or in pulling carts, animals are preferred
and dominate the transport services sector. The choice of animals and systems of use in particular areas for transport is mainly based on socio-economic and environmental factors. In Ethiopia, there are over 5.2 million donkeys (FAOSTAT 2002) and they are increasingly becoming a means of livelihood, playing a crucial role in transport services in peri-urban
households. Unfortunately, ownership, utilization and management of donkeys are at a very low level in most resource-poor areas.
The objective of the survey was to reduce incidence of sores in donkeys by modification of harness and saddle designs. The survey focused on three regions and assessed how best donkeys can be utilized to optimize their work potential. The research examined study area-specific harnessing characteristics and assets
that may constrain or offer opportunities for better donkey management, aimed at sustained peri-urban transport provision.

  • Publication Status:


  • Library of Congress:

    QL Zoology


Ocheing, F., Alemayahu, M. & Smith, D. (2002). Improving the productivity of donkeys in Ethiopia



Ethiopia; draught animals; animal traction; donkeys; animal welfare; animal health;

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