To increase the efficiency of artificial insemination (AI) and improve reproductive performance of dairy cattle, different governmental organizations (GOs) and non-governmental organizations (NGOs) have been conducting field level estrus synchronization followed by AI in different locations in Ethiopia. However, success rates varied from low to moderate between locations. North Shewa Zone of Amhara Region was among the areas where on-farm estrus synchronization was applied and resulted with very poor success. Therefore, this study was undertaken to assess factors that influenced the success of previously implemented field level estrus synchronization programs. A total of 144 smallholder dairy producers (121 men, 23 women) were interviewed to identify certain factors which affected the previous on-farm estrus synchronization programs. Nearly 64% of respondents had participated in the studied dairy cattle estrus synchronization program which was implemented in 2013 and 2014. Participation of farmers in estrus synchronization program was positively affected by the advancement of educational level being 57.5% illiterates, 64.3% reading and writing, 67.6% 1 to 6th grade and 68% above grade 7. About 53% of respondents did not have awareness in dairy cattle estrus synchronization technology at the time of implementation. About 59.72% of farmers who have awareness about estrus synchronization gave negative feedback towards the technology. The proportion of respondents who gave negative feedback towards the technology attributed to 88.3, 6.98 and 4.65% for poor pregnancy rate, poor heat response and unavailability of the service, respectively. Due to lack of awareness and feed resources, the majority of farmers (68.48%) do not supplement breeding cows/heifers. Inaccessibility of AI and improved bull service; heat detection problems; lack of awareness of farmers and poor cattle management systems were the major factors which are causing low pregnancy rate (20.18%) of the studied synchronization program.
Key words: Awareness, dairy cattle, estrus synchronization, pregnancy rate.
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