International Journal of
Livestock Production

  • Abbreviation: Int. J. Livest. Prod.
  • Language: English
  • ISSN: 2141-2448
  • DOI: 10.5897/IJLP
  • Start Year: 2009
  • Published Articles: 188

Full Length Research Paper

Phenotypic characterization of the West Africa dwarf goats and the production system in Liberia

Arthur Bob Karnuah
  • Arthur Bob Karnuah
  • Department of Livestock and Fishery, Central Agricultural Research Institute, Suakoko, Bong County, Liberia.
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Richard Osei-Amponsah
  • Richard Osei-Amponsah
  • Department of Animal Science, School of Agriculture, University of Ghana, Legon, Ghana.
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Gregory Dunga
  • Gregory Dunga
  • Department of Livestock and Fishery, Central Agricultural Research Institute, Suakoko, Bong County, Liberia.
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Arthur Wennah
  • Arthur Wennah
  • Department of Livestock and Fishery, Central Agricultural Research Institute, Suakoko, Bong County, Liberia.
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Walter T. Wiles
  • Walter T. Wiles
  • Department of Livestock and Fishery, Central Agricultural Research Institute, Suakoko, Bong County, Liberia.
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Paul Boettcher
  • Paul Boettcher
  • Animal Genetic Resources Branch, Animal Production and Health Division, Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nation.
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  •  Received: 01 June 2018
  •  Accepted: 27 July 2018
  •  Published: 30 September 2018

Abstract

Data on characterization of animal genetic resources are valuable in the development of breeding and conservation schemes to ensure their sustainable use. A survey was conducted to collect baseline data on the phenotypic characteristics, production system, traits of economic importance and challenges faced by goat farmers in Liberia. The survey was carried out in the 15 counties of Liberia and covered 1314 animals in their production environments. 1267 respondents participated in this study. A pre-tested structured questionnaire, group discussions and in-depth interviews were used in the data collection. Phenotypic descriptors were directly measured using a measuring tape and weighing scale. Results indicated that Liberia goats are predominantly West Africa dwarf (WAD) breed (99%) and either docile or moderate in temperament. Majority of WAD goats have solid/uniform/plain coat colour pattern (68%) and black or white coat colour (63%). Most goats are horned (70%) and have curved horns (50%). The main motivation for keeping local goats is their relative adaptation to the environment, fast growth and efficient meat production. Average body weight, body length, chest girth and height at withers were 39 kg, 65, 79 and 51 cm, respectively. Government should address the issue of feed, access to veterinary care and medicines, disease control and also assist goat farmers to put up housing and fencing for their animals. There is a need for the government to improve policies on AnGR management in Liberia. In particular, the recently adopted NSAP on AnGR which provides a clear framework for the development of the livestock sector should be validated and implemented by the MOA/CARI and other stakeholders. In situ and ex situ conservation strategies including establishment of national breeding and conservation centres and community-based breeding programs for goat farmers  are viable options which should be pursued.

Key words: Liberia, phenotypic characterization, West African dwarf goat, production system, AnGR.