Full Length Research Paper
The aim of the survey was to assess artificial insemination (AI) service delivery system and identify the challenges and opportunities of AI service in cattle production in Western Zone of Tigray Region, Ethiopia. Twenty Kebeles (lowest administrative units) and 353 respondents were purposively involved in face-to-face interview. Data analysis was performed using SPSS and mainly summarized by frequency and percentages. Chi-square test was the statistical method used to test proportions of variables. There was statistically significant (P<0.05) differences in AI service interruptions in both regular working hours and weekends and holiday hours. AI service interruption was a critical challenge in regular working days and in weekends and holidays. This is because 73% of the respondents reported that AI service was interrupted in Monday through Friday and 75% of the respondents also reported that Artificial Insemination Technicians (AITs) were not available to deliver AI service in weekends and holidays. Above half (63%) of the small scale farmers reported that AITs were very poor. Most of the very poor AITs were in midland (48%) and lowland (36%) agro-ecologies compared to the AITs in highland (16%) agro-ecology. Mobile AI service delivery system through motor bikes was the most common AI service delivery system used. The major challenges of AI service in order of their importance were lack of community awareness, poor animal management, unskilled AITs and inadequacy of AITs. The government and NGOs should solve the current challenges of AI service. The current approach and system of AI delivery should be restructured. Adequate numbers of skilled manpower should be assigned based on the standard numbers of breedable cows per AI center or per AIT. Moreover, agro-ecology based human management system and infrastructure development should be adequately addressed.
Key words: Communication means, AI service interruption, distance between homestead and AI service center, AI service delivery system, agro-ecology.
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