The study aimed to assess dairy production and marketing systems in Bona district of Sidama Region, Ethiopia. The district was stratified into urban/peri-urban and rural production systems based on the distance from the Woreda town, market orientation, improved breed availability, and production systems. Each production system was further stratified into Peasant Association where urban/peri- urban system had 7 while rural had 21 Peasant Association. The percentage of Peasant Association selected from each production system was 20 (2 from urban/peri-urban and 4 from rural). A total of 150 households were selected and individually interviewed. Both structured and semi-structured questionnaires were used to collect data on milk production and marketing systems, and challenges hindering dairy development in the study area. The major farming activity across the sampled households was dairy production, and the major livestock feed resources used were natural pasture, crop residues and crop aftermaths. The average age at first calving, calving interval and lactation length based on household survey was 53.98±0.19, 25.88±0.13 and 8.9±0.08 months, respectively, for indigenous cows, and 36.98±0.20, 16.04±0.13, and 10.0±0.60 months, respectively, for crossbred dairy cows across both production systems. Milk and butter were found to be marketed mainly through informal marketing systems. Feed shortage, disease, lack of awareness on improved production and marketing practices, shortage of improved dairy cattle breeds and distance to marketing points were listed by the sampled households as the major constraints hindering dairy development in the study area. It is, therefore, concluded that introduction of market oriented extension system, creating access for inputs and establishment of market linkage are crucial to develop dairy in the Woreda.
Key words: Bona district; production systems; reproductive performance; milk and butter marketing.
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