Assessment of sheep production status in nkasi district, Rukwa region

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Sokoine university of Agriculture.


This study was conducted in two divisions namely Namanyere and Mkwamba of Nkasi district in Rukwa region in order to assess sheep production status for smallholder farmers. Eight wards namely Namanyere, Mtenga, Chala, Swaila, Kipande, Sintali, Kate and Isale were surveyed from November 2010 to April 2011. The random sampling technique was adopted to get 20 respondents from each of the selected wards. This means two villages from each ward were chosen randomly whereby in each village 10 respondents were interviewed. A structured questionnaire was used to collect data from smallholder farmers keeping sheep and was complimented by secondary data from the district council offices. The results showed that sheep strains mostly kept by smallholder farmers were variant crosses of local strains and Red Maasai. The strains were deemed to be tolerant to diseases/parasites, heat, drought and had better carcass. Extensive grazing system was adopted by most of smallholder farmers both during dry and wet seasons. Breeding was uncontrolled however, rams were selected basing on their body sizes, conformation and performance (e.g. number of lambs per ewe’s life time, age at first lambing and lambing intervals). Traits such as disease tolerance, drought and heat tolerance scored higher for most strains. Average age at first lambing was 6.5 months, the lambing interval was 3 months and the average number of lambs per ewe’s lifetime was 14 lambs. The constraints to sheep production mostly were poor market availability, endemic diseases and mortality of lambs. On marketing, fewer sheep were sold in the market compared to goats and the price was 22% lower than that of goats.



Sheep production, Smallholder farmers


Kapongo,R.Y2011).Assessment of sheep production status in nkasi district, Rukwa region .Morogoro;Sokoine university of Agriculture.