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[en] It is well known that in rural and peri-urban areas of many developing countries, a primary source of fuel is biomass (wood and charcoal) and that access to the electricity grid is very limited. However, potential for people to select and purchase other energy products that offer improved energy services, like kerosene, batteries, wind generators, solar PV, LPG and small generators is much less understood. (Author)
[en] This article summarizes the results from an analysis conducted to investigate the spatio-temporal variability and trends in the rainfall over Ethiopia over a period of 31 years from 1980 to 2010. The data is mostly observed station data supplemented by bias-corrected AgMERRA climate data. Changes in annual and Belg (March–May) and Kiremt (June to September) season rainfalls and rainy days have been analysed over the entire Ethiopia. Rainfall is characterized by high temporal variability with coefficient of variation (CV, %) varying from 9 to 30% in the annual, 9 to 69% during the Kiremt season and 15–55% during the Belg season rainfall amounts. Rainfall variability increased disproportionately as the amount of rainfall declined from 700 to 100 mm or less. No significant trend was observed in the annual rainfall amounts over the country, but increasing and decreasing trends were observed in the seasonal rainfall amounts in some areas. A declining trend is also observed in the number of rainy days especially in Oromia, Benishangul-Gumuz and Gambella regions. Trends in seasonal rainfall indicated a general decline in the Belg season and an increase in the Kiremt season rainfall amounts. The increase in rainfall during the main Kiremt season along with the decrease in the number of rainy days leads to an increase in extreme rainfall events over Ethiopia. The trends in the 95th-percentile rainfall events illustrate that the annual extreme rainfall events are increasing over the eastern and south-western parts of Ethiopia covering Oromia and Benishangul-Gumuz regions. During the Belg season, extreme rainfall events are mostly observed over central Ethiopia extending towards the southern part of the country while during the Kiremt season, they are observed over parts of Oromia, (covering Borena, Guji, Bali, west Harerge and east Harerge), Somali, Gambella, southern Tigray and Afar regions. Changes in the intensity of extreme rainfall events are mostly observed over south-eastern parts of Ethiopia extending to the south-west covering Somali and Oromia regions. Similar trends are also observed in the greatest 3-, 5- and 10-day rainfall amounts. Changes in the consecutive dry and wet days showed that consecutive wet days during Belg and Kiremt seasons decreased significantly in many areas in Ethiopia while consecutive dry days increased. The consistency in the trends over large spatial areas confirms the robustness of the trends and serves as a basis for understanding the projected changes in the climate. These results were discussed in relation to their significance to agriculture.
[en] In Ethiopia, higher proportions of pregnant women are anemic. Despite the efforts to reduce iron deficiency anemia during pregnancy, only few women took an iron supplement as recommended. Thus, this study aimed to assess compliance with iron-folate supplement and associated factors among antenatal care attendant mothers in Misha district, South Ethiopia. Method. Community based cross-sectional study supported with in-depth interview was conducted from March 1 to March 30, 2015. The sample size was determined using single population proportion to 303. Simple random sampling technique was used to select the study participants. Bivariate and multivariable logistic regression analyses were employed to identify factors associated with compliance to iron-folate supplement. Results. The compliance rate was found to be 39.2%. Mothers knowledge of anemia (AOR = 4.451, 95% CI = (2.027,9.777)), knowledge of iron-folate supplement (AOR = 3.509, 95% CI = (1.1442,8.537)), and counseling on iron-folate supplement (AOR = 4.093, 95% CI = (2.2002,8.368)) were significantly associated with compliance to iron-folate supplement. Conclusions. Compliance rate of iron-folate supplementation during pregnancy remains very low. This study showed that providing women with clear instructions about iron-folate tablet intake and educating them on the health benefits of the iron-folate tablets can increase compliance with iron-folate supplementation.
[en] Aim of study: To review and provide all-purpose information about wild mushrooms in Ethiopia and to create awareness for conservation and use of mycological resources. Area of study: We focused mainly on Ethiopia, where information about wild mushrooms is scanty and their status is unknown under the rampant degradation of the habitats. Main results: We reviewed all relevant references related to wild mushrooms and their ecological niches, cultural practices and species used for cultivation as well as the anthropogenic factors affecting the conservation of fungal diversity. Research highlights: This review summarizes issues related to the diversity of wild mushrooms, the main ecological niches and their associated fungal species, and mushroom cultivation practices in Ethiopia. Moreover, threats and the need for future conservation of wild mushrooms in the country are also reported. This review paper can serve as base line information and indicator for further mycological studies in Ethiopia as well as in other developing countries with similar scenarios.
[en] Pastoral, agro-pastoralism and transhumanance cattle production systems are important determinants of livelihoods in the semi-arid areas of north-western, southern and eastern parts of Ethiopia. The highlands are important for mixed crop-livestock enterprise, while the arid to semi-arid lowlands, that occupy 61% of the land area, are dominated by livestock production. The livestock species and breeds in these production systems have been traditionally selected, over millennia, to adapt to the challenges of the agro-ecologies. This initiative was undertaken in the arid to semi-arid lowlands of Metema district, which shares a 60 Km border with the Sudan, in North Gondar Zone of Amhara Region. The total area of the district is 440,000 ha, and 72% is covered with forest and rangeland, while 23.6% is cultivated. The cattle population is estimated at 136,910. Sesame-livestock followed by cotton-livestock production are the dominant farming systems. Although the Gumuz people are native in the district, most of the land is occupied by settlers from the highlands of Amhara and Tigray Regions. As a result, the dominant cattle population is the highland Zebu (mainly Fogera cattle breed crossed with other highland Zebu) brought by the highlanders. Rutana and Felata cattle breeds constitute a smaller proportion of the total cattle population. As a result, there is a mismatch between the cattle genotype and the environment. The major problems associated with cattle production are diseases and biting flies, water shortage, heat stress, long distance to watering points and grazing areas. Cattle production is therefore, characterized by high pre-weaning calf mortality (35-40%), slow growth rates, low fertility and calving rates, low milk yield and carcass weight. Breeding is entirely based on natural mating, and farmers' selection is based on milk yield, body conformation and colour; with considerations to disease resistance, heat tolerance and draft power potential. Table I presents the productive and reproductive performances of highland Zebu cows in the lowland agro-ecology. There is an evolving market-oriented cattle-fattening system in the district due to the increased domestic demand for meat and also the expanding export opportunity of live animals to the Sudan and other neighbouring countries. As a result, farmers are demanding for more adapted and productive animals. In response to this challenge, the Improving Productivity and Market Success (IPMS) project of ILRI examined the performance of a number of indigenous lowland breeds and decided to introduce and test the most promising indigenous Borana cattle breed in Metema. The Borana cattle breed is found in the semi-arid lowland areas of Borana in Ethiopia and the adjoining areas of Kenya. The production system is a pastoral and semi-pastoral that makes use of marginal resources in the area. The Borana cattle is known for its heat and drought tolerance, good walking capacity, faster growth rate, higher fertility and superior meat production potential. With an overall aim of enhancing a market-oriented cattle production system under a tropical environment, the IPMS project introduced pure Borana bulls for natural mating with highland Zebu cows. In addition, over 400 highland Zebu cows were hormonally oestrus synchronized and artificially inseminated with Borana semen. This paper explains the new approach, the processes involved and the results achieved so far in an attempt to match genotype with the environment through introduction of the indigenous Borana cattle into the lowlands of north western Ethiopia. (author)
[en] Full text: Both revealed and stated preference approaches were employed to determine the values attached to the different features of indigenous cattle in central Ethiopia. For the revealed preference analysis a hedonic model was employed to examine the determinants of cattle prices in the primary rural markets of central Ethiopia. Transaction level data of cattle farmers and farmer-traders were used in the analyses. Data collected in rural markets to identify cattle price determinants result in estimates with standard errors that are mostly heteroscedastic. We employed SHM estimations to account for heteroscedastic errors. The empirical estimation of revealed preferences showed that market place, seasonal differences, sex and function based classification of cattle, body size, and age were very important factors influencing the market prices cattle sellers receive. The significance of the characteristics of animals in influencing prices paid for the animals reveals the importance of the preferences for traits in the decision-making process related to buying and selling of cattle. These preferences at the farmers and farmer-traders levels are the ones that matter most in shaping up the diversity of animals kept at farm level. This diversity of the cattle genetic resources is essential for generating or identifying best-suited breeds of cattle in the context of the livelihood objectives of the target community. Thus, the cattle breeding strategies and activities should duly consider the preferences expressed through the prices paid for animals in such markets, where the cattle keepers are the main sellers and buyers. For the stated preference analysis the study employed choice experiments (CE) and random parameters logit to elicit and analyze cattle trait preferences of buyers in the semi-subsistence livelihood systems of rural central Ethiopia. The results of the cows CE revealed that in areas where livestock serve multitude of purposes and where the production and marketing system is semi-subsistence, cows have other functions more important than milk production. Fertility, disease resistance and strength of the calves they bear are as much or more important than milk. The breed concept, which is very much associated in Ethiopia with the area where the animal is brought from, was found to be less important as such and it appears that farmers are interested in obtaining animals from the district or locations in which they live in. This is essentially because cattle buyers, who are mostly farmers, are more concerned about adaptability and therefore give high value to the fact that they know the pedigree of the cattle they buy. The results of the CE for bulls indicate that cattle buyers assign high values for good traction potential, disease resistance, calf vigour, and for places of origin when choosing bulls in the market. The preferences cattle buyers have for these attributes do vary essentially due to differences in occupation, education and age. The primary objective of the rural community to produce sufficient food for the family for each year was manifested through the value assigned to traction potential which is more than twice that of disease resistance. These results are consistent with the basic reasons why animals are kept in the area, but appear to be incoherent with the government funded interventions of livestock development. Given the importance of livestock, bulls in particular, for the livelihoods of the communities in rural Ethiopia, such consistent valuation of the traits show that the objectives of the agrarian life are quite clear among the community - farmers, farmer traders, traders, and others - that production and marketing decisions are made on broader considerations than just milk and meat production. The government of Ethiopia needs to revise the structure of the livestock improvement programs still running and needs to make note of the important details that influence the production, marketing and utilization of livestock products. The small-holder community in this part of Ethiopia depends on semi subsistence agriculture and so livestock development interventions should focus on reproductive and adaptive traits that stabilize the herd structure, rather than focusing on traits that are only important for commercial purposes. It can also be observed that improving these traits of cattle owned by smallholder farmers in the area will facilitate adoption of the innovations or improvements instead of bringing over cattle from unknown sources and obviously with low adaptability. (author)
[en] Breast cancer is the most prevalent form of cancer in Ethiopia of all female cancers. It is considered to be a progressive disease with a poor prognosis if detected late. Breast self-examination is an important prevention method of breast cancer. This study was aimed at assessing practice and associated factors of breast self-examination (BSE) among female Debre Berhan University students in Ethiopia. Methods. A cross-sectional study was conducted in 2015 among 420 using self-administrated questionnaire. Multistage sampling technique was used to select the study participants. Bivariate and multivariate logistic regression analysis were done. Results. Majority of the study participants, 338 (84.5%), were between 20 and 24 years old with the mean age of 21.1 ± 1.65. Only 14 (3.5%) had family history of breast cancer. Two hundred fifty-six (64%) of the participants had heard about BSE and 30.25% had good knowledge about BSE. Mass media were the most common source of information about breast cancer. Few of the participants (28.3%) had performed BSE. Lack of knowledge on how to perform BSE was cited as the main reason for not practicing BSE. Knowing how to perform, when to perform, and position to perform BSE and having a perception that BSE is important and useful to detect breast cancer were significant predictors of practices of BSE. Conclusions. This study revealed that most of the participants had low knowledge and practice of BSE. Therefore, it important to develop health educational programs in the university to raise awareness about BSE and breast cancer so as to practice self-breast examination