Genotype Program

Project strategy:

  • Provide producers and pastoralists with more productive crossbred sheep and goats;
  • Obtain support from meat and tannery industries for crossbred small ruminant production

Key Activities:

  • Introduce improved genotypes of Boer goats and Dorper sheep

    225 animals (105 Boer goats and 120 Dorper sheep) were imported in July 2007. The animals underwent a thorough health care, immunization and disease investigation protocol at the Embryo Plus Quarantine Center in South Africa and also at the quarantine facility at Sebeta constructed by the ESGPIP.

  • Establish nucleus flocks/herds of imported Boer goats (Hawassa University and ATRC) and Dorper sheep (Melka Werer Research Center and Fafen)

    Nucleus sites have been established Awassa, Adami Tulu, Melkawerer and Fafen (click on the interactive map below to see details of each nucleus site). Mating of the pure exotic breeds has been on-going since December 2007 and the current number of pure breed is 177 Boer goats and 202 Dorper sheep.

  • Establish Breeding, Evaluation, and Distribution (BED) sites to produce crossbred animals for distribution to farmers

    BED sites at ten locations in different parts of the country were constructed (click on the interactive map below to see details of each BED site). The main purpose of the BED sites is to produce crossbred animals of designated breeds to supply to producers, markets or abattoirs. In addition to having a BED site at each of the four Nucleus sites, five more BED sites have been established by the ESGPIP. This means, there is at least one BED site in each of the ESGPIP target regions (Afar, Amhara, Oromia, SNNPR, Somali and Tigray). The BED sites were selected mainly based on the proximity to the small ruminant production potential areas and export route. A tenth BED site has been established by the Haramaya University to cross Dorper sheep with Blackhead Somali and Hararghe Highland sheep. To achieve the primary function of BED sites, approximately 100 females of most prevalent and preferred indigenous genotypes have been assembled at BED sites. Cross breeding has already started at many of the BED sites and crosses are being born.

  • Develop record keeping system

    Record keeping systems have been developed to be used at the Nucleus and BED sites. Individual animal recording formats to record periodic body weight, mating performance, lambing/kidding performance and health care interventions have been developed and are being used at all sites. In addition to this an electronic database system has been developed and is being tested at the Nucleus sites. This will be further developed and simplified to be used at the BED sites. A preliminary training on the Access based database operation has been given to four data managers from the four Nucleus sites and one person from ESGPIP office. Records will then be used to select animals for replacements and breeding at the Nucleus and BED sites or identify those to be culled based on their performance.

  • Distribution and performance monitoring of improved genotype crossbreds and purebreds
  • Promote establishment of private crossbred male Boer goat and Dorper sheep Stations
  • Transfer animal ownership at Nucleus and BED sites and achieve operation as independent, enterprise-like businesses (Recommendations 2, 5, and 6 of the mid-term evaluation)


  • Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development
  • Regional Bureaus of Agriculture
  • Universities and research centers
  • Private producers
  • Ethiopian Tanners Association
  • Ethiopian Meat Exporters Association
  • Abattoir owners

Adami Tulu