Associations between sources of information and animal health knowledge of rural farmers in central Ethiopia

Andrew Stringer, Rob Christley, Catriona Bell, Feseha Gebreab, Gebre Tefera, Karen Reed, Andrew Trawford, Gina Pinchbeck


This study explored the information sources through which working donkey owners and users in Ethiopia acquire knowledge about donkey health and husbandry practices. Individual interviews, a Participatory Situation Analysis (PSA) and a cross-sectional study with rural farmers were utilised to develop an understanding of the existing sources of information concerning donkey health and husbandry, and determine the association with the knowledge of farmers. Numerous sources were utilized by owners for information regarding health and husbandry advice for donkeys. Most owners reported that the sources were unreliable with regards to the information they provided on donkey health and husbandry. Knowledge score of participants increased as the number of information sources contacted increased. Knowledge score also increased with increasing education level, literacy ability and radio access. A significant association between knowledge score and age was identified, with knowledge score decreasing in older individuals. Multilevel linear regression models revealed a number of variables, including formal education level and cattle ownership to be significantly associated with knowledge score. We conclude that a range of factors can affect the knowledge level of an individual concerning donkey health and husbandry, and that individuals with more diverse knowledge sources have higher knowledge scores. The relationship between specific farmer variables and animal health knowledge is complex, and it may be necessary to use different sources and channels to transfer and disseminate information to individuals living in rural Ethiopia.


knowledge; information; animal health; donkey; farmer; Ethiopia


Agitew, G., Yehuala, S., Demissie, A., Dagnew, A. (2018). Technology gaps of agricultural extension: Mismatch between demand and supply in North Gondor zone, Ethiopia. Journal of Agricultural Extension and Rural Development. 10(8), 144-149.

Belay, K., Degnet, A. (2004). Challenges Facing Agricultural Extension Agents: A Case Study from South-Western Ethiopia. African Development Review 16 (1), 139-68.

Curran, M.M., Feseha, G., and Smith, D.G. (2005). The Impact of Access to Animal Health Services on Donkey Health and Livelihoods in Ethiopia.Tropical Animal Health and Production 37(l), 47-65.

David, M.M., Samuel, H.S. (2014). The role of agriculture extension in the 21st century: Reflections from Africa. International Journal of Agricultural Extension. 02(01), 89-93.

Davis, K., Franzel, S., Hildebrand, P., Irani, T., Place, N. (2004). Extending technologies among small-scale farmers in Meru, Kenya: Ingredients for success in farmer groups. The Journal of Agricultural Education and Extension. 10, 53-62.

de Silva, D.N., Garforth, C. (1997). The effectiveness of different radio programme formats for the dissemination of information on the safe use of insecticides in paddy cultivation in Mahaweli system-C of Sri Lanka. Tropical Agricultural Research. 9, 302-316.

Elias, A., Nohmi, M., Yasunobu, K., Ishida, A. (2015). Farmers' satisfaction with agricultural extension service and its influencing factors: A case study in North West Ethiopia. Journal of Agricultural Science and Technology. 18, 39-53.

FAO. (2016). FAOSTAT website. Available: Accessed: 2018 Jan 16.

Granovetter, M. (1973). The strength of weak ties. American Journal of Sociology. 78, 1360-1380.

Hogset, H. (2005). Social Networks and Technology Adoption. Paper Presentation: American Agricultural Economics Association Annual Meeting.

Kassa, B. (2003). Agricultural. Extension in Ethiopia: The Case of Participatory Demonstration and Training Extension System. Journal of Social Development in Africa, 49(4), 105-16.

Knowler, D., Bradshaw, B. (2007). Farmers' adoption of conservation agriculture: A review and synthesis of recent research. Food Policy. 32, 25-48.

Krishnan, P., Patnam, M. (2014). Neighbors and Extension Agents in Ethiopia: Who Matters More for Technology Adoption? American Journal of Agricultural Economics, 96(1), 308-27.

Mbada-Obura, S., Tabu, I.M., Amudavi, D.M., Obura, R.K. (2017). Deteriminants of choice of agricultural information sources and pathways among sorghum farmers in Ndhiwa sub-county, western Kenya. International Jpurnal of Agricultural Extension. 05(01), 39-49.

Tewodaj, M., Cohen, M., Birner, R., Lemma, M., Tadesse, F., Paulos, Z. (2009). Agricultural Extension in Ethiopia through a Gender and Governance Lens.

Msuya, C.P., Annor-Frempong, F.K., Magheni, M.N., Agunga, R., Igodan, C.O., Ladele, A.A., Huhela, K., Tselaesele, N.M., Msatilomo, H., Chowa, C., Zwane, E., Miiro, R., Bukeyn, C., Kima, L.A., Meliko, M., Ndiaye, A. (2017). The role of agricutural extension in Africa's devleopemnt, the importance of extension workers and the need for change. International Journal of Agricutural Extension, 05 (01), 59-70.

Nguthi, F.N. (2008). Adoption of agricultural innovations by smallholder farmers in the context of HIV/AIDS: The case of tissue-cultured banana in Kenya. Wageningen Academic Publishers. The Netherlands.

Ong'ayo, A.H., Onyango, C.A., Ochola, W.W. (2016). Small-scale farmers' perceptions towards demand driven system of agricultural extension service delivery. Case study of Siaya and Kilifi counties in Kenya. International Journal of Agricultural Extension. 04(01), 01-09.

Pearson, R A., M Alemayehu, Tesfaye, A., Allan, E. F., Smith, D.G., Asfaw, M. (2001). Use and Management of Donkeys in Peri-Urban Areas of Ethiopia. University of Edinburgh.

Pritchard, J C., Lindberg, A.C., Main, D.C.J., Whay, H.R. (2005). Assessment of the Welfare of Working Horses, Mules and Donkeys, Using Health and Behaviour Parameters. Preventive Veterinary Medicine 69 (3-4), 265-83.

Pritchard, J. C. (2010). Animal Traction and Transport in the 21st Century: Getting the Priorities Right. Veterinary Journal, 186 (3), 271-74.

Seboka, B., Deressa, A. (1999). Validating farmers' indigenous social networks for local seed supply in central rift valley of Ethiopia. The Journal of Agricultural Education and Extension. 6, 245-254.

Sseguya, H., Mazur, R., Abbott, E., Matsiko, F. (2012). Information and communication for rural innovation and development: context, quality and priorities in Southeast Uganda. The Journal of Agricultural Education and Extension, 18, 55-70.

Stringer, A.P., Christley, R.M., Bell, C.E., Gebreab, F., Tefera, G., Reed, K., Trawford, A., Pinchbeck, G.L. (2017). Owner Reported Diseases of Working Equids in Central Ethiopia. Equine Veterinary Journal, 49(4), 501-6.

Stringer, A.P., Bell, C.E., Christley, R.M., Gebreab, F., Tefera, G., Reed, K., Trawford, A., Pinchbeck, G.L. (2011). A Cluster-Randomised Controlled Trial to Compare the Effectiveness of Different Knowledge-Transfer Interventions for Rural Working Equid Users in Ethiopia. Preventive Veterinary Medicine 100, 90-99.

Tesfaye, A., Jemal, I., Ferede, S., Martin Curran, M. (2005). Technology Transfer Pathways and Livelihood Impact Indicators in Central Ethiopia. Tropical Animal Health and Production, 37, 1, 101-22.

Valente, T.W., Watkins, S.C., Jato, M.N., Van der Straten, A., Tsitsol, L.M. (1997). Social network associations with contraceptive use among Cameroonian women in voluntary associations. Social Science and Medicine. 45, 677-687.

Valente, T.W., Kim, Y.M., Lettenmaier, C., Glass, W., Valente, B.T.W. (1994). Radio Promotion of Family Planning in the Gambia. International Family Planning Perspectives. 20, 96-100.

Van den Ban, A.W., Hawkins, H. (1996). Agricultural Extension. Blackwell Science Ltd.

Edilegnaw, W., Yalew, A. (2007). Farmers' Variety Attribute Preferences: Implications for Breeding Priority Setting and Agricultural Extension Policy in Ethiopia. African Development Review 19(2), 379-96.

Weir, S., Knight, J. (2000). Adoption and Diffusion of Agricultural Innovations in Ethiopia: The Role of Education. Economic Development and Cultural Change, 53, 93-113.

WHO. (2008). A Guide to Developing Knowledge, Attitude and Practice Surveys. World Health Organisation, 1-68., communication and social mobilization for TB control: a guide to developing knowledge, attitude and practice surveys. WHO/HTM/STB/2008.46.

Worku, A.A. (2017). The effectiveness of farmers research group approach in potato technology dissemination and adoption case study of the western part of Ethiopia. International Journal of Agricultural Extension. 05 (02), 43-49.

Yohannes, K., Gunjal, K., Coffin, G. (1990). Adoption of New Technologies in Ethiopian Agriculture: The Case of Tegulet-Bulga District, Shoa Province. Agricultural Economics, 4, 27-43.

Full Text: PDF XPS

DOI: 10.33687/ijae.007.02.2857


  • There are currently no refbacks.

Copyright (c) 2019 Andrew Stringer, Rob Christley, Catriona Bell, Feseha Gebreab, Gebre Tefera, Karen Reed, Andrew Trawford, Gina Pinchbeck

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License.