P. Nyabinwa1,3, O. B. Kashongwe3 , J. P. Habimana2 , C. d’Andre Hirwa1 and B. O. Bebe3*
1Rwanda Agriculture and Animal Resources Development Board,
P. O. Box 5016, Kigali-Rwanda.
2Department of Animal Sciences, Faculty of Agriculture, Egerton University,
P.O. Box 536, Egerton, Kenya.
*Corresponding Author: firstname.lastname@example.org, +254 51 2217991/2
Endometritis is a prevalent disease in postpartum cows resulting in substantial economic losses due to decreases in productivity and profitability of the dairy farms. Therefore, knowledge on effectiveness of management interventions (MIs) towards endometritis are essential to make good decisions on its preventive measures and improve dairy cow’s productivity. The objective of this study was to gather opinion from smallholder dairy farmers in Rwanda on the effectiveness of different MIs implemented when an endometritis positive case was observed in their herd two years preceding the survey. In this cross-sectional study, the best-worst scaling technique was performed from September 2018 to March 2019, and included responses from 154 dairy farmers identified through snowball sampling method. Results indicate that 12 out 20 MIs were scored highly for effectiveness and the top three were avoiding equipment-sharing with neighbouring farms, followed by consultation of veterinarian about treatment of endometritis case and washing the hands and udder before each milking. MIs related to equipment sharing into or with neighbouring farms and hygiene in cowshed, control of reproduction traits and breeding services and reduce the risks of contamination within and between farms were scored most effective, whereas MIs related to veterinary intervention and metabolic diseases management were scored least effective. These findings lead to greater understanding of farmer perceptions on the effectiveness of implemented MIs that they believed a priori that were important on their dairy farms. This is serving as an indicator of future levels of MIs adoption once the awareness and capacity building to increase knowledge about the MIs and endometritis among smallholder dairy farmers are prioritized by decision-makers.
Keywords: Best-worst, implementation, disease prevention, scores, reproduction traits