Advertisement

Ecosystems

, Volume 8, Issue 6, pp 668–681 | Cite as

The Distribution of Grazing Pressure in Relation to Vegetation Resources in Semi-arid West Africa: The Role of Herding

  • Matthew D. TurnerEmail author
  • Pierre Hiernaux
  • Eva Schlecht
Article

Abstract

In semi-arid West Africa, livestock are increasingly managed by sedentary producers in close proximity to expanding cropped lands. To evaluate the agricultural and environmental implications of this trend, a study was conducted to investigate the effect of grazing management on the spatial distribution of grazing pressure, the forage provided animals during the grazing period, and local herd-forage ratios across three agropastoral landscapes characterized by varying cultivation pressure. During the 19-month study period, data on herbaceous vegetation, livestock populations, and grazing itineraries were collected. These data were referenced to land units averaging 70 ha in area. Using this approach, each of 3,819 grazing itineraries was characterized as to: 1. the sum of the products of the palatable forage mass of a particular land unit and the time spent grazing by the herd within that unit (FAT, expressed in kg-hours ha−1); and 2. the average palatable herbaceous forage mass encountered by livestock across the itinerary weighted by the time spent in the land units crossed (FA, expressed in kg ha−1). The spatial dispersion of livestock grazing around human settlements was found to decline with a reduction in herding labor investment (herded>herd-release>free pasture). Multiple regression analyses of itinerary data demonstrate that both FAT and FA also decline with a reduction in herding labor investment. Herded and herd-release managed livestock were offered more palatable forage and grazed areas of higher forage availability than free-pastured animals. This supports arguments that as the investment of time and effort into herding declines, feed supply to livestock will decline and the potential for grazing-induced environmental change will increase.

Keywords

agropastoralism cultivation pressure forage availability environmental monitoring GIS livestock management Niger 

Notes

Acknowledgements

This research was primarily funded by the International Livestock Research Institute. In addition, authors received support from the Graduate School of the University of Wisconsin, from the Rockefeller Foundation as a Social Science Research Fellowship and from the German Research Foundation (DFG) as a Mercator grant. We are indebted to the farmers and herders of the study area, whose patience and participation greatly improved the quality of the research. We thank Amadou Sodja, Oumarou Moumouni, Soumana Amadou, and Amadou Kalilou for assistance in data collection.

References

  1. Amanor KS. 1995. Dynamics of herd structures and herding strategies in West Africa: A study of market integration and ecological adaptation. Africa 65(3):351–94Google Scholar
  2. Beauvilain A. 1977. Les Peul du Dallol Bosso. Niamey, Niger: Institut de Recherche en Sciences Humaines. 274 pGoogle Scholar
  3. Bonfiglioli AM. 1990. Pastoralisme, agro-pastoralisme et retour: itinéraires sahéliens. Cahiers des Sciences Humaines 26(1–2):255–66Google Scholar
  4. Bosma RH, Bos M, Kanté S, Kébé D, Quak W. 1999. The promising impact of ley introduction and herd expansion on soil organic matter content in southern Mali. Agric Syst 62:1–15CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Bourn D, Wint W. 1994. Livestock, land-use and agricultural intensification in sub-Saharan Africa. London: Overseas Development Institute. Report 37aGoogle Scholar
  6. Colin de Verdière P. 1995. Etude compare de trois systèmes agropastoraux dans la région de Filingué – Niger [Thèse de doctorat]: Université de Hohenheim, Allemagne et Institut National Agronomique Paris-Grignon, FranceGoogle Scholar
  7. Coppolillo PB. 2000. The landscape ecology of pastoral herding: Spatial analysis of land use and livestock production in East Africa. Hum Ecol 28(4):527–60CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. de Haan L, van Driel A, Kruihof A. 1990. From symbiosis to polarization? Peasants and pastoralists in northern Benin. Indian Geogr J 65(1):51–65Google Scholar
  9. Faugère O, Dockes AC, Perrot C, Faugère B. 1990. L’Élevage traditonnel des petits ruminants au Senegal. I. Pratiques de conduite et d’exploitation des animaux chez les éleveurs de la région de Kolda. Revue Elevage Médicine Vétinaire Pays Tropicaux 43(2):249–59Google Scholar
  10. Gado B. 1980. Le Zarmatarey: Contribution à l’histoire des populations d’entre Niger et Dallol Mawri. Niamey: Institut de Recherches en Sciences HumainesGoogle Scholar
  11. Galaty JG, Johnson DL, Eds. 1990. The world of pastoralism. Herding systems in comparative perspective. New York: Guilford PressGoogle Scholar
  12. Guerin H, Sall C, Friot D, Ahokpe B, Ndoye A. 1986. Ébauche d’une méthodologie de diagnostic de l’alimentation des ruminants domestiques dans un système agropastoral: L’example de Thyssé-Kaymor – Sonkorong au Sénégal. Cahiers de la Recherche et Développement 9–10:60–9Google Scholar
  13. Harris F. 1998. Farm-level assessment of the nutrient balance in northern Nigeria. Agric, Ecosyst and Environ 71:201–14Google Scholar
  14. Hellemans P, Compere R. 1990. Aspects techniques et socio-economiques de la transhumance des troupeaux de zebus en zone soudanienne de la Bougouriba (Burkina-Faso). Tropicultura (Belgium). 8(2):59–63Google Scholar
  15. Hiernaux P, Fernandez-Rivera S, Schlecht E, Turner MD, Williams TO. 1997. Livestock-mediated nutrient transfers in Sahelian agro-ecosystems. In: Renard G, Neef A, Becker K, von Oppen M, Eds. Soil fertility management in West African land use systems. Weikersheim: Margraf Verlag. p 339–47Google Scholar
  16. Killanga S, Traoré A, Hardouin J. 1989. Inter-flock differences in small ruminant productivity in the central Mali agropastoral system. In: Wilson RT, Melaku A, Eds. African small ruminant research and development. Proceedings of a Conference held at Bamenda, Cameroon, 18–25 January 1989. Addis Ababa, Ethiopia: African Small Ruminant Research Network. p 86–95Google Scholar
  17. Koyate O. 1987. Gestion et productivité des bovins dans les système agro-pastoral associé à la riziculture irriguée: contribution á l’étude des causes de difference de productivité entre troupeaux [Memoire de Fin d’Études]. Katibougou: L’Institut Polytechnique Rural de Katibougou, 45 ppGoogle Scholar
  18. Lericollais A, Faye A. 1994. Des troupeaux sans pâturages en pays Sereer au Sénégal. In: Blanc-Pamard C, Boutrais J, Eds. A la croisée des parcours: Pasteurs, éleveurs, cultivateurs. Paris: ORSTOM. p 165–96Google Scholar
  19. Lhoste P. 1987. L’Association agriculture-elévage. Evolution du système agropastoral au Sine-Saloum (Sénégal). Maisons-Alfort: Institut d’Elévage et de Médecine Vétérinaire des Pays Tropicaux 314 pGoogle Scholar
  20. Moulin C-H. 1993. Performances animales et pratiques d’élevage en Afrique sahélienne: La diversité du fonctionnement des troupeaux de petits ruminants dans la Communauté Rurale de Ndiagne (Sénégal) [Thèse de doctorat]. Paris: L’Institut National Agronomique Paris-GrignonGoogle Scholar
  21. Niamir-Fuller M, Ed. 1999. Managing mobility in African rangelands. London: Intermediate Technology PublicationsGoogle Scholar
  22. Pieri C. 1992. Fertility of soils. A future for the farming in the West African savanna. New York: Springer-VerlagGoogle Scholar
  23. Powell JM, Fernandez-Rivera S, Hiernaux P, Turner MD. 1996. Nutrient cycling in integrated rangeland/cropland systems of the Sahel. Agric Syst 52(2/3):143–70CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Prudencio CY. 1993. Ring management of soils and crops in the West African semi-arid tropics: The case of Mossi farming in Burkina Faso. Agric, Ecosyst Environ 47:237–64Google Scholar
  25. Rath T. 1999. Nutrition and productivity of milking cattle on a semi-arid rangeland in West Africa [PhD thesis]. Stuttgart: University of HohenheimGoogle Scholar
  26. Schlecht E, Hiernaux P, Turner MD. 2001. Mobilité régionale du bétail: nécessité et alternatives? In: Tielkes E, Schlecht E, Hiernaux P, Eds. Elevage et gestion de parcours au Sahel, implications pour le développement. Beuren-Stuttgart: Verlag Grauer. p 65–77Google Scholar
  27. Schlecht E, Sangaré M, Becker K. 1999. Supplementation of Zebu cattle grazing of Sahelian pastures. 1. Diet selection and feed intake. J Agric Sci (Cambridge) 133:69–81Google Scholar
  28. Scoones I, Ed. 1994. Living with uncertainty. New directions in pastoral development in Africa. London: Intermediate Technology Publications Ltd. 210Google Scholar
  29. Tielkes E, Schlecht E, Hiernaux P, Eds. 2001. Elevage et gestion de parcours au Sahel, implications pour le développement. Beuren-Stuttgart: Verlag GrauerGoogle Scholar
  30. Turner MD. 1995. The sustainability of rangeland to cropland nutrient transfer in semi-arid West Africa: Ecological and social dimensions neglected in the debate. In: Powell JM, Fernandez-Rivera S, Williams TO, Renard C, Eds. Livestock and sustainable nutrient cycling in mixed farming systems of sub-Saharan Africa. Proceedings of an International Conference, 22–26 November 1993. Addis Ababa: International Livestock Centre for Africa. p 435–52Google Scholar
  31. Turner MD. 1999. Labor process and the environment: The effects of labor availability and compensation on the quality of herding in the Sahel. Hum Ecol 27(2):267–96CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Turner MD, Hiernaux P. 2002. The use of herders’ accounts to map livestock activities across agropastoral landscapes in Semi-Arid Africa. Landscape Ecol 17(5):367–85CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. van Driel A. 1997. Relations entre agriculteurs et éleveurs: cohabitation et problèmes majeurs. In: de Haan LJ, Eds. Agriculteurs et éleveurs au Nord-Bénin. Paris: Karthala. p 127–48Google Scholar
  34. van Keulen H, Breman H. 1990. Agricultural development in the West African Sahelian region: a cure against land hunger? Agric Ecosyst Environ 32:177–197CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Wilson RT. 1986. Livestock production in Central Mali: Long-term studies on cattle and small ruminants in the agropastoral system. Addis Ababa: International Livestock Centre for Africa. Report No. 14Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, Inc. 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  • Matthew D. Turner
    • 1
    Email author
  • Pierre Hiernaux
    • 2
    • 4
  • Eva Schlecht
    • 3
  1. 1.Department of GeographyUniversity of WisconsinMadisonUSA
  2. 2.International Livestock Research InstituteICRISAT Sahelian CentreNiamey
  3. 3.Institute for Animal Production in the Tropics and SubtropicsUniversity of HohenheimStuttgartGermany
  4. 4.Tropenzentrum (Centre for Agriculture in the Tropics and Subtropics)University of HohenheimStuttgartGermany

Personalised recommendations