Strategies and approaches to sustainable livestock production in Sub Saharan Africa
Keywords:Livestock production, Smallholder, Gender, Climate change, Sub Sahara
Livestock is a dominant agricultural activity in Sub Saharan Africa, which is generally considered a key asset for most rural population and contribute to the livelihoods and nutrition of purely subsistence households. This discussion is a synthesis of possible strategies to consider for sustaianble livestock production, focusing on issues of climate change, gender, smallholder livestock support and use of indigenous knowledge systems, and how these may influence livestock production. There are many measures which need to be explored with the aim of making the livestock systems become driving forces of sustainable agricultural development. One of the major factors responsible for the declining livestock productivity in the region is the relegation to the background of the contributions of women in the issues of livestock production. On the other hand, climate change and variability is now widely regarded as the most serious challenge facing Sub Saharan Africa, with consequences that go far beyond the effects on the environment, hence affecting most communities indiscriminately. Despite the negative impact of climate change on livestock production and biodiversity conservation, poor resources peasant famers are incentivized to engage in these activities because of the wide spectrum of benefits accrued, such as cash income, food, manure, draft power and hauling services, savings and insurance, and social status and social capital. Since time immemmorial, indigenous livestock knowledge systems have been used in smallholder livestock farming sector, while strengthening livestock productivity. These are some of the key aspects in promoting livestock development, through economically and socially empowering local communities, and consequently providing a way to enable rural communities to break the cycle of poverty. In this discussion, some of the strategic steps that can be adopted for future sustainable livestock production, include and not limited to the following: promotion of gender equality and equity in livestock production systems in terms of equal access to livestock productive resources, boosting climate change mitigation startegies, and empowering women in livestock production decision making.
ILRI., 2006. Lessons from a changing world: implications for livestock research and development. In: Birthal P.S.,
Taneja V.K. and Thorpe W. (eds). Smallholder Livestock Production in India: Opportunities and Challenges.
Proceedings of an ICAR–ILRI international workshop held at National Agricultural Science Complex, DPS Marg,
Pusa, New Delhi 110 012, India, 31 January–1 February 2006. NCAP (National Centre for Agricultural
Economics and Policy Research)–ICAR (Indian Council of Agricultural Research), New Delhi, India, and ILRI
(International Livestock Research Institute), Nairobi, Kenya. pp 65–112.
Jayne, T.S., Yamanob, T.,Weber, M.T., Tschirley, D., Benfica, R., Chapoto, A., Zulu, B., 2003. Smallholder income and
land distribution in Africa: implications for poverty reduction strategies. Food Policy., 28 (3), 253–275.
Matsika, C., 2012. Traditional African Education: It’s Significance to Current Education Practices with Special
Reference to Zimbabwe, Mambo Press, Gweru, Zimbabwe.
Mc Dermott, J.J., Stall, S.J., Freeman, H.A., Herrero, M., van de Steeg, J.A., 2014. Sustaining intensification of
smallholder livestock systems in the tropics. Livest. Sci., (In press).
Mwiturubani, D.A., 2010. Climate change and access to water resources in Lake Victoria basin; In; Mwiturubani Da
and van Wyk JA (Ed) (2010) Climate change and natural resources conflicts in Africa, Institute for Security
Studies, PO Box 1787, Brooklyn Square 0075, Pretoria, South Africa.
Ndangwa, N., 2007. Indigenous Education Systems and their relevance for Sustainable Development: A Case of
Southern Africa’ In Tribe and Tribals. Spec. Vol. Number., 1, 167-172.
Otte, J., Costales, A., Upton, M., 2005. Smallholder livestock keepers in the era of globalization. Pro poor livestock
policy initiative. A living from livestock. Research report. Univ. Read., June, 2005.
Pathak, K.M.L., 2014. Livestock development: How it contributes to smallholder farmers. Global Forum Agr. Res.
New Delhi, India.
Scholtz, M.M., 2012. The development of a seedstock industry using indigenous livestock from rural keepers for
sustainable production. J. Life Sci., 6, 1270-1276.
Smit, B., Me Nabb, D., Snuckers, J., 1996. Agriculture adaptation to climate variation. Climate change. 33, 7-29.
Thornton, PK (2010). Livestock production: recent trends, future prospects. Phil. Trans. R. Soc., 365(1554), 2853-
Warren, D.M., 1991. Using indigenous knowledge in agricultural development. World Bank Discuss. Paper. World
Bank., Washington DC, USA.
How to Cite
Copyright (c) 2014 Never Assan
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.