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Pasture vegetation characteristics and assessment of fodder resources in four pastoral zones of burkina faso: case of sidéradougou, nouaho, barani and ceekol naggè pastoral zones

Author: 
Kiema André, Kiema Sébastien, Sawadogo Issa, and Zampaligré Nouhoun
Subject Area: 
Life Sciences
Abstract: 

The aim of this study is to establish a detailed diagnosis of the state of fodder resources in four important pastoral zones of Burkina Faso and to contribute to the development of pastoral programs. Agrostological investigations including phytomasse evaluation and herbaceous layer inventory were conducted in four pastoral zones along the tree agro climatic zones of Burkina Faso. Semi structured interviews were also conducted with key pastoralist around each pastoral zone. The results of the study show a great species diversity of pastoral zones from the Sudanian to the Sahelian zone. There are on average 10 times more species diversity in the Sudanian zone than the Sahelian. The herbaceous layer vegetation remains mainly dominated by annual grasses in the Sahelian contrarily to the Sudanian where it remains perennial grasses. Inventories, however, showed low values in all pastoral grazing units but with the best ones in the Sahelian (58.8 to 81.0%) compared to the Sudanian zones (39.8 to 75.7%). In the Sahelian zone, forage production is marked by land degradation and rainfall regression leading low pastures productivity. The lack of drinking water is also a constraint in the use of these Sahelian pastures. In the pastoral zone of the Sudanian zone, the constraints are related to the management and degradation of pastures´ vegetation. Pastoral zones in this region are under heavy pressure due to the expansion of cropped land and the degradation of habitats of lowland, rich in plant diversity. Most perennial species are in decline while those indicative of degradation of savannah such as Sporobolus pyramidalis are expanding. Improvement actions are necessary under the current state of fodder production and management forms. The main actions identified from the assessment work and interviews with farmers are: (i) the establishment of feed stocks for dry season, (ii ) appropriate use of tree fodder as supplement fodder, (iii) control of violent bushfires, (iv) respect of pasture areas carrying capacity, (v) monitoring of the of pastures vegetation dynamics, (vi) the improvement of pasture with herbaceous species with great pastoral value, (v) reforestation with local and adapted tree species including browse species, (vi) the restoration of degradated grazing areas, (vii) the practice of forage cultivation, (viii) enhancing livestock keepers capacity on pastures management.

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