Livestock, land use and agricultural intensification in sub-Saharan Africa | Land Portal

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Date of publication: 
janvier 1994
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This paper focuses on extracts from a recent comparative analysis of livestock and land use surveys across a range of agro-climatic conditions in sub-Saharan Africa, based on information from systematic low level aerial reconnaissance and complementary ground studies in Mali, Niger, Nigeria, Sudan and Tchad, between 1980 and 1993. Results indicate a highly significant relationship between livestock biomass and the intensity of land use, and suggest that cultivation and human habitation are the best predictors of livestock distribution.These findings are consistent with expectations of the Boserup hypothesis, and are indicative of the `autonomous intensification' of agricultural production associated with the growth of human population, through closer interaction between livestock and arable farmers. The autonomous control of tsetse and trypanosomiasis is a further consequence of the environmental impact of human population growth, which has favoured the southward dispersal and year-round presence of cattle in the Nigerian sub-humid zone. This in turn has created circumstances which have favoured the spread of animal traction and livestock fattening, which are themselves indicative of the intensification process.

Auteurs et éditeurs

Author(s), editor(s), contributor(s): 

D. Bourn
W. Wint


The Pastoral Development Network represents a world-wide network of researchers, administrators and extension personnel interested in the issues of pastoralism and rangelands. Between 1976 and 1996 the PDN was managed by ODI and published regular mailings including newsletters and a wide ranging series of papers on pastoralism and related issues. There were also a number of other related publications.

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eldis (ELDIS)

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