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Territories, herds and biomass: stakes of management for a sustainable use of resources in North Cameroon

Abstract : In North Cameroon like in similar areas of Sudano-sahelian Africa, severe drought and high demographic pressure has resulted in an influx of migrant farmers and the settlement of pastoralists in the more humid and less saturated zones. Today, farmers are face with a continuous drop in crop yields, Pastoralists have difficulties in feeding their herds. Studies of crop and livestock farming systems and the analysis of their interactions have highlighted the need for better management of biomass. Results show that the use of organic manure by primary crop farmers is low compared to livestock owners who use copious quantities on their crop farms. As a consequence, they obtain much higher biomass yields on much smaller land areas. In the dry season, they use their ancestral right of free ranging to feed their animals on crop residues produced by farmers. During the rest of the year, part of their herd goes on transhumance towards favourable areas while the other part is maintained in the village near the family. Feeding the latter entails walking long distances each day through narrow passages in cultivated fields. Finally, the important part of biomass production in the village depends both on the practices of farmers (mineral and organic fertilisation) and those of herd owners (free ranging). Systems of better biomass management are suggested to improve the soil fertility and production in the short term through organic matter produced near the farm, manure produced in stables or on a fix parking lot, or in the medium term by zero-till and planting under mulch system. Conceptual modelling systems are then developed for sustainable management of biomass.
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Contributor : Ecole Agroparistech <>
Submitted on : Wednesday, August 26, 2009 - 8:00:00 AM
Last modification on : Wednesday, August 26, 2009 - 8:00:00 AM
Long-term archiving on: : Friday, September 10, 2010 - 1:42:59 PM

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Aimé Landry Dongmo Ngoutsop. Territories, herds and biomass: stakes of management for a sustainable use of resources in North Cameroon. Life Sciences [q-bio]. AgroParisTech, 2009. English. ⟨NNT : 2009AGPT0016⟩. ⟨pastel-00005304⟩

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