Sustainable Development of Crop-Livestock Farms in Africa

Rufino, Mariana and Gachene, Charles and Diogo, Rodrigue and Hawkins, James and Onyango, Alice Anyango and SANOGO, Ousmane M. and WANYAMA, Ibrahim and Yesuf, Gabriel and Pelster, David E. (2020) Sustainable Development of Crop-Livestock Farms in Africa. Frontiers of Agricultural Science and Engineering, 8 (1). pp. 1-7.

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Crop-livestock farms across Africa are highly variable due to in agroecological and socioeconomic factors, the latter shaping the demand and supply of livestock products. Crop-livestock farms in Africa in the 21st century are very different from most mixed farms elsewhere in the world. African crop-livestock farms are smaller in size, have fewer livestock, lower productivity and less dependency on imported feed than farms in most countries of Europe, the Americas and the intensive agricultural systems of Asia. This paper discusses the role African crop-livestock farms have in the broader socio-agricultural economy, and how these are likely to change adapting to pressures brought on by the intensification of food systems. This intensification implies increasing land productivity (more food per hectare), often leading to more livestock heads per farm, producing fertilized feeds in croplands and importing feed supplements from the market. This discussion includes (1) the links between crop yields, soil fertility and crop-livestock integration, (2) the increasing demand for livestock products and the land resources required to meet to this demand, and (3) the opportunities to integrate broader societal goals into the development of crop-livestock farms. There is ample room for development of crop-livestock farms in Africa, and keeping integration as part of the development will help prevent many of the mistakes and environmental problems related to the intensification of livestock production observed elsewhere in the world. This development can integrate biodiversity, climate change adaptation and mitigation to the current goals of increasing productivity and food security. The inclusion of broader goals could help farmers access the level of finance required to implement changes.

Item Type:
Journal Article
Journal or Publication Title:
Frontiers of Agricultural Science and Engineering
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Deposited On:
03 Dec 2020 11:05
Last Modified:
21 Sep 2023 03:02