Analysis of Sustainable Livestock Production Systems and Soil Fertility Management in the Donsin Watershed of Central Burkina Faso


Project Code:

Start Date:
May 1995

End Date:
July 1997

CRSP Phase:
Phase 1

Not Available



Lead University:

Other Partners:
Institut d'Etudes et de Recherches Agricoles (INERA); University of Ouagadougou

Principal Investigator(s):
Walter R. Butcher

Co-Principal Investigator(s):


Livestock is an integral part ofindigenous farming systems in Donsin; livestock health and numbers have been identified as key indicators of the sustainability of natural resource management by the Donsin community. They also plays a central role in the livelihood strategies of farm families; they are the primary source of local cash income. A large herd is also a symbol ofstatus and prestige in the local society. Currently, increasing livestock population is exerting pressure on available land and natural resources, forcing farmers to make critical decisions regarding how much land and resources to allocate to crop and livestock production. The goal of this study is to evaluate the economic impacts of livestock production in terms of food security and soil fertility and to elucidate economic and social trade-offs of fertility management practices and technologies, thereby providing farmers and herders in Donsin with reliable information on which to base their resource allocation decisions.


1. Characterize the livestock activities of Donsin with focus on use of communal pastures, crop pastures, and other feeds and on linkages between livestock production and soil fertility recuperation. Evaluate indigenous livestock producation and introduce bush and fallow grazing management strategies. 2. Evaluate alternative least-cost, low risk systems of livestock management, forage production, and manure handling in terms of effects on food supply and income, soil and forest resources, and other community goals. 3. Develop household and aggregate bioeconomic models to evaluate long-term economic and social impacts of nutrient cycling and livestock production on soil fertility enhancement.


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