African Journal of
Agricultural Research

  • Abbreviation: Afr. J. Agric. Res.
  • Language: English
  • ISSN: 1991-637X
  • DOI: 10.5897/AJAR
  • Start Year: 2006
  • Published Articles: 6848

Full Length Research Paper

Changes in livelihood strategies and animal husbandry practices of pastoralists in the sub-humid zone of West Africa

Nouhoun Zampaligré
  • Nouhoun Zampaligré
  • Institut de l’Environnement et de Recherches Agricoles (INERA) Station de Farakoba, Bobo Dioulasso, Burkina Faso.
  • Google Scholar
Dominique Ouedraogo
  • Dominique Ouedraogo
  • Institut de l’Environnement et de Recherches Agricoles (INERA) Station de Farakoba, Bobo Dioulasso, Burkina Faso.
  • Google Scholar
Claudious Chikozho
  • Claudious Chikozho
  • Human Sciences Research Council, Africa Institute of South Africa, Pretoria 0001, South Africa.
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Louis Sawadogo
  • Louis Sawadogo
  • Centre International de Recherche Développement sur l’Elevage en en zone Subhumide (CIRDES), Bobo Dioulasso, Burkina Faso.
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Eva Schlecht
  • Eva Schlecht
  • Animal Husbandry in the Tropics and Subtropics, University of Kassel and Georg-August-Universität Göttingen, Steinstrasse 19, 37213 Witzenhausen, Germany.
  • Google Scholar

  •  Received: 15 January 2019
  •  Accepted: 16 May 2019
  •  Published: 25 July 2019


Migration to and sedentarization in the sub-humid zone of Burkina Faso has become a major adaptation measure of Sahelian pastoralists to the severe droughts and in response to a rapidly changing socio-economic environment. This study is aimed at assessing livelihoods and livestock husbandry practices as a consequence of pastoralist sedentarization. The study sites were located in the Sudano-Sahelian and Sudanian zone of Burkina Faso. Findings revealed that severe Sahelian droughts of 1973/4 and 1983/4 led to massive migration and sedentarization of Sahelian pastoralists to their current locations in the sub humid zones. Since then, the sedentarized pastoralists have diversified their livelihood strategies in which livestock keeping and small-scale crop production play a central role. As the study sites are close to urban areas, a market-oriented local dairy production has also been developing. Overall, the total annual revenue of the sedentarized households and the size of their cattle herd have increased in tandem with the time they have been sedentarized. However, there are still some constraints and challenges such as restricted access to valuable pasture areas during the rainy season and recurrent herder-farmer conflicts that need to be addressed to strengthen the livelihoods of the sedentarized pastoralists.

Key words: Pastoralism, livelihood diversification, sedentarization, sub-humid zone, West Africa.