Economic Activities - Agricultural Sector
2. SOILS AND TOPOGRAPHY
Morphology and Soils of the Bas-Fond
3. CLIMATE AND AGRO-ECOLOGICAL ZONES
The Lagoon Region
The Forest Region
4. RUMINANT LIVESTOCK PRODUCTION SYSTEMS
Pasture development and cattle extension by SODEPRA-Centre
Improved pasture and herd management
Ruminants - Plantation crops integration
Cattle under oil palm and coconut plantations
Dairying and milk production
5. THE PASTURE RESOURCE
Palatable trees and shrubs
6. OPPORTUNITIES FOR IMPROVEMENT OF PASTURE RESOURCES
Herbage seed production
Constraints; threats and solutions
7. RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT ORGANIZATIONS AND PERSONNEL
The Republic of Côte d'Ivoire (sometimes referred to as the Ivory Coast) which lies on the Gulf of Guinea, with an area of 322 462 km2, borders Liberia and Guinea to the west, Mali and Burkina Faso to the north, Ghana to the east, and the Gulf of Guinea and the Atlantic Ocean to the south (Figure 1 - see below). The coast which extends from 7° 30' to 3° 7' W and has a length of 380 kilometres forms an arc of which the convexity turns slightly to the north; neither bay nor promontory breaks the regularity of its outline. The watershed runs roughly from 9° N. in the west to 10° N. in the east, and is marked by a line of hills rising about 198m.
Except for the prolongation of the Guinea Highlands in the northwest
(from Man to Odienné), with peaks rising up to 1 219 and 1 524
metres, most of the
The land area is 318 000 km2, of which 21.8 % is cultivated/arable land, permanent crops occupy 13.8%, pasture lands 41 % and forest 22 %, while water occupies 4 460 km2 (1.4 %) (Rosenberg, 1997). Fifty two percent of the total land area is considered agricultural land or slightly over 3.6 hectares per capita. Land use is arable land, 9.75 %; permanent crops, 13.84 % and others 76.41 % (World Factbook, 2001). The land falls into two distinct agricultural regions:
The forest region, with higher and more reliable rainfall and better soils, produces most of the export crops. Rainfall in the savannah averages about two-thirds of that in the forest region and is unreliable; the soils are generally light and range from medium to poor quality; so agricultural yields are low.
The country gained independence on 7 August 1960; its population, which was 15 366 720 in 1998, was estimated at 18 373 060 in 2008. The World Factbook estimate for July 2009 is 20 617 068 with a growth rate estimated at 2.133% (World Factbook)
The official language is French; 80 languages are listed for
As a result of the economic crisis in the 1980s, the country experienced
a period of political and social turmoil, but it maintained close ties
to the West, especially to
The country is divided into 19 regions and 58 departments (Figure 2). The regions are (1) Agnéby; (2) Bafing; (3) Bas Sassandra, (4) Denguélé; (5) Dix-Huit Montagnes; (6) Fromager; (7)Haut-Sassandra; (8) Lacs; (9) Lagunes; (10) Marahoué; (11) Moyen-Cavally; (12) Moyen-Comoé; (13) N'zi-Comoé; (14) Savanes; (15) Sud-Bandama; (16) Sud-Comoé; (17) Vallée du Bandama; (18) Worodougou and (19) Zanzan. Figure 2 shows the map of the nineteen administrative regions.
Yamoussoukro is the capital while Abidjan is the administrative and commercial centre. The biggest cities are Abidjan with 3 000 000 inhabitants; Bouaké in Central with 850 000; Daloa in the west, with 300 000; San-Pedro in the south-west with 250,000; Korhogo in the North with 250 000 and Yamoussoukro in the centre with 250 000 inhabitants.
The population consists of more than sixty ethnic groups. Major ethnic groups included: Baoulé, Sénoufo, Bété, Lagoon peoples, Agni (Anyi), and Mandé cluster of groups, including Juula, Bambara, and Malinké; and also non-Ivoirian Africans, Lebanese, Asians, and Europeans
Houphouët-Boigny promoted his own group, the Baoulé, which account for
23% of the population. The succession of Konan Bédié, another Baoulé,
annoyed many groups, the Bété in particular. Aliens include groups from
Some 12% of the population is Christian; 25% Muslim and 63% Traditional Beliefs. While only about 12% of the people practice Christianity and Roman Catholicism, the largest Christian church in all of Africa, called Our Lady of Peace, is in Yamoussoukro and people from far away sometimes go there to worship their Lord. Many beliefs are practiced. The majority practice traditional religions involving ancestor worship. They believe that the dead are transformed into spirits and remain in constant contact with the living; through various rituals, the living seek their blessings and protection. Magic is also common, and good magic keeps evil spirits away.
Medicine men or juju priests dispense charms, tell fortunes and give advice on how to avoid danger. They also bless grisgris necklaces of charms that ward off specific evils. The Senoufo in particular have held very strongly to their traditional beliefs. Children are instructed over many years in the history and social mores of the Senoufo and are then secretly initiated.
Economic Activities - Agricultural Sector
The market-based economy relies heavily on agriculture, with smallholder cash crop production being dominant; it relies on two major products: cocoa and coffee, of which the country has been respectively the first and fifth exporter. Cash crop products (including timber and palm oil) have formed the core of a development strategy that was later reinforced by secondary agricultural export crops such as bananas, pineapples and other - from the post 1965 diversification policy.
The agricultural sub-sector which produces the main export crops (coffee, cocoa, timber) provides the industry with manpower, financial flows and raw materials for processing. Cocoa, coffee and timber and also palm oil export earnings have over the years risen (Traoré, 1990). The main staple and export crop products are: bananas, cassava, yams and sugar; cocoa, coffee, cotton, oil palm; timber and rubber, respectively. Table 1 presents some major staple food and export crops from 1998 to 2007, respectively.
Figure 4 presents economic activities (cocoa and coffee growing areas
and locations for other agricultural products, minerals and industries).
Growth was negative in 2000-03 because of the difficulty of meeting the
conditions of international donors, continued low prices of key exports
and severe civil war.
Other natural resources are petroleum, natural gas, diamonds, manganese, iron ore, cobalt, bauxite, copper, gold, nickel, tantalum, silica sand, clay and hydropower. Commercially extracted minerals include uranium, diamonds and manganese and there is a possibility of mining gold, bauxite, lithium, and colombo-tantalite.
Côte d’Ivoire has some industrial and mining companies such as the Société Ivoirienne d’Aquaculture Lagunaire, the Société de Développement de la production Sucrière, the Société des plantations d’hévéa du Grand Béréby, the Société de Distribution des Eaux de Côte d’Ivoire, the Société de Développement des Forêts, the Société Géologique de Côte d’Ivoire, the Société Ivoirienne de Raffinerie, the Société des Mines d’Ity, the Société des Mines de l’Afferma, the Société du Développement Minier, the Société d’Exploitation Pétrolière (PETROCI). Some important foreign companies such as Blohorn, Nestle, Hydrochem, Rhône- Poulenc, and Sofaco also settled in the country. Tertiary industries count approximately 650 businesses employing 100 000 people.
Savannah soils are generally light and range from medium to poor quality,
so crop yields are low (Handloff, 1988). In the Sudanian and the
On a regional level the rocks and the coarse grain content determine the sandy and silty division of the valley soils while granitic to migmatitic rocks obtain larger sandy fractions than the Precambrian schists which are richer in silt. The ratio of clay remains below 20% in the lower horizons of the valley bottom soils and hardly reaches 16% in upper horizons. The maximum value with 44% of clay is found in the topsoil of the schist region in the north, the minimum value with 8.5% of clay in neighbouring granitic regions of the north. The more clayey to loamy soils which are classified as perfect for the irrigated rice cultivation are only found in rare special geologic sites.
The skeleton content of the upper soils reaches more than five per cent as a consequence of the dissolution of the pisoliths under reduced soil conditions in the inundated valley floors This induces a high permeability of valley soils and precludes long water retention in the irrigated rice lands.
According to the FAO World soil legend the most frequent soil types of
the bas-fonds (thalwegs) are the Dystric and Umbric Gleysols, followed
by the Gleyic or Ferralic Arenosols along the banks of valleys as well
as on the lower slopes. Typical paddy soils, with a glayic plough horizon
do not appear in the only slightly cultivated valley bottoms in the
In most areas the typical bas-fond soils are geomorphologically and hydrologically suitable for smallholder rice production. A large portion of sand and a very low clay content of the extremely sandy Gleysols of the granite, migmatite and gneiss regions occurs over more than 65% of the country.
The more suitable loams, rich in clay and silt, are found only in schist-regions and in specific geological sites like alkaline vulcanites. Biologically induced accumulations of calcium carbonate have been found inside orthox soils, under and around the native iroko tree Milicia excelsa in Biga (Cailleau et al., 2004). The nature of these accumulations and their origin studied in two soil profiles, directly under the tree and at a distance of 30 cm from the trunk demonstrated that calcite precipitation is facilitated by the oxidation of oxalate by soil bacteria that contributes to the increase in pH in Biga soils, and three conditions were necessary for biologically induced precipitation of calcium carbonate in orthox soils associated with trees: the presence of a large amount of oxalate (originating from the tree and fungi), the existence of an oxalotrophic flora for oxalate oxidation into carbonate, and a dry season (Cailleau et al., 2004).
Morphology and Soils of the Bas-Fond
On the mid side slopes steps with inclinations over 10° occur frequently, due to indurated plinthite layers developed in dryer times of the Pleistocene (Mund, 2001). Frequent flooding, which occurs on a few days during a year, is significant for this type of valley in the south-west; the groundwater level is near the soil surface (< 50 centimetres). (Mund, 1999, 2001).
In the valley bottoms stagnic to umbric gleysols are mixed with gleyic arenosols, with a very low gravel content (Gerold, 1997). Soil texture varies from sand to silt and its stratification can hardly be a result of its alluvial to colluvial origin. Because of hydromorphic conditions, with low soil aeration and wetness throughout the year, the decomposition rate of plant remnants is low and the humic topsoils have a high organic-matter content. The pH-values fluctuate between 4.3 and 5.5 under prolonged waterlogged conditions.
Towards the foot-slopes and on valley fringes colluvial ferralic arenosols
with very low CEC rates are associated with low base saturated gleyic
arenosols. The side slopes are dominated by a distinct inter digitation
of plinthic ferralsols and plinthic cambisols with high contents of iron
concretions. Deeply weathered and strongly leached ferralsols with a high
plinthic content are the characteristic soil types on crests and upper
slopes in south-west
|3. CLIMATE AND AGRO-ECOLOGICAL ZONES
Generally the climate is warm and humid and is, overall, transitional from equatorial to tropical. Seasons are more clearly distinguishable by rainfall and wind direction than by temperature. Continental and maritime air masses, following the apparent movement of the sun from north to south, determine the cycle of the seasons that is associated with heat and cold farther from the equator.
Two climatic zones are created by the alternating wind patterns. In the north, tropical conditions delineate two major seasons; heavy rains fall between June and October, averaging 110 centimetres annually. Along the coast equatorial conditions prevail; some rain falls in most months, with an average of 2 000 mm annually, but four seasons are generally distinguishable; heavy rains fall between May and July in most years and shorter rains in August and September; the minor dry season still brings sparse rain during October and November, followed by the major dry season from December to April.
Temperatures and humidity generally follow the same pattern, with average temperatures between 25 °C and 30 °C and ranges from 10 °C to 40 °C. Temperatures are higher in the south but may exceed 30 °C even in the far north. Annual and daily ranges of both temperature and humidity are small along the coast but increase progressively toward the north. Average relative humidity is 85 percent in the south and 71 percent in the north.
There are three main climatic regions: the coast, the forest and the savannah. The highest rainfall 2 032 mm - 3 048 mm and the least range of average temperature, 23 °C to 26.6 °C occur in the coastal region, which has a long dry season from December to April, followed by the great rains in mid May to mid July. The short dry season is from mid-July to October and the short rains in October and November.
In the central forest region, rainfall is high 1 346 mm - 2 540 mm, humidity continuous, and the seasons less clearly marked. The earlier, shorter dry season (November to mid-March) is followed by a short wet season (mid-March to mid-May), a short dry season from mid May to mid July and the great rains for mid July to mid November. Temperatures reach their maximum in the northern savannah at between 32 °C - 24.4 °C; the minimum is around 14 °C. There is a long wet season from June to October and the dry season extends to six or seven months.
During the first half of the year the warm maritime air mass pushes northward. Ahead of it, a low pressure belt, or inter-tropical front, brings warm air, rain, and prevailing winds from the southwest (Handloff, 1988). As the solar cycle reverses at mid-year, the continental air mass moves southward over the nation and this permits the dry northeast harmattan to dominate. Surface winds are gentle, seldom exceeding fifteen to twenty kilometres per hour.
The Lagoon Region
Most of the lagoons are narrow, salty, shallow and run parallel to the coastline, linked to one another and the gulf by small watercourses or canals. Where large rivers empty into the gulf, broad estuaries extend as much as ten to twenty kilometres inland. The sandy soil supports the growth of coconut palms and salt-resistant coastal shrubs. The dense rain forest that once came down to the water's edge along the continental side of the lagoons has been largely supplanted by clearings for farms and towns and by secondary woodlands. In the few remaining undisturbed areas, dense mangrove thickets appear along the edges of marshy inlets.
The Forest Region
A broad belt of dense forest covers nearly one-third of the country,
extending north of the lagoon region in the east and reaching the coast
in the west between the Sassandra River and the mouth of the Cavally River.
Its northern boundary stretches from the city of Man in the west to Bondoukou
in the east, dipping down in the centre of the country to the confluence
of the Bandama Blanc and Bandama Rouge rivers. This boundary marks the
transition from forest to grassy woodlands where plantation agriculture
and burning have encroached on the forest. From the border with
Plant biomass and productivity in the Savannah are largely dependent upon soil type and climate. The life-forms and phenological cycles of herbs, shrubs, grasses and trees reflect the constraining factors of the environment (Menaut, 1996). Productivity of a humid grass savannah determined at the Lamto site operated in collaboration with CNRS (Centre Nationale de Récherche Scientifique) - École Normale Supérieure, Paris, France estimated that the total net primary production (NPP) of the grass savannah of Côte d’Ivoire was 2 150 g/m2/yr, of which 1 320 g/m2/yr (61%) was underground production (Menaut, 1996).
The Cavally River rises in the Nimba Mountains of
The Sassandra River Basin rises in the high ground of the north, where
the Tiemba River joins the Férédougouba River, which flows from the
The Bandama River, often referred to as the Bandama Blanc, is the longest
in the country, joining the Bandama Rouge (the Marahoué), Solomougou,
Kan, and Nzi Rivers over its 800-kilometre course. This large river system
drains most of central
Easternmost of the main rivers, the Comoé, formed by the Leraba and Gomonaba, rises in the Sikasso Plateau of Burkina Faso. It flows within a narrow 700-kilometre basin and receives the Kongo, and Iringou tributaries before winding among the coastal sandbars and emptying into the Ebrié Lagoon near Grand-Bassam. The Comoé is navigable for vessels of light draft for about fifty kilometres to Alépé.
Large dams were built in the 1960s and 1970s to control the major rivers. These reservoirs, now referred to as lakes bear the names of the dams: Buyo on the Sassandra, Kossou and Taabo on the Bandama, and Ayamé on the small Bia River in the southeast. Lake Kossou is the largest of these, occupying more than 1 600 square kilometres.
|4. RUMINANT LIVESTOCK PRODUCTION SYSTEMS
There are clearly defined livestock (especially cattle) zones defined by tsetse fly presence, which, so far, has made it impossible to keep Zebu cattle in the south. Almost 90 percent of the cattle are north of the eighth parallel in the Sudan-Guinean zone, grazing the natural savannah in an extensive system. The north, being less affected by tsetse fly, is the great cattle zone, whence there is a considerable trade in cattle to the south. Sedentary crop-farmers do not take readily to cattle-keeping.
There are five main cattle breeds or types - Baoulé (Savannah West African
Shorthorn), N'Dama, Méré (Zebu x humpless), Lagune (Dwarf West African
Shorthorn) and Zebu (Sudanese type from
The Nord region accounts for nearly 80% of the national herd, twenty three per cent of which are Zebu and the remaining majority humpless. The distribution of cattle according to the three vegetation zones - the northern savannah including the five northern departments, the central savannah including eight departments and the forest region with thirteen departments shows that the cattle population was 463 500 in 1981. The 1981 figures are lower than those of 1978 and 1985.
De Troyes (1997) reported that production of meat in
Projections of the livestock sub-sector generally are estimates (Table 4a); and data for meat and milk production, live animal and milk/milk product imports are presented in Table 4b (from FAO database, 2009).
Cattle play an important social role and are often slaughtered for traditional,
religious or family feasts. They are also a form of saving and commercial
off-take is low. The commonest cattle production system is a sedentary
one, with humpless cattle owned by farmers. Some transhumance or semi-transhumance
is practiced by Peulh with Zebu herds which come from neighbouring countries.
Table 5 presents cattle distribution in
In the Centre, cattle of a Baoulé village are often herded together by hired Peulh herdsmen whose role is very important as the farmers who own the cattle do not supervise them and may not even be able to identify which animals are theirs. Herdsmen generally receive a salary plus all or part of the milk from the herd, but their social status is precarious and they are often dissatisfied with their terms of employment so there is often rapid turnover among herdsmen and the health and well-being of the animals tends to suffer. There seems to be a good deal of crossbreeding going on in the north. Most often Zebu and Baoulé, are crossed, but also Zebu and N'Dama.
Pasture development and cattle extension by SODEPRA-Centre
The work progressed to improving overall management, nutrition and in some cases, better sires. Both village and private herds were eligible for such work; progress with villages was very slow, largely due to negative propaganda by Peulh herders; the cattle owners did not recognise their own stock although they might know their colour - the SODEPRA ear-tagging of stock would have made it much more difficult to cheat the owners. Herd and pasture development was very popular with private (usually relatively prosperous) individuals.
At that time as part of its policy to increase local meat production, the Government would supply basic herds of 15 - 20 breeding cows and an N’Dama bull (noyeaux d’élevage) to people who wished to enter cattle production. They had to have access to adequate land and meet certain standards of infrastructure; the cattle were a loan which was to be repaid in kind over ten years. Private cattle-owners usually had some Baoulé stock which could be upgraded with N’Dama. The Baoulé breed is very well adapted to grazing in wooded pastures and on coarse vegetation.
Land which is neither cultivated nor built on is “undeveloped” and belongs to the Government. The agriculture of the region is a very extensive form of shifting cultivation on a long rotation; entire villages may move for several kilometres, not returning to the original terrain for many years; much of the land is, therefore, uncultivated so undeveloped in official eyes although it may be subject to traditional rights.
Only sites of or over one square kilometre were considered and survey was only completed where a suitable water point was identified. The site was sketched on to the 1:50 000 survey map and observations made on water points, soils and vegetation, access, the existing herd and the level of technical competence of the owner. The SODEPRA did not enter into questions of land tenure. For applications which met specifications a plan at 1:10 000 was thereafter prepared showing the main features, water points, sites for night pens and vaccination crushes etc. and a concise workplan drawn up. The applicant could then submit an application to the veterinary department for approval and livestock. Successful applicants benefited from periodic advisory visits from SODEPRA specialists as well as having practical assistance with parasite control and vaccination. (Suttie 1980).
In 1979 - 1980 alone some 57 sites were surveyed and planned involving 58 220 hectares and 7 415 head of cattle. (Suttie 1980).
Improved pasture and herd management
Wooden posts last no time under local conditions. For long fences suspension fencing with high-tensile wire and steel strainers was the cheapest and most successful. For short runs, night pens and crushes live posts were used; suitable species are: Spoindias mombin, Newbouldia laevis, Ficus spp., Erythrina senegalensis, Lophira lanceolata and Moringa oleifera. (Suttie and Janssens 1980b)
Pastures were installed at the request of owners who paid all costs. SODEPRA also had a fencing team, again at the owners cost.
Simple, cheap installation techniques proved very successful. Only relatively tree-free areas could be developed; SODEPRA did not go in for land-clearing along the lines followed by the cotton extension scheme (bulldozers, root-ploughs, root-rakes, burn all woody waste so produced). On several sites SODEPRA developed abandoned cotton land since, once weeds come in, farmers found cotton-growing onerous. Full ploughing and seed-bed preparation was expensive and gave disappointing results; heavy rainstorms usually buried the seed. The most suitable method was to burn before the onset of the rains then scarify the soil surface with a heavy disc-harrow, working on the contour where possible and leaving uncultivated contour strips. Phosphatic fertilizer was advised; in practice diammonium phosphate was used since it was available at reasonable cost for the cotton campaign; it was spread either by hand or tractor spinner immediately before sowing. Seed was sown by manual rotary seeders which were simple and rapid. No ideal sowing time was decided; in practice the installation team worked from the onset of the rains in late March until their end in late October without any notably “best” dates appearing.
Stylosanthes guianensis was the basic legume at 3 - 4 kg/ha; Panicum maximum was the preferred grass (2 kg/ha) but seed supplies were limited so Brachiaria ruziziensis (3kg) was widely used. So long as the new pasture was frequently but lightly grazed almost from sowing to keep both regenerating and sown grasses under control, establishment was good and Stylosanthes dominated by the end of the dry season. (Suttie and Janssens 1980b).
Ruminants - Plantation crops Integration
Rombaut (1973) estimated 65 to 100 tons per hectare per year of green natural forage under oil palm plantations less than 8 years old where Axonopus compressus alone accounted for 55 tons. Axonopus compressus and Paspalum conjugatum can withstand heavy grazing pressure and are shade tolerant. Forage production of 43 to 97 tons per hectare have been recorded for plantations over 8 years (Rombaut 1973). Centrosema pubescens, Pueraria phaseoloides and Calapogonium mucunoides are the most important cover crops used under oil palm, rubber and coconuts and most of them are nutritious and readily acceptable to livestock (Rombaut, 1973).
Pastures grow well when oil palm trees are less than 5 years old, but
from 8 to 25 years the canopy is dense and fodder production is greatly
reduced (Rombaut, 1973); after 20 years the canopy thins and pasture growth
improves. Rombaut (1973) observed that manpower requirement for managing
oil palms in
Water intake of livestock under tree crops is low due to absence of heat
stress and the high moisture content (over 70 percent) of the forage (Asiedu,
1978). It was reported that N'dama and Baoulé cattle under oil palms in
Cattle under oil palm and coconut plantations
Clusters of the following species have been observed under oil palm plantations in Côte d’Ivoire: Dissotis rotundifolia; Aspilia africana; Melanthera scandens; Eupatorium odoratum; Thaumatococcus daniellii; Axonopus compressus; Commelina nudiflora, Commelina forskalasi, Commelina africana, and Commelina condensata; Imperata cylindrica; Rottboellia exaltata; Nephrolepis biserrata; Pteridium aquilinum; Anchomanes diffomis; Acroceras zizanioides; Paspalum scrobiculatum var. commersonii and Paspalum conjugatum; Panicum repens and Panicum brevifolium; Sporobolus pyramidalis; Borreria latifolia; Diodia rubricosa and Diodia scandens; Eleusine indica; Mariscus umbellatus and M. flabelliformis, often mixed with Cyperus sphacelatus; Palisota hirsuta; Asystasia gangetica; Selaginella myosurus; Scleria barteri) and Scleria naumanniana; and Setaria megaphylla and Setaria. chevalieri (Tchoume, 1982).
Phytosociological, floristic, and agrostological studies conducted to assess the suitability of palm groves for raising cattle led to the identification of species that have a high forage value by virtue of their palatability, biomass, and position in stable and profitable associations.
The most important species are: Axonopus compressus and Paspalum conjugatum; Eleusine indica and Sporobolus pyramidalis; Asystasia gangetica and Commelina spp. (Commelina nudiflora, Commelina forskalaei, Commelina benghalensis, etc.); and Diodia rubricosa and Desmodium adscendens (Tchoume, 1982).
Assessment of the biomass and regeneration of the vegetation within various associations, indicated that for young plantations (one to seven years old) the often large amount of green matter per unit area (nearly 100 tons/ha in certain cases) diminishes considerably with increasing plantation age. Likewise, the regrowth of the vegetation, vigorous at first, becomes practically nil when the canopy closes. The vegetation under palm groves from eight to eighteen years old is increasingly sparse and poor. It recovers progressively with the clearing of the woodland vault after the eighteenth year (Tchoume, 1982). Many factors other than age affect the composition and physiognomy of the vegetation under oil palms; among these are human activities, climate, and the degree and type of herbivory.
Cattle rearing in palm groves, although possible in terms of available palatable plant species, seems only worthwhile on a large scale and even then, it would require bringing in a substantial quantity of additional feed. This is especially true for older plantations where regeneration of the vegetation is very slow and difficult (Tchoume, 1982).
In the forest zone the need for food crops, on the one hand, and the shortage of protein on the other; have tended to encourage consideration of complementary uses of large forest plantations. The use of the adventitious vegetation in oil palm plantations as forage for cattle as well as the introduction of food and cash crops among the trees is practiced. Palatable species have been identified in the vegetation, and some crops, such as cocoa, offer promise as intercrops (Tchoume, 1982).
The technical annual report of SODEPRA (Société de Développement de la Production Animale), (1984), gave data for reproduction parameters and mortality rate of the N'Dama cattle under village conditions and for ranches or breeding stations (see Tables 6 and 7, respectively).
N'Dama were introduced on palm plantations by SODEPALM with the aim of absorbing the Baoulé. They also are the most suitable breed for draught. The use of draught oxen is a fairly recent innovation, linked to cotton cultivation. As of 1977, there were about 15 000 draught oxen used in the cotton-growing area.
Baoulé are kept almost exclusively under traditional village conditions. However, a few herds have been established under improved conditions by Société d'Etat pour le Développement du Palmier à Huile (SODEPALM) on palm tree plantations where they appear to have adapted very well to the new environment. In a survey supervised by the extension services in Nord Region, it was observed that among the Lobi people of Bouna the village children looked after the cattle. Milking in this area was rarer than elsewhere in the region because fewer than half of the herds were milked at all and only 25% were milked every day (Godet, 1977).
A survey of Baoulé herds in Bouna, Dabakala and Korhogo from a sample of 761 animals found that an average herd composition was of 31% males and 69% females. There were very few males over two years (only 6 adult bulls) and virtually no steers (Poivey and Seitz, 1977).
Landais and Poivey (1981) quoted a mortality rate of 18.3% for 0-1-year-old Baoulé calves under village conditions, including 4.2% dying before they were a month old and following a sample survey in 65 pens operated by SODEPRA Nord 1.3% for calves dying within three days of birth. Godet et al.(1981) estimate milk yield of between 130 and 150 kg for a 210-day lactation period. Hoste et al. (1983) gave a milk yield of 400 kg for a 210-day lactation period for cows at CRZ (Centre de Récherche Zootechnique) Bouaké. Average daily weight gain under village conditions for various ages in Affouvassou, Centre region reported by CRZ Khorogo is presented in Table 8.
Dairying and milk production
Tidori et al. (1975) estimated 309 kg of milk produced from a sample of Baoulé cows during the first 120 days of lactation based on calf weights. Godet (1977) reported a milked-out yield of about 400 g per day in the dry season and about 700 g per day in the rainy season under village conditions.
Jersey x N'Dama crossbred study
Information on the size of household flocks suggested averages of four
to five small ruminants in
Commercial sheep production has evolved in a few cases from modified village production. Farmers who have improved their husbandry have found their flocks increasing to such an extent that they have moved their animals from the villages and established farms specializing in livestock production, where goats and cattle, are also usually kept.
The reproduction traits and mortality rate for West African dwarf sheep under improved village conditions and under pastoral management is presented Table 12. These two animal husbandry systems are more specific to the north of the country. In the first type of system the sheep are given supplementary feed (Bassewitz 1983).
Data on the reproductive performance and mortality rate of West African dwarf sheep under ranch or breeding station conditions are given in Table 13, while Table 14 presents the average daily gains for male lambs.
Disset (1986) observed a fertility rate of 106%, a lamb mortality rate of 3.7%, an adult mortality of 2.4% and an overall mortality rate of 6.1%.
Urban livestock production is the most intensive of the traditional systems but involves only 5% of the sheep. The animals, mainly Sahelian x West African dwarf crossbreeds, graze freely by the roadside and on residues during the day, returning at nightfall to be locked up in mud huts. They are given regular supplementary feed of maize, maize bran and salt. This type of husbandry is practised more for prestige and as investment rather than for commercial reasons.
Pastoral management became important following the sedentarisation
of the Peulh in
Almost 70% of the sheep in the north of the country are managed under improved traditional management, mainly by the Senoufo in the north and northeast. Its main features are night penning, organised distribution of supplements, health care and herding by hired herdsmen or family members.
The free-range system is of minor importance in
the north but widely practised in the
|5. THE PASTURE RESOURCE
The specific contribution of most forages remains approximately constant throughout the annual cycle in natural savannah. The floristic composition of a given formation at the peak of its development varies substantially, depending on whether all the vegetation or only the first two strata are considered (Cesar, 1975, 1986). There appears to be a lower grazing level on sandy soil than on sandy-clayey soil, even if the initial biomass of the vegetation is identical in the two cases.
The grasses cultivated in the
Brachiaria ruziziensis can persist for 3 to 5 years or more. During the first 3 to 5 years the plantations planted are treated as a forage crop. Extracts are offset by fertilization. After 3 or 5 years the areas may be regarded as improved pasture. Fertilization should be used only as a spur to development, and nitrogen only is used.
Panicum maximum, especially, is a grass suitable for extension, for the following reasons: a) it adapts very well to dry-land cropping; b) it manages well with moderate fertilization; c) it can be maintained by burning off; d) it is resistant to competition, especially from ligneous plants; e) it is highly resistant to temporary overstocking; f) mechanical methods can be used for planting, on account of its perenniality (Audru, 1980).
An area planted with Panicum maximum may similarly be considered as a forage crop for the first 1 to 5 years and treated as such. From year 5 onwards it may be managed as an improved pasture until the 10th year, and treated the same as Brachiaria.
Axonopus affinis (Carpet or mat grass, narrow leaf carpet grass)
and Axonopus compressus (Carpet or mat grass, broadleaf carpet
grass) are widespread natural pasture grass under coconuts and oil palm
that thrive well on a range of soil conditions and are grazed by cattle
Recommended legumes include Pueraria phaseoloides, Centrosema pubescens, Stylosanthes hamata cv Verano and Stylosanthes guyanensis.
Stylosanthes was also one of the legumes used
Palatable trees and shrubs
Shrubs and trees are particularly valuable as a source of feed during the dry season. Species such as Griffonia spp. and Baphia spp. remain leafy throughout the dry season with a crude protein (CP) content of 15 to 20% (Fianu et al., 1972). Messager (1977) reported a CP content of 10% for a legume pasture at the end of the dry season, which was the lowest value recorded over a year.
A report on the selective effect of grazing and its role in the evolution of organic matter in two types of soil with mixed pasture of Loudetia arundinacea, Schizachyrium sanguineum and various Andropogons demonstrated that grazing animals preferred Andropogon and Hyparrhenia species over Loudetia arundinacea in the two locations studied.
In Zone I (centre section) on sandy-clayey soil, no edaphic difference appeared between the grazed and rejected areas. On the other hand, on sandy soil (Zone XI, Gofabo section) the gritty structures under the rejects were particulate and loose for the grazed species. Here grazing gave rise to local weakening of the structure, a phenomenon that would not occur if the soil was sufficiently rich in clayey elements.
Moreover, Zone I (centre section) displays locally, in similar ecological conditions, adjoining exclusive populations of Loudetia arundinacea and Schizachyrium sanguineum. The sandy texture of the soil is identical in both cases, but the structure of the first horizons is markedly more resistant under Schizachyrium sanguineum. Table 15 shows the floristic composition of heavily grazed areas on the one hand and of clusters of rejects on the other hand.
Local replacement of Schizachyrium sanguineum by Loudetia arundinacea, probably due to overgrazing, was accompanied by a weakening of the structure, and gave grounds for thinking that the higher organic matter content is essential for the retention of Schizachyrium sanguineum and unimportant for Loudetia arundinacea.
|6. OPPORTUNITIES FOR IMPROVEMENT OF PASTURE
Coulibali et al. (2000) observed that poor pastoral management and overstocking have been responsible for localised and generalised degradation of farmlands. They opined that the depletion of the herb-grass stratum was compounded by the regression of the rooting system on light soils, which is the source of soil organic matter and secondly, having been inadequately nourished in organic matter, degradation and low supply of the humiferous environment of the soil usually led to a drop in soil fertility. However, on a more clayey soil, pastoral degradation through ‘bush growth’ is less serious and may, in some cases, have some favourable effects on the environment by accelerating reforestation.
However, with a more rational management of farmlands and the provision for restoring affected areas followed by a controlled use, fodder production can increase and the fertile land can be preserved. Coulibali et al. (2000) suggested several techniques depending on the degree of intensification to improve pasture resources. These techniques are: natural fallow in Andropogon gayanus; improved fallow through over-sowing of Stylosanthes hamata; and cultivated permanent pasture associated with Panicum maximum and Stylosanthes hamata. These techniques have been studied for their productivity and farming modalities.
In order to intensify the production systems, the Côte d’Ivoire placed a strong emphasis on the integration of agriculture with livestock production; the Société pour l'Aménagement de la Vallée du Bandama (AVB), with headquarters at Bouaké, developed agricultural production systems based on rotation with fodder crops (Stylosanthes spp.). Emphasis was originally placed on a cattle-Stylosanthes mini-farm system (Barry, 1985), however, the methods used in the past to achieve this goal were not always successful and results obtained so far proved disappointing. It was then considered that animal traction would provide the answer to integrating the two sub-sectors and at the same time a forage rotation system would restore soil fertility.
Herbage seed production
SODEPRA had a large scale, mechanised, seed production farm at Badikaha during the nineteen-seventies and nineteen-eighties; its main output was Stylosanthes guianensis until that legume was wiped out by anthracnose (Colletotrichum sp.). Other products included Brachiaria ruziziensis, Panicum maximum and Stylosanthes hamata. The seed was mainly used by SODEPRA ranches and projects.
There are a wide range of grasses and herbage legumes
that are suitable for commercial use in pasture development, but not established
as a domestic herbage seed production industry (Jutzi, 1985).This indicates
that available grass and legumes species if well managed can provide feed
resources for the ruminant population in
Average annual yields of 13 t dry matter/ha for P. maximum,
10 t for Brachiaria mutica and 8 tonnes for Stylosanthes guyanensis,
while Andropogon gayanus yielded 4 t dry matter/ha and Cenchrus
ciliaris 4.2 t over three years were recorded by Messager (1977).
It was observed that the growing season for legumes is one to two months
longer than for grasses, and, if kept as standing hay, legumes retain
their feed value longer. Table 16 shows reductions in annual pasture yields
from first to third year of establishment in
At Bouaké, Cathou (undated; cited in ILCA, 1979b) found that with the application of 300 kg nitrogen, 100 kg phosphorus and 400 kg potassium annually the production of 20 t dry matter/ha of good quality forage could be maintained. However, Messager (1977) reported 33% drops in the yields of Cynodon spp. with or without fertilization.
Grazing or cutting strategies
Barring extremes, the height of cutting does not seem very important. For example the optimum cutting height for Stylosanthes spp. is 10 cm in the first year of establishment, rising gradually to 25 cm in the third year. For P. maximum, fairly low cuts at 10 cm twice during the growing season are preferable to more frequent cuts at 25 cm (ILCA, 1979b). Stylosanthes spp., and Hyparrhenia rufa should be cut at gradually increasing heights.
Messager (1977) found that P. maximum gave an offer-residue rate of 78% when grazed at four-week intervals, while the rate dropped to 35% when the pasture was grazed at six-week intervals and to 18% with grazing at eight-week intervals.
In general, heavy stocking during a short period will result in an offer-residue rate close to 60%, while continuous stocking at a lower level results in a rate of 34 to 40% independent of pasture species. Messager (1977) found that P. maximum gave an offer-residue rate of 78% when grazed at four-week intervals, while the rate dropped to 35% when the pasture was grazed at six-week intervals and to 18 % with grazing at eight-week intervals.
Constraints; threats and solutions
Crop residues and agro-industrial by-products seem not to play a major role in ruminant livestock production. Farmers should be introduced to their use especially in areas short of forage in both wet and dry seasons.
Due to these constraints, the following government ministries and organs
were established in
Ministère de la Production Animale which includes among other sections a Direction des Services Vétérinaires, a Direction de la Production Animale and a Service d'Agrostologie et de Production Fourragère. The Direction de la Production Animale has an office in each region. and department. The Ministry also created a Société de Développement de la Production Animale (SODEPRA) which is responsible for breeding, extension and development activities (ILCA,1992).
Under the Ministère de la Récherche Scientifique, animal production research activities are confined essentially to the Centre de Recherches Zootechniques de Minankro-Bouaké. Cattle fattening and sheep breeding trials are carried out in collaboration with that Centre.
The Département de Zootechnie also carries out research on mineral nutrition and small ruminants under the framework of the Ecole Nationale Supérieure d'Agronomie (ENSA).
The SODEPRA works on forage and fodder crops.
Parallel with the genetic improvement project, the Centre de Recherches Zootechniques (CRZ) conducted a programme for the intensive production of forage and fodder crops, thus providing a basis for the feeding system. Also the CRZ conducted research to facilitate the technical transformation of various stock farms for accelerated sound management of the savannah, livestock upgrading techniques and the intensive production of forage and fodder crops outside the scheme of crop rotation, and seed production.
In each of these various fields there were definite and important possibilities.
The government should strengthen livestock production by providing education and training in modern animal husbandry and also introduce large-scale cattle fattening centres near Bouaké and Abidjan.
|7. RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT ORGANIZATIONS AND
Several institutions in
The Centre de Recherches Zootechniques de Minankro-Bouaké (CRZ) (B. P. 1152, Bouaké)
The Société de Developpement de Productions Animales (SODEPRA) (B. P. 1429, Abidjan)
The Société pour le Developpement du Palmier à Huile (SODEPALM) (B. P. 2049, Abidjan) (cattle production on its palm plantations.
The Opération d'Encadrement de l'Elevage Sédentaire au Nord Côte d'Ivoire (known as SODEPRA-Nord), with headquarters at Korhogo (B.P. 24, Korhogo)
Institut des Savanes (IDESSA)
Tié B Tra. - National institute of technology FHB, Yamoussoukro, Ivory Coast
Ayémou Assa. - University of Cocody, Abidjan, Ivory Coast
Francis Akindès - Université de Bouaké and Institut de Recherche pour le Développement (ex-ORSTOM), Bouaké, Cote d'Ivoire
Aman, S. - Institut des Savannes, Route de Sakassou, B. P. 635, Bouaké, Cote d'Ivoire
Tchoume, T. - Laboratoire de Botanique Agricole, Ecole Nationaie Superieure Agronomique d'Abidjan, Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire.
Olivier Girardin. - Swiss centre for scientific research,
01 BP 1303, Abidjan,
Ake Séverin - Editor in Chief; Agronomie Africaine, Association Ivoirienne des Sciences Agronomiques (AISA), 20 BP 703 Abidjan 20, Cote D’Ivoire
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The profile was prepared by Eroarome Martin Aregheore in March 2009.
[The profile was edited by J.M. Suttie and S.G. Reynolds in April/May 2009]