The birth of Cameroon
The role of agriculture in the economy
2. SOILS AND TOPOGRAPHY
Soils developed in the ferralitic zone
Soils developed in the ferruginous zone
Young soils developed from varied parent materials
The coastal lowlands
The Rocky Coast
The southern plateau
The Adamawa plateau
The western highlands
The northern lowlands
3. CLIMATE AND AGRO-ECOLOGICAL ZONES
The main climatic elements
The wet season
The equatorial domain
The tropical climate domain
Dense equatorial forest
|4. RUMINANT LIVESTOCK PRODUCTION SYSTEMS
Traditional sedentary systems
Major grazing systems
Sedentary stock rearing
Peri-urban ruminant husbandry
Traditional dairy production
Introduction of exotic dairy cattle
Semi-intensive system and crop and livestock integration
Productivity of breeds used for milk production
Domestic milk production and demand
5. THE PASTURE RESOURCE
Economic aspects of rangeland
6. OPPORTUNITIES FOR IMPROVEMENT OF FODDER RESOURCES
Establishment of legumes
Supplementation of crop residues and agro-industrial by-products with forage
7. RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT ORGANIZATIONS AND PERSONNEL
The territory is roughly triangular with a base of about 700 km and
a height of 1 200 km; it covers 475 412 km2, with a population
of 14 693 000 (FAO, 1999). That is 31 inhabitants per km2.
According to the World
Factbook the July 2008 population estimate is 18
467 692 with a growth rate
of 2.218%, while Njoya et al. (1999) expect the population to
reach 20 500 000 in 2010. Global distribution of
Cameroon land area by type of natural resource (MINEF,
1996) is given in Table 1.
[Click here to view Table 1. Land area distribution according to the type of natural resource]
The birth of Cameroon
In 1472 a Portuguese, Fernando Po, landed on an island thirty-five kilometres off Limbe and gave his name to it; more Portuguese settled there. During the second half of the sixteenth century Portuguese traders noted the great variety of prawns in Wouri estuary and river and named the river “Rio dos Camaroes” meaning “River of Prawns.” The Spanish version of Camaroes is Camerones which gave rise to Cameroon. Other spellings derived from this Spanish version. The Germans spell it Kamerun, the French Cameroun, and the English Cameroon. Today there are two official forms: “Cameroon” and “Cameroun,” in English and French, respectively.
Cameroon’s boundaries were decided by a series of treaties between the Germans and the British and later between the Germans and the French. After the expulsion of the Germans during the First World War, Cameroon was shared between France and Britain in 1916. The division was confirmed by the four allied powers in 1919 through the Treaty of Versailles. The League of Nations later mandated Britain to administer and develop West Cameroon and France for East Cameroon.
Cameroon was a trust territory of the U.N.O from 1946 until independence. After the Second World War the two territories of Cameroon were ruled by their “masters,” as Trust Territories of the United Nations Organization until independence. The political development which ended in independence was pursued by the inhabitants of the two Cameroons separately. A social aspect of Cameroon is its bilingualism at the national level, which resulted from a peaceful merger in 1972 of the French-speaking East Cameroon and the English-speaking West Cameroon. At the local level many languages and dialects are spoken.
The country is divided into 10 provinces (Figure 1b) along
with divisions (Figure 2), sub divisions and districts in each
Province. Yaoundé is the political capital while Douala is the
largest city in terms of population and the main economic centre. Cameroon
has 204 ethnic groups among which are the Douala, Bakoko, Bassa in Littoral
Province; Pygmies, Fang, Bulu, Beti, in Centre Province; Bamileke, Bamoun,
Tikar, Bafut, Kom, Nsaw, Bali, Wdikum, in West and North West Province;
Fulbe, Hausa, Baya, Mafa, Kapsiki, Guidar, Guiziga, Tupuri, Massa, Musgum,
Kotoko, Mundang in the Adamawa, North and Extreme North Provinces. The
lowest population densities are in the East Province and the highest
in the West, North West, Far North, and Centre Provinces. Details of
population density are presented in Figure 3 and 4.
Until the late nineteen-seventies the country’s economic growth was regular, about 5% per year in real terms, mainly supported by the agricultural and agro-industrial sectors. Economic policy was characterised by an investment and prudent public loan strategy. This period was equally marked by the Government’s willingness to invest in agriculture and forestry by creating several agro-industrial enterprises. Between 1977/1978 and 1985/1986 the national economy, because of the petroleum boom, registered a growth rate averaging 7% per year. The Government took advantage of this situation and realized major investments without appreciating if these investments were able to generate enough resource to cover the loan. This financial situation equally lead the state to provide high subvention to public and parastatal enterprises (Figure 5). This slowly brought the government to extend its function from the regulatory one to the production and distribution without taking into consideration the negative impact and the diverse distortion caused by this intervention. With the expansion of the petroleum industry, agricultural development was neglected and the sector entered a relative decline. The regression of agriculture, reflected in its contribution to GDP, is clear since from 34% in 1977/1978, this share represented only 22% in 1985/1986. There were however a slight growth to 28% in 1990/1991 and 33% in 1993/1994.
The dramatic fall in the prices of all exported products, including oil, in 1986 created, a crisis with a major consequence being the fall in state taxes revenue. The revenue from oil of which production had decreased could not generate enough finance to compensate the decrease in revenue. The agricultural sub sector, which in the mean time had lost its competitiveness, was not performing in a way as to attract investments. The years 1985/1986 were the end of a prosperous period and the beginning of a crisis, difficult to predict the scope and importance of. All this kept the economy in the depths of recession and between 1987 and 1993 the country was in a structural adjustment program (SAP). During this period profound internal adjustment geared towards stabilisation of public finances and the liberalisation of the economy was undertaken. This was not enough and external adjustment, the devaluation of CFA francs was necessary. This was to help expanding non-oil exports, reducing the import of goods that could be manufactured locally, achieving self-sufficiency in food and increasing the role of the private sector.
The role of agriculture in the economy
Macro-economic decisions such as the devaluation of CFA franc and the liberalisation of economic activities were carried out in the hope of restoring the economic competitiveness in general and that of agriculture in particular. Consequently, there was a 14% increase in the volume of the export commodities other than oil and oil products, in which agricultural output had a major share. The contribution of energy resources to GDP was essentially due to petroleum products and although data on this sector are scarce, in 1992/1993 it provided 113 billions CFA to the national economy (MINEF, 1996). The contribution of staple food crops to the re-growth of GDP in real terms between 1993/1994 and 1994/1995 was 6.5% (MINEF, 1996).
The country has great pastoral potential with 30% of the rural population deriving their living from the livestock sector and globally represents 16% of the Agricultural sector. The low contribution of the livestock production to the agricultural GDP is, at least partially, due to the prevailing production system which for cattle, the dominant livestock species, is nomadism and transhumance. However, the increase in meat demand and the introduction of commercialisation into local production systems is bringing some form of un-adapted intensification which slowly is undermining the judicious equilibrium which existed between ruminants and forage production. The livestock growth rate during the last two decades was estimated at about 2.5%. This herd increase will continue to degrade rangeland resources leading, if nothing is done, to a drastic decrease in livestock population and meat production for a population expected to reach over 25 millions by the year 2020 (MINEF, 1996)
Click here to view Table: 3 Production statistics of some major staple foods
Smallholders using simple techniques account for more than two-thirds of all agricultural production. State farms are mainly engaged with export crops. Subsistence food crops: sorghum, maize, rice, millet, cassava, are mainly grown in the North; taro, yams, cassava, rice, banana, plantain, maize, potatoes, roots and tubers, avocado, beans, okra, are grown in the south and traded largely outside the cash economy. Cash crops: palm kernels, cotton, cocoa, tobacco, rubber, banana, tea, coffee, palm oil and sugar cane are grown in the south; cotton and groundnuts are grown in the North.
Click here to view Table 4. Major cash crops production outputs
The soils of
[For details of the major soil classification
system used in classifying the soils of
Soils developed in the ferralitic zone
Ferralsols have good physical properties and poor chemical properties. Their great depth, high permeability and stable micro-structure make them less susceptible to erosion than other soils, except sandy units. Ferralsols have low fertility, no weatherable minerals and cation retention by the mineral soil fraction is low. Under natural conditions in these soils, the bulk of ‘available’ plant nutrients are concentrated in the upper 10-50 cm of soil. Nutrients that are taken up by the roots are eventually returned to the surface soil with falling leaves and other plant debris. If this process of ‘nutrient cycling’ is interrupted, e.g., by introduction of low input sedentary subsistence farming, the root zone will rapidly become depleted of plant nutrients. On cultivation of virgin soils, high yields are obtained which rapidly decrease with time with increased mineralisation of organic matter, leaching of nutrients and decrease in soil fertility.
Also found in association with the ferralsols are concretionary soils rich in Fe and Al, variously called soils with lateritic, ironstone, or ferricrete crusts. Because of their indurated nature they usually limit plant growth but are useful for surfacing roads.
Soils developed in the ferruginous zone
A remarkable feature of this zone is the longer dry and hot season which favours the translocation of weathered soluble products to the soil surface through evapotranspiration. These products are not leached beyond the soil profile during the rainy season due to limited amount of rainfall. This results in the accumulation of precipitates of soluble salts at the surface, often in toxic proportions, and is responsible for the formation of the type of soils called “harde” (in Fulfulde = sterile”) in north Cameroon.
Towards the southern edge of the ferruginous zone plinthite (a humus-poor sesquioxide –rich material that hardens irreversibly upon exposure develops) which often hardens into an indurated crust called laterite, occurs. There is also a wide variety of young soils (Vertisols, Leptosols, Regosols, etc.) in this zone.
Young soils developed from varied parent materials
Andosols, young soils developed from volcanic ash, cinders and easily weatherable volcanic materials, are commonly found near volcanic vents or downslope or downwind from the volcano, where a sufficiently thick layer of ash has been deposited during eruptions. They are found along the volcanic axis which stretches from Mount Cameroon in the South West Province through the Bakossi, and Mungo areas to Foumbot and the Adamawa plateau. The principal soil forming process is rapid weathering of ash to produce amorphous or poorly crystalline silicate minerals such as allophane. Formation of alumino-humus complexes protects the organic matter from mineralisation and leads to its accumulation in these soils. They have a low bulk density, are dark in colour and constitute the most productive soils for intensive agriculture in the country.
Fluvisols are soils which lack any major marks of soil-forming processes due to periodic additions of alluvial deposits. They are found in isolated zones, especially in the plains and bottoms of major river valleys such as the Wouri, the Benue and the Logone and Chari valleys, and the Ndop and Mbo plains. Due to their youth they are generally fertile and support intensive agriculture except where alluvial deposits are derived from eroded subsoil materials.
Vertisols, formerly called black clays or grumosols, have marks of processes that mix the soil regularly and prevent development of diagnostic horizons. The dominant soil-forming processes are shrinking and swelling through periods of drying and wetting. They are dark in colour and have a high content of swelling clays, dominantly smectite, which is responsible for their shrink-swell nature. They are very rich in nutrient cations but because of their poor engineering properties (pronounced volume changes with change in moisture, deep wide cracks in the dry season, low hydraulic conductivity, high bulk density and difficulty in tillage), these soils are not exploited to their full potential. They are found in the lake Chad Basin developed from lacustrine sediments as well as in the Benue plain.
Leptosols and Regosols are soils with little pedogenic development found in steeply sloping environments in hilly to mountainous areas such as Mt Yeye and Mbankomo around Yaoundé, the Mandara Mountains and the Adamawa Highlands. Lack of pedogenic development is associated with rapid removal of surface soil, shallow nature, high erodibility and limited moisture retention; they have low potential for agriculture.
Gleysols (hydromorphic soils) are soils with signs of excess wetness as indicated by oxidation/redoximorphic features. They are found in low-lying areas with shallow groundwater or valleys with impeded drainage. They are found in the big marshes of the Haut-Ntem or Haut-Nyong and the middle part of the Haut-Noun valleys. Waterlogging is their main limitation. They are mostly used for grazing or covered with swamp forests, but can be planted to rice, coffee and some food crops, e.g. Mbo plain in the West Province.
The relief map (Figure 8) shows that Cameroon is a country of varied landscapes.
The main physical units are:
The coastal lowlands
As this Coastal Lowland approaches the ocean, some important characteristics are noticed. Close to the Atlantic Ocean there are mangrove swamps, creeks, sand bars and sand spits; the large rivers which drain into this zone account for the huge deposits of sand, silt and mud which in turn result in the marshiness of the coast. The marshes make it difficult for the creation of good harbours.
The Cameroon Coastal Region can be divided into two parts:
a) The Low-lying Coast
The low-lying coast
This zone can be subdivided into:
i) The Ndian Basin to the northwest of Mount Cameroon is characterized by the presence of mangrove swamps. The rivers, especially the Ndian, split up into small branches which cut through sedimentary deposits before entering the ocean. Significant branches include Rio-del-Rey, Ngosso, and Andokat.
ii) The Douala Basin is a very low depression with a mean altitude of 30 metres where a lot of sediment is deposited. The high rate of deposition can be noticed at the Wouri estuary. Like the Ndian Basin, it is characterized by creeks, sand bars and lagoons.
iii) The Southern Lowlands: the rest of the coastal land from Douala down to Kribi is low-lying. Compared to the preceding sections, the Southern Lowland zone has few creeks and the coastline has very few indentations.
iv) The Mamfe Depression, which forms a distinct zone, some
150 kilometres from the coast, is almost encircled by a range of mountains,
except to the west where its lowlands stretch out into
The Rocky Coast
The second part of the Rocky Coast is in the region of Kribi where the Southern Plateau comes close to the ocean. The region of Longi near Kribi is bare crystalline schist which sometimes stands as cliffs at the coast, or splits up into mighty rocky blocks. This coast is clear of sand and silt deposits.
The Southern Plateau
The landscape of the Southern Plateau is monotonous, of gently undulating hills with convex slopes. These dome-shaped hills, generally referred to as half-orange relief, are prominent in the Batouri and Belabo regions. There are occasional rocky domes with concave slopes, some bare of vegetation. In the environs of Yaoundé these domes reach 1 200 m. Examples are the Mbam -Minkomand Mbankomo massifs. Massifs which stand isolated, are known as inselbergs or sugar-loaf relief.
Three sections of this plateau can be identified:
a) The western part, with broken relief, composed essentially of gneiss, has deep valleys separating its hills. Most hills have steep slopes; typical examples include the Mban-Minkom (1 295 m) and the Ngovayang chain. This section of the Southern Plateau ends at the coastal plain with a steep slope which is easily seen at Kribi where rivers tumble down in rapids and falls.
b) The eastern section is a peneplain with characteristic half-orange relief. Its landscape is gentler than in the west. Its lowest portions are along the Sangha River.
c) The northern section, a transition zone between the Southern Plateau and the Adamawa high plateau, has alternating depressions and granitic massifs which form the front of the Adamawa Plateau. Altitudes range from 800 m to 900 metres.
The Adamawa plateau
The western highlands
The main volcanic peaks are in the great fracture line oriented SW-NE stretching far into the country on which the following volcanic peaks can be identified: Annobon island, Sao Tome, Santa Isabel, in the Atlantic Ocean; on land Mount Cameroon , Mt. Kupe, the Manenguba mountains, the Bambutou, the Mbam massif, the Mkogam, the Mbapit Mountains and the Mandara Mountains. Mount Cameroon is still very active today. The Western Highland region has many volcanic lakes and its soils are the richest for agriculture.
The northern lowlands
a) The Benue Depression, on the northern piedmont zone of the Adamawa Plateau at an average altitude of 300 to 350 metres, formed by the floodplain of the River Kebi, is separated from the Chad Plain and Logone Valley by a small elevation with some peaks, such as, Mindif, the Rumsiki (1 224 m), and the Peske Bori (1 195m) which form part of the Mandara Mountains.
b) The Chad Plain: only a small part is in
Mount Kupe (2 064 m) overlooking the towns of Loum and Tombel, is of crystalline materials and layers of volcanic flows. Its slopes are almost vertical. In places thick layers of lava flows have been split perpendicularly into large blocks which stand detached from the main massif; some carry thick vegetation. At its base, especially around Mbanga, Nyombe and Nkongsamba, and more specifically between Tombel and Penja, there are over eighty small volcanic cones with an average height of 50 metres. Volcanic materials are used for road maintenance.
The Mandara Mountains in north
a) The Middle Plateau lies between the latitudes of Mokolo and Tchevi. The south of this zone is a plateau ranging from 800 m to 900 m. There are landforms of necks and dykes formed by the volcanic intrusion through the crust composed of trachite and rhyolite.
b) The mountainous northern and southern parts resemble each other in that they are extremely hilly. The massifs, composed principally of granite, have been greatly dissected. The northern section, which is much higher than the southern part, has the highest part of the Mandara mountains-the Tourou Mountain (1 442 m). The dissection of the Mandara Mounts is as a result of internal earth movements and river action.
c) The surrounding inselbergs; morphologically it is difficult to dissociate the inselbergs from the Mandara mountains; the most significant are in the south-west of the massif, e.g. Popologozom (1165m), and Peske Bori. Some isolated inselbergs are far into the plains, e.g. the Mindif inselberg (769m), the Waza hills and many other smaller ones.
The main climatic elements
The Intertropical Front shifts following the movement of the pressure
centres as the position of the sun controls the cycle of the seasons.
The seasons in
The Harmattan, the North-East Trade Winds, which are hot and dry because they pass over the Sahara, are very stable, and blow from October till June.
In January, the St. Helena anticyclone is far to the south. That of the Azores is reinforced and the Harmattan becomes stronger than the Monsoon so the Intertropical Front is pushed further south to around 5°N. North Cameroon is covered by the Harmattan, which brings the dry season.
The effects of the Harmattan are very intense in the north but become less severe southwards. This wind carries fine sand from the Sahara, leading to poor visibility. Some small streams dry up completely. Many big rivers reduce in volume, the vegetation turns brown and is scorched in some places. Not only rivers and vegetation suffer but humans as well. Days are very hot while the nights are very cold.
In the south, especially in coastal areas, these adverse conditions are greatly mitigated because Monsoon Winds, though weak, provide occasional showers; atmospheric humidity is higher than in the north.
The wet season
The equatorial domain
a) The Guinea type, which starts from the coast at Kribi and covers all the Southern Plateau, is characterized by four seasons (two rainy and two dry) with rainfall ranging from 1 500 to 2 000 mm; it has two rainfall maxima e.g. Yaoundé, in September (long rains) and in March-April (short rains); the first minimum is December-January and the second in July-August. This climate is characterized by high and fairly constant temperatures, 25°C on average.
b) The Cameroon type climate which occurs on the south-western coast near Mt. Cameroon and extends down the mouth of the Sanaga River and the Western and Bamenda highlands, is hot and humid with a wet season of about eight months during which rains are abundant throughout, and a comparatively short dry season. This type can further be divided into:
i) The maritime
ii) The montane
The tropical climate domain
a) The Sudan or humid tropical climate, extending from 6° to 10° N, has two seasons - a rainy season of seven months and five months dry. On the Adamawa range, however, rains are heavier than elsewhere because of the relief (Ngaoundere 1 500 mm), and there rains are often accompanied by great storms which last from March to November.
Temperatures are cool, 21°C on the average, but the average annual
ranges (6° C) are often greater than in the
b) The Sahel climate, which starts from the north of the Benue basin and covers the plains of Mayo-Danay, the Diarnare and the Mandara Mountain, is characterized by low precipitation, usually below 900 mm and a dry season of at least seven months. Low atmospheric humidity increases annual temperature ranges (7°C) and the level of dryness. The Mandara Mountains differ from the rest of the area due to altitude which results in cooler, more humid conditions (Mokolo 967 mm) though the dry season is still long. On the Chad Plain arid conditions are intense (Kousseri 630 mm) and the rainy season barely lasts three months. The rate of evaporation in this region is very high.
The major vegetation zones follow the climatic regions, although the
relationship is distorted where man, soils and relief intervene.
Dense equatorial forest
This covers the Coastal Lowlands and the southern part of the Southern Plateau. It can be subdivided into two types:
Mangrove Forest occupies two swampy regions at the coast – around Rio-del-Rey and the Douala Basin. The region Rio-del-Rey, which extends from the Akwa Yafe river in the west to the foot of Mount Cameroon, just east of Bamusso and inland to Isangele, and down to the coast, is characterized by swamps, creeks and estuaries; there are raffia palms in swampy places. The second zone starts from Bimbia through Tiko to Modeka and down to Douala Basin. Trees in this region develop very long roots which plunge down into the swamps. The main constituents of the mangrove forest are Rhizophora and Avicennia, but other trees occur.
Rain Forest; this evergreen forest which lies inland, just after the mangrove, between 200 m and 800 m, covers a very large part of the Southern Plateau. It has been subjected to serious human attack for lumbering, farms and urban expansion. Where such disturbances have taken place, secondary forest may replace the primary forest, as seen in the surroundings of Yaoundé. Primary forest can still be found in the south-eastern sector of the country, due to inaccessibility and very little human habitation. The forest is immense, luxuriant and has a continuous canopy of leaves. It is dark and damp inside and has a very thin undergrowth with little or no sunlight reaching the ground.
Throughout the area, temperature, rainfall and humidity are high, both in yearly total and every day. Seasonal and diurnal fluctuations are much less than in other zones. Trees develop buttresses, large extensions of trunks and roots at and around their bases, often reaching ten metres up the trunk. While the forest as a whole is described as evergreen, some trees shed their foliage at some period of the year. It contains trees of economic importance such as iroko, mahogany, obeche, ebony and many others. Remnants of primary forest are also found in less accessible zones such as the Djerem and Mbam depressions, the broken slopes of Mounts Féré and Yéyé in Yaoundé. Some areas, for example, the Widikum and Bafang slopes where there are a lot of palms, look very much like primary forest but some of these palms were planted although most are wild.
The rain forest is the home of many animals: elephants, monkeys, chimpanzees and many rodents. Moving north from south, the forest gives way gradually to savanna.
The vegetation of many areas has been modified by human activities and bush fires; some areas in the south may have supported much denser woodland in the past but that vegetation has been replaced by derived savanna. Three types of savanna can be distinguished: Guinea Savanna, Sudan Savanna, and Sahel Savanna. This division is useful, but tends to exaggerate the sharpness of the transition between types.
Guinea Savanna, which lies immediately north of the rain forest, is a mixture of tall grass and trees, with thick woodland and grassy undergrowth. Further north, trees give way to grass. To the south trees belonging to the rain forest occur; the southern slopes of the Adamawa in particular and the whole of the Adamawa in general are covered with such vegetation. Bush fires in the dry season, lit by cattle rearers, and other human activities help to savannize this area, extending the grassland southwards.
Sudan Savanna, which covers the Western Highlands, the Benue Depression, the Diamare plain and the Mandara mountains, is a type of wooded savanna where shrubs shed their leaves in the dry season to withstand the bush fires and dry conditions; they also have thick bark. This savanna gave rise to the term Grass fields, applied to what was formerly Bamenda Province. This vegetation, when young, provides the beauty of the hills and cattle rearers like it for their cattle. This is the case with grazing lands at Nkambe, Wum and Fundong. Stunted trees, well adapted to the harsh dry season, stand out clearly above the grass. An interesting type of vegetation in the Sudan Savanna is raffia palm bush, found in valleys and depressions.
Sahel Savanna With the drastic decrease in precipitation in the far north, the vegetation suffers from a long dry season. The savanna becomes very low and scorched by the sun. Grass degenerates until it ends up in small patches around the fringes of the Sahara. Such conditions are found towards Lake Chad. As human activities increase, the destruction of vegetation is likely to render the land completely bare so the government has, in recent years, embarked on an afforestation programme - Operation Green Sahel. Swampy land bordering Lake Chad can support taller and thicker vegetation.
Gradient, Temperature, and Vegetation of Mt. Cameroon
The principle that temperature decreases with increasing altitude is obvious on Mount Cameroon. Vegetation types at different altitudes reflect climatic and soil conditions.
Mount Cameroon has a series of terraces from its base to the summit. From the coast up to about 50m is a sedimentary plain which extends to Tiko, where it is limited by a small escarpment between Tiko and Mutengene. Beyond Mutengene the land rises gently up to the altitude of Buea (800 m). At the foot of this mountain the climate is typical hot equatorial with temperatures rising above 23 °C in such places as Tiko and Limbe; the natural forest vegetation has been cleared to create settlements, farms and plantations of rubber, palm and tea.
From about 915 m, above Buea, there are very steep slopes covered by thick and evergreen forest which extends to an altitude of 1 700 m then gives way to typical savanna vegetation. Hut One is at about 1 600 m . From the end of this forest, between One and Two, there is a much steeper section which ends at an altitude of 3 000 m where Hut Two is and is covered by savanna.
From 3 000 to 3 500 m the slope is gentle, about 30° and still covered by grass which is much shorter than savanna and can be termed prairie. Between 3 600 m and 4 000 m the slope is very steep and the vegetation is composed of lichens and mosses; this is the summital plateau and has small crests of scoria of over 50 m, large funnel-shaped craters and fumaroles whose temperatures measure between 60°C to 80°C.
Temperatures on the summital plateau are extremely low; average daily temperatures are about 4°C in the wet season and about 8 °C in the dry season. In this zone winds can be very strong blowing at 240 km per hour. The culminating point is formed of solidified lava and has snow caps and temperatures are at freezing point.
Mount Cameroon has a crater of 100 m in diameter and about 50 m deep with vertical interior walls. The mountain is formed of piled up layers of lava. From base to summit are a succession of basalts, trachite, phonolite and other volcanic materials. Rainfall on the mountain is very heavy, especially on seaward slopes.
Hydrographically, this mountain disperses water to two directions, considering those streams and springs which arise above 3 000m. Streams of the south-east flow parallel to each other before meeting to form the Ombe River. Those of the north-west flow to form the Onge River. The mountain as a whole disperses water in a radial pattern to all directions.
|4. RUMINANT LIVESTOCK PRODUCTION
Ruminants, the most widespread livestock in
Traditional sedentary systems
Scavenging, a low-input system, is used by farmers all over the country. Animals roam freely in and around villages, scavenging food scraps and crop residues. Animals are given no care nor is there any routine management.Traditional farmers keep stock as a side line to crops and as a hobby.
Cut-and-carry - rainy season tethering : extensive grazing systems
can no longer provide adequate feed to livestock in many areas. This
system developed in areas such as Bamenda under cut-and-carry. Stock
are housed in the compound, or where forage is available and are fed
cut forages. This system is used where the farmer has insufficient land.
There are strict production systems set by the Heifer project and NGOs
in which the number of animals is usually limited. Cut-and-carry is
often used in conjunction with fattening for seasonal markets and is
very common in southern
Fattening Some farmers around cities such as Maroua, Garoua buy animals and stall feed them for a set period. The animals may be fattened for six months to take advantage of seasonal variations in stock prices. This system is promoted by government agencies in preparation for festive seasons.
Major grazing systems
Herdsmen have had to retreat in the face of expanding agriculture; their major problem is a compression of their range, both by the northward move of cultivation and southward desiccation. Many authorities have recommended that pastoralists be sedentarised, but this has not occurred widely. Would it have been the best solution? Various grazing controls have been suggested but none has been implemented and problems are increasing.
The state of the pastoral environment is difficult to assess. It has
often been thought that pastoralism leads inevitably to overgrazing
and a reduction in the long term carrying capacity. The increasing degradation
of the Sahel area is often seen as an example of large-scale overuse,
either as a primary or contributory factor (Horowitz, 1979). Yet pastoralists
have inhabited the area for millennia and the situation was never so
serious. In nearly all cases of nomadism in Africa, movement is a matter
of necessity arising from the level of technology prevailing within
the community and the circumstances of the physical environment. There
is little evidence of a romantic attachment to endless movement. Nomadism
is a hard testing faith and its hold is demonstrably weak (Baker, 1978).
If there is any positive alternative, they can quit nomadism. Where
settlement has been resisted, the reason lies not in the nomad's wanderlust,
but in a defective planning programme. There are three types of grazing
The true nomad and his herd live almost in a symbiotic form. Cattle are not regarded mainly as a source of income but as a source of food, a source of social prestige and above all as a means of survival. Inputs into the system are low, as are the outputs. But that is of less concern as long as it ensures the survival of the group.
The traditions and the production system of these herders are more difficult to modify than development theory usually estimates. Their mastery of extensive livestock production systems is very delicate. Techniques brought from outside the system do not fit well because they are not a response to an interior social, economic or traditional logic but rather to an outside economic logic or to a social logic which is different from that of the herders. These techniques are not supported by an endogenous motivation but by an exogenous one. Extension services provided to herders are not easy to implement. If they are not carefully planned, they may appear as an attempt to substitute technicians for herders.
Our understanding of the rationale behind pastoral movements has advanced tremendously since the days when nomads were thought to wander aimlessly on the rangeland. The many types of criteria behind their decisions vary from year to year and household to household according to changing social and environmental circumstances, giving the pastoralists a flexibility that allows them to meet environmental challenges and subsistence needs (Niamir, 1990). This very flexibility is however, often interpreted as random, inconsistent and irrational by development workers and governments.
Transhumance is very common because, after settlement, herders cannot find enough forage around the village throughout the year for their animals. Temporary migration is more than necessary since herdsmen do little to improve the grassland. The general mechanisms of transhumance are simple. In search of pasture and water, herdsmen and their herd follow the rainfall southward and flocks return to the village in its rainy season.
Throughout the rainy season animals are usually not far from the village.
Water is available and green pastures abundant. At the end of the rainy
season the availability of water diminishes, pasture becomes less and
less nutritious, movement of herds towards areas of available water
begins and continues as the dry season progresses. During this period,
animals will stay around what water points are left in the area (boreholes
are used in Yaéré, in the far north
Dry season movement is the greatest; it is due to the lack of forage
or water or both. Rainy season displacement is complex and its reasons
multiple. Arab herders of the Makari around Lake Chad migrate to
Sedentary stock rearing
Most cattle which migrate during the dry season remain near the village of their owner during the rainy season. Animal production in the wet season is mostly sedentary. Usually there is no shelter for cattle; for sheep and goats, which are more sensitive to unfavourable weather, farmers build a shelter or use any available facilities for their protection. The animals graze around the village and during the height of the dry season are given agricultural by-products: groundnut hay, bean hay, stover of maize or sorghum.
There is a special livestock raising system in central Margui-Wandala in North Cameroon. Matakan farmers in the area build small, almost closed houses where they keep a young bull for two or three years. The animal is fed through a small opening in the wall while from another, lower one, the house can be cleaned. These bulls are specially raised for the "Maray" feast. It is also common for Moslems, a few months prior to the Ramadan feast, to feed goats and mostly sheep intensively in a confined area.
The widespread sedentarisation of pastoralists and their adoption of crop growing in addition to keeping livestock; the uptake of animal husbandry and fattening of livestock by arable farmers and the utilization of crop residues by livestock farmers in exchange for manure are all indicative of a progressive and widespread trend towards mixed farming (FAO, 1983; and McIntyre et al., 1992). Mixed farming is established mainly in Northern Cameroon and the further integration of livestock production within local farming systems will surely become a major strategic goal of livestock development. Many retired civil servants take up mixed farming because it uses space more efficiently and spreads risks.
Peri-urban ruminant husbandry
Livestock play a very important role in
The low rate of increase in livestock production is due to the prevalence of some major diseases which affect the herd such as pateurellosis, foot and mouth disease, tick-borne diseases and trypanosomiasis.
Cattle contribute about 54% of total meat consumption per inhabitant while the proportion for sheep and goat is 13%, pig 15% and poultry 17%. Data on meat production are given in Table 6.
Cattle are found throughout
The Bos indicus are comparatively of higher beef yielding than the taurin cows. There are the Adamawa Zebu (Gudali) and the zebu of the north (Mbororo).
Humpless Bos taurus breeds are smaller than zebus, and
relatively resistant to trypanosomiasis. They form a very small percentage
Most cattle rearers in
Etoundi (2003) found that in Northern Cameroon most cattle rearers are illiterate (51%), and have not had formal training in cattle rearing.
Planchenault (1992) observed that in many regions of
Traditional dairy production
Introduction of exotic dairy cattle
Semi-intensive system and crop and livestock integration
Productivity of breeds used for milk production
Tawah and Rege (1996) reviewed information on White Fulani cattle related to the breed's physical characters and production parameters. They described their distribution and husbandry and concluded that the breed is economically important for several communities in West and Central Africa. Although the population of the breed is large, crossbreeding with exotic and local breeds poses a long-term threat. Red Fulani cattle are found in many countries of West and Central Africa. They are extremely hardy and adapt to a wide range of conditions, particularly to arid zones (Maule, 1990). These breeds have been crossed with European Bos taurus breeds, including the Holstein Friesian, Jersey and Montbeliard (Mbah et al., 1987; Tawah and Mbah, 1989; Mbah et al., 1991; Tawah et al. (1999a).
Tawah et al. (1998) studied the fixed effects of genotype, parity,
age at calving, season and year of birth of cows on lactation and reproductive
performance. Traits analysed were lactation milk yield, lactation duration,
annual milk yield, calving interval, dry period and age at first calving.
They found, as expected, that in
Domestic milk production and demand
The increase in number of dairy cows in the 1990s resulted from the
new surge towards high yielding imported stock to increase domestic
production. Annual per capita milk production in
This trend was confirmed by ILCA (1993). The present situation creates an extraordinary opportunity for dairy development. This reality has led some peri-urban farmers to use purebred Holstein Friesian cows. To maximize profit, these animals have been imported for commercial production in increasing numbers over the last five years. For a sound and progressive development of the sector, dairy cooperative societies were formed (e.g. the "Projet laitier" in Ngaoundéré, Adamaoua in the Northern part of the country and TADU dairy cooperative and Bamenda Dairy Cooperative Society in the North West). A private dairy processing company, SOTRAMILK, ensures the purchase of their liquid milk.
A study conducted by Vabi and Tambi (1995) revealed that urban dwellers had a high preference for fresh milk with a mean household consumption of 3 kg for the high-income households, 2 kg for the medium- and 1 kg for the low- income households. Although high-income households spent more money on fresh milk compared to the medium- and low-income households, the proportion of income spent on fresh milk was lowest for the high, followed by medium- and low-income households.
Constraints to milk production
Click here to view Table 9 Tabulated constraints
to dairy cattle in
Milk is pasteurised by the processing plants of Sotramilk and Projet
Laitier. Another plant is being built at Tadu near Kumbo. These plants
do not run at full capacity but ensure that seasonal volumes of surplus
milk are efficiently utilized. Imele et al.(1999)
determined the composition of milk from White Fulani cows as: Butter
Fat (3.89±0.17%), Protein (3.52±0.21%), total Solids (12.69±0.43%),
solids-not-Fat (8.79±0.44%). Kameni et al. (1994
and 1998) studied the production of cheese in
Pamo et al. (2007) review some major studies carried out on goat production in Africa during the past forty years. The study covers research in goat management, feeding and nutrition and reproduction. Not surprisingly none of these topics has been investigated in a coherent and sustained manner. Results often vary, not only between reports and breeds, but also within breeds. The review highlights the gaps in our knowledge which need to be filled in order to develop a coherent problem-solving package for sustained goat production. Increased research is needed into adapted forage production system for sustained development of specific breeds, as well as in the area of nutrition, reproduction, environmental stress and their possible interactions. Greater knowledge is also required about the understanding of the farmers, the characteristics of their enterprises and their available resources.
|5. THE PASTURE RESOURCE
the current increase in crop area, coupled with population growth, less
land is available for grazing. Forage forms the main and cheapest feed
for ruminants (Pamo et al., 2006). In
Since 1955 an inventory of local forage species, introduction of exotic forages with a view to study their adaptability, persistence, harsh environment, resistance to disease, and productivity have been carried out in research stations and University experimental farms. Pasture agronomists and ruminant nutritionists have investigated pasture plants that could be adapted to the various agro-ecological zones. Suitable pasture plants for some agro-ecological zones have been identified (Pamo et al., 1998; Yonkeu et al., 1986). Cameroon has many indigenous grasses of good fodder quality including Cynodon nlemfuensis , Andropogon gayanus , Panicum maximum , Panicum phragmitoides, Pennisetum purpureum, P. pedicellatum , Imperata cylindrica , Melinis minutiflora , Melinis tenuissima, Setaria sphacelata, Hyparrhenia rufa, Echinochloa spp. , Chloris pilosa, Loudetia spp. , Oryza spp ., Setaria spp ., Vetiveria spp . A number of exotic grasses such as Cenchrus ciliaris , Brachiaria ruziziensis, Brachiaria mutica, Tripsacum laxum, Panicum maximum, Brachiaria brizantha, Pennisetum purpureum and others have been established successfully (Pamo et al., 1998; Pamo et al., 1997; Yonkeu and Pamo , 1994). Tables 11 and 12 indicate some major indigenous and introduced forages while Tables 13 and 14 indicate browse, leaves or fruit which are consumed by grazing animals.
Some legumes including Stylosanthes guianensis, Centrosema pubescens, Pueraria phaseoloides, Calopogonium mucunoides and Pueraria phaseoloïdes have proved valuable. A number of tree legumes and multipurpose trees such as Leucaena leucocephala, Calliandra calothyrsus, Gliricidia sepium, Cajanus cajan, Leucaena trichandra, Leucaena diversifolia, Ficus sycomorus, Acacia spp ., Annona senegalensis, Vitex doniana, Balanites aegyptiaca, Dichrostachys cinerea, Grewia spp ., Piliostigma spp . and Ziziphus spp., provide foliage for livestock at all seasons. It will require social and cultural changes amongst the major livestock owners if they are to adopt the technologies that have been developed and to treat livestock production as a commercial enterprise, not just as a way of life.
In the Sahel savanna where the rainy season lasts between three and
four months the dominant grasses are Andropogon gayanus, Hyparrhenia
rufa, Setaria pallidifusca, Setaria communis, Eragrostis robusta, Pennisetum
spp., Oryza barthii , Echinochloa spp., Sporobolus
pyramidalis, Pennisetum pedicellatum, Heteropogon contortus, Aristida
spp. and Panicum spp. The
The productivity, chemical composition and nutritive value of these forages vary greatly according to the region, the nature and fertility of the soil, seasons of the year, and the stage of growth at which the grass species are cut or grazed. During the wet season, forage biomass is higher in quality and quantity early in the season. Natural grasses and legumes are rich and highly digestible. As the growing season advances the protein level drops and the roughage quantity increases (Pamo et al ., 2007). There is an increase in lignin content and voluntary intake decreases. Most grassland at this period become of poor quality, resulting in weight loss and decreased milk yield if appropriate complement is not provided. The severity and duration of low-quality feed is common to all parts of the country due to the rapid growth of the tropical grass species. In the Far North, the prolonged dry season and high temperatures accompanied by rapid deterioration in quality of most grassland seriously affects the productivity of animals (Pamo, 1993; Pamo and Pieper, 1993).
Seasonality has a major effect on ruminant livestock production. The severity of the dry season and duration of low-quality feed increase from south to north. There is widespread annual burning of grasslands leading to drastic reduction of the amount of forage on offer (Pamo, 1993). A combination of low-quality roughage and burning which reduce the available biomass, causes weight losses (Lhoste, 1967; Zemmelink, 1974) and poor fecundity (Voh et al., 1984).
Click to view Table 12. Some introduced cultivars in Cameroon
During the period of rapid growth the nutrient content of natural grasses on average is about 25 to 35 % dry matter; 10 to 15% crude protein; 6 to 8 % ash with a fibre content of 30 to 40 %. As the dry season advances and conditions become severe, their nutritional quality declines to the extent that crude protein could fall to as low as the minimum required for proper rumen function. Ash values also decline to about 3 - 4 % as a result of translocation to the root system, while fibre content increases in response to the process of lignification (Smith, 1992). These grasses cannot meet the nutrient requirements of grazing livestock for most of the year. Even during the rains they can only satisfy maintenance requirements (Smith, 1992).
Besides savanna rangeland, the vegetation found along roadsides and on fallows is used by nomads, or those droving animals to city markets, during the dry season. In the rainforest zone (see Plate 7) grasses available in the natural grassland include Panicum maximum , Cynodon nlemfuensis and Pennisetum purpureum. The low protein contents of natural grassland is a constraint, however, legumes such as Centrosema pubescens, Desmodium uncinatum and Desmodium intortum can be introduced to improve diet quality. Dry matter yields of native pastures are relatively low. The humid zones have large potential for development and are much more productive in terms of dry matter than drier areas but are poorly developed because of lack of sound policy implementation.
The low nutritive value of natural forage is the major constraint to
livestock productivity in the humid (ILCA, 1979), sub-humid and sahelian
Economic aspects of rangeland
Because rangeland is viewed as "common property" villagers consider its preservation as a "common" or "official" problem. An individual villager's effort to preserve or increase rangeland production would be senseless; he might control noxious range plants, use good range management or refrain from overgrazing, with no assurance that he will harvest the fruit of his efforts. Another herder may graze the rangeland leaving him no return on his outlay. Every herdsmen grazes, no-one improves the range and its use has become abuse. Grazing pressure has escalated to the point where rangeland may be completely destroyed in the near future (see Plate 8).
Even if individuals attempt to develop cooperative rules to enforce a socially rational grazing system, they cannot solve their problems because nobody has enough incentive to keep such an agreement. Benefit from breaking rules is always greater than the cost. An enforceable rule must be imposed from outside or through a traditionally powerful ruler.
It has been thought that institutional rules might be a solution to the problem. Private property rights are consistent with this hypothesis because they could be imposed from outside as a new institution with legislative acts of enclosure.
Since that new approach started from the presupposition that individuals pursue strategies independent of the expected actions of others, the institutional arrangement was designed by considering the private individual user. There was a logical assumption that an individual will graze and conserve his private range in a way consistent with its productivity and thus his practice will become beneficial to him, and through him to the society as a whole. Many economic consultants and planners unanimously agreed on the imposition of private property rights directed towards the internalisation of "common property" externality to halt the tragedy of the open access rangeland.
This approach failed to integrate the small-scale herdsmen spread all
over the region. Land formerly used by everybody in the village and
the region was being transferred to individuals, such as high and powerful
businessmen and high-ranking bureaucrats, who influenced the allocation
of ownership rights. These individuals not only often failed to protect
range because of lack of knowledge of range management, but also had
to face fierce opposition from traditional herdsmen who had been using
the ranges for centuries but were ignored in the design and implementation
of the scheme. Not only has the scheme failed to stop overgrazing and
rangeland deterioration, it has also contributed to inequality in the
already unequal distribution of wealth in most parts of
A wealth of local knowledge has been ignored in the past; rarely has anyone seriously approached a nomad and asked him how he appraises, uses and organizes his living in this environment and why he does that. When some rare studies of daily life have been made among pastoral communities, the comprehensiveness of the survival strategies which emerge is very impressive and within their confined region, it is rarely possible to make any radical improvement on the old ways. However, circumstances have rendered old ways less and less adapted from the point of view of sustained and increased production. Many others have seen in the tradition of the nomadic community a barrier to progress. Tradition is presented as an unbending set of rules, passed from generation to generation, defining without exceptions, how to deal with the community and the environment. However, it seems that traditions are followed, not because the present generation knows nothing else, but because long and cruel experience has proven within the confines of the past technology that these were the best rules to follow. Unfortunately, the rules have remained the same but conditions have changed, outpacing the capacity of nomadic society to adjust.
Yet the appropriate solution for poor rangeland management and heavy grazing in Cameroon’s open access rangeland remains the internalisation of its costs by making the public aspects of the range, private property of individuals or groups of individual resource users, who, via the "invisible hand", will hopefully manage the resource in the society's best interest (Pamo and Pamo, 1991). This procedure has to be implemented properly. When attributing grazing rights, priority has to be given to local herdsmen within or around the rangeland who, through centuries, have been using the area, to prevent problems like those arising from the transfer of range to influential people (fences broken, no respect of the new grazing rights, misuse and poor management of rangeland). Individuals, or groups of individuals on a rangeland area should be free to contract with the rest of the society, to establish private rights over particular pieces of land, or series of lands in the various range types and to have legal systems that enforce these contracts. The cost of enforcement would be paid for by contracting parties themselves or through a subsidy mechanism.
Native users of the area, regardless of their wealth, power or social status, should be considered first in the right-contracting procedure. Since in general herders might not fully grasp the fundamentals of range deterioration, government should provide some incentive or alleviation mechanism such as tax relief, and intense extension efforts to help progressively internalise and bring private and social cost of sound rangeland management into balance or by direct control of the major rangeland inputs. In addition, although it is difficult to stimulate animal offtake because the more animals a man owns, the more important he is considered, it is possible for the government to develop an incentive mechanism based on pricing according to quality and a system of rewards for ranches or group of natural resource users to encourage better systems of livestock production or range management within a sound opportunistic management system.
This suggested approach is the product of foreseen economic forces and is practicable because of its efficiency. The efficiency of private management within this adapted mobility system would result, because the scarcity value of good rangeland has risen to the threshold at which it becomes efficient for society to create such grazing rights. If this were not the case, there would be no positive value to society, in creating such a clearly defined property right in the different range types. Indeed under freedom and enforcement of contracts to establish such rights, not only can private property rights develop over a series range type of pieces of land as the scarcity value of land increases, but also such rights will tend to become more and more individualistic and highly valued. The system may progressively be adapted and become an integrated part of the socio-economic system of the region. Hence, rangeland might be more efficiently used, conserved, and progressively improved for our use and/or the greater benefit of future generations.
This approach may not succeed everywhere. In some regions optimum long-term forage production requires that livestock of members be maintained at carrying capacity. Stock owners who wish to maximize forage production and livestock in the long term must make their short-term stocking decision consistent with long term maximization criteria.
All these efforts aim to maximize current income and secure an acceptable growth rate which will happen when the gross social value of the benefits of rangeland production exceeds the gross social cost.
Land tenure, especially in arid and semi arid environment, is critical. On a year to year basis, a given rangeland may receive highly variable rainfall. Herders maintain their stocks at stable levels by moving them between areas which have received relatively higher rainfall levels. Livestock may be herded over extensive areas and follow regular patterns. Opportunistic grazing strategies, which have been developed in this region, may contribute to optimal utilization of available forage in areas where forage production varies significantly in space and time. Open access, and to some extent common property tenures, permit herders to move over wide areas in search of available forage. These aspects have to be taken into consideration in an effort to internalise the cost of sound and sustained rangeland management within the framework of opportunistic grazing systems.
The use of highly productive, good quality pasture grasses and legumes resulted in increased productivity in grazing animals on research stations and University experimental farms (see Plate 9) in Cameroon (Pamo et al ., 2001; Pamo et al., 2002; Pamo et al., 2004a and b; Pamo et al ., 2005a and b; Boukila et al., 2005; Pamo et al., 2006a, 2006b; Boukila et al., 2006). Research on indigenous and exotic forages has been reported ( Pamo, 1989a and b; Pamo and Yonkeu, 1989; Pamo, 1990; Pamo, 1991; Pamo and Yonkeu, 1993; Pamo and Pieper, 1995; Pamo et al., 1997; Pamo et al, 1998; Yonkeu et al, 1985; 1986). The productivity of some indigenous and exotic grasses and legumes, as well as their seed production are reported in Tables 15, 16, 17, 18 and 19 .
Click here for Table 19 : Seed production of some introduced forage legumes in kilogram per hectare (January, 1981)
The use of forage legumes reduces feed deficiencies and improves the
quality of available feed during the dry season. The use of high yielding
legumes as a sole crop or in mixture with grasses is a way of achieving
year-round quality forage. Stylosanthes guianensis, Leucaena leucocephala
or Calliandra calothyrsus have emerged among the best forage
legumes in various parts of the country. However seed production
remains a major constraint due to lack of appropriate structures. Pamo
(1993) reported some problems hindering forage seed production in
Pamo et al. (2007) evaluated variation in the nutritive value of three grasses: Brachiaria ruziziensis, Pennisetum purpureum and Tripsacum laxum, and leaves of two leguminous trees, Leucaena leucocephala and Calliandra calothyrsus, through a calendar year. The crude protein (CP) level in the tree leaves was higher than that in the grasses throughout the year while the reverse was true for NDFom and ADFom. There was an increase in the CP level during the rainy season for all forages and this increase was higher (P<0.01) in Brachiaria ruziziensis, Pennisetum purpureum, Leucaena leucocephala and Calliandra calothyrsus (P<0.05) respectively relative to dry season samples. Lipid levels were higher (P<0.05) in Brachiaria ruziziensis and Calliandra calothyrsus during the rainy season. Sulphuric acid lignin (sa) was higher (P<0.01) in Brachiaria ruziziensis and Leucaena leucocephala during the dry season. Brachiaria had the highest level of P irrespective of season. Seasonal variations in nutrient levels in these foliages suggest that, throughout the year, leguminous tree leaves would be needed to supplement diets of ruminants whose main feed comes from natural pasture.
Boukila et al. (2006b) reported the result of in vitro digestibility of Leucaena leucocephala and Calliandra calothyrsus evaluated in combination with Brachiaria ruziziensis, Tripsacum laxum and Pennisetum purpureum as sources of energy. The legume was mixed with grasses in 30% / 70% (150 mg of legumes and 350 mg of grasses), analysed and incubated. The study revealed that during the dry season there was no significant difference (p>0.01) between the gas and volatile fatty acid (VFA) produced from incubation of L. leucocephala (27.15ml/200mg DM) and (0.58mmol/40ml), and C. calothyrsus (27.77ml/200mg DM) and (0.60mmol/40ml). In the presence of B. ruziziensis, P. purpureum and T. laxum, the gas produced from incubation of L. leucocephala varied from 43.21 to 49.19ml/200mg DM and VFA from 0.89 to 0.96 mmol/40ml viz 41.01 to 43.68ml/200mg DM for gas and 0.91 to 0.98mmol/40ml of SCFA from incubation of C. calothyrsus . There was no significant difference (p>0.01) between metabolisable energy (ME) derived from degradation of L. leucocephala (7.30MJ/kg DM) and C. calothyrsus (7.10MJ/kg DM) incubated alone and ME derived in the presence of energy source from grass (8.76 to 8.99MJ/kg DM). There was no significant difference (p>0. 05) between microbial mass (MM) produced from the degradation of L. leucocephala (148.97 mg) and C. calothyrsus (127.65 mg) incubated alone and MM produced in the presence of grasses (123.70 to 172.23 mg). The organic matter digestibility (OMD) of L. leucocephala (50.70%) was significantly (p<0.01) higher than that of C. calothyrsus (48.89%). Energy significantly (p<0.01) improved the fermentation activity of micro-organisms and the in vitro digestibility of L. leucocephala and C. calothyrsus .
|6. OPPORTUNITIES FOR IMPROVEMENT
OF FODDER RESOURCES
Livestock producers in
Over the years legumes have received a lot of research attention in the Wakwa and Bambui research stations. Early seedling growth is slow but, once established, legumes compete favourably with associated grasses and weeds. The addition of phosphorus fertilizer to the soil results in marked increases in legume growth and seed production. Legumes are generally established as pure stands and their dry matter production depends to a large extent on the system of management applied.
Grazing trials have been carried out at Wakwa and Bambui using legumes as supplementary dry season feed. All have demonstrated the benefits of legumes to the growth of livestock (Pamo et al. 2006a, b). Pamo et al . (2006) obtained an increased liveweight gain of West African Dwarf goats of 28 % with a mixture of Leucaena leucocephala and Calliandra calothyrsus over that of the control animals.
The production of quality fodder may lead to the introduction of more productive crossbred animals into pastoral herds. That is the major objective of Heifer Project International in North West Cameroon. This NGO for several decades has been working on the introduction of crossbred dairy animals into the rural areas through the the establishment of quality fodder pasture. Farmers can also benefit from using their fallow land for forage production. This is probably the key issue in promoting integrated crop/livestock systems where the livestock and land are owned by different people.
Browse are shrubs and trees that are of considerable nutritional importance as livestock feed during the dry seasons of the year. Their leaves are green all year round and many are well known to herdsmen who frequently cut down their branches for stock feeding. Most nomads and smallholders know them and therefore use them for their livestock ( Table 13 ). The fruits of some form an important feed resource during the dry seasons ( Table 14 ). Many browses contain high levels of essential elements such as calcium, sodium and sulphur as well as critical micronutrients such as iron and zinc which have been shown to be deficient or borderline for productive purposes in many grass species (Olubajo, 1974). In long-term studies that were designed to evaluate the effects of browse supplementation on the productivity of sheep (Reynolds and Adediran, 1987) and goats (Reynolds, 1989), pregnant ewes and does maintained on a basal diet of Panicum maximum were supplemented with graded levels of a 1:1 (w/w) mixture of Gliricidia sepium and Leucaena leucocephala over two reproductive cycles. Supplementation with browse increased growth rate to weaning of both kids and lambs by 45 %. Direct supplementation to kids and lambs doubled growth rate from birth to six months in both species. Also browse supplementation increased overall daily dry matter intake by the dams during the final two months of pregnancy and four months of lactation (Smith, 1992). In the study of the effect of Calliandra calothyrsus and Leucaena leucocephala supplementary feeding Multipurpose Leguminous Tree (MPLT) on goat production in Cameroon mixed in equal quantity by weight and distributed at the rate of 800 g per goat per day, Pamo et al . (2006b) found that supplementation reduced the incidence of abortion and increased the overall yield of kid per animal. During the three months postpartum period the body weight decreased as compared to that recorded at parturition but the supplemented goats continued to have 11 to 15% more body weight than their respective control during the dry season whereas during the rainy season the difference between supplemented and non-supplemented goats were not so elaborated. This indicates the effect of the scope and importance of supplementation for the animals particularly during the dry season.
Pamo et al. (2006a) evaluated the influence of supplementary feeding of leguminous leaves on the reproductive performance, milk production and kid growth of West African Dwarf goats (WADG). During the dry and rainy season the leaves of Calliandra calothyrsus and Leucaena leucocephala had a higher protein content than grasses while the grasses were richer in cellulose. The average birth weight of the kids of the supplemented group (1.35 ± 0.08 kg) was significantly (P<0.05) higher than of the control group (1.12 ± 0.10 kg) during the dry season but the difference was not significant during the rainy season. At weaning age, average kid weight in the supplemented group was significantly (P<0.05) higher than that in the control group during both the dry (5.95 ± 0.45 Vs 3.56 ± 0.45 kg) and rainy (6.22 ± 0.33 vs 4.64 ± 0.19 kg) seasons. Kids from goats receiving supplements gained 67.1% more weight during the dry season whereas only 34.1% more weight was gained during the rainy season in comparison to the control group. Average weekly milk production of goats receiving supplements was almost double that produced by the control group in dry season (361 ± 11 g vs. 183 ± 43 g) and about 32% more milk was produced during the rainy season. There was a positive correlation between weight gain and milk production which was highest in the group receiving supplements during the dry season (r 2 = 0.96). The reproductive performance, milk production and kid growth of the WADG will be greatly improved when the feed from natural pasture is supplemented with leaves of Calliandra calothyrsus and Leucaena leucocephala.
Supplementation of crop residues and agro-industrial by-products
Boukila et al. (2006a) reported the effect of Urea Molasses Multinutrient Blocks (UMMB) made of different agro-industrial by-products and Mineral Blocks (MB) on growth and Body Condition Score (BCS) of Djallonké sheep. Supplement intake and weight gains were evaluated fortnightly. Consumption of UMMB (289.21 g) was significantly higher (P<0.05) than that of MB (101.9g) during the entire trial. Animals that received UMMB had higher average daily weight gains (41.90 g/day) and BCS (2.60±0.36) compared to those that received MB (25.23 g/day and 1.77±0.05) and the control group (20.23 g/day and 2.39±0.43) respectively. An economic analysis revealed a cost-benefit ratio of 1:1.4 in terms of weight gain alone while this body weight improvement might have also helped in better breeding performance of the supplemented sheep.
The nutritive value and in vitro digestibility of maize stover associated with tropical legumes tree leaves ( Calliandra calothyrsus, Gliricidia sepium, Leucaena leucocephala, Leucaena trichandra and Leucaena diversifolia ) was evaluated in the laboratory by Boukila et al . (2005). The results of this study revealed that the crude protein of maize stover was 4.63 % and varies from 10.3 to 13.7 % when mixed with legumes in the proportion of 70% maize stover and 30% legume. The maize stover produced 43.5 % ml/200mg DM of gas and in association with legumes it varies between 42.88 and 47.1 ml/200mg DM. It was also noticed a highest and variable short chain fatty acid (SCFA) production (0.96 – 1.06 mmol/40ml) when maize stover were associated with legumes. Metabolisable energy of maize stover associated with G. sepium and L. leucocephala was significantly (p<0.05) higher than that of maize stover incubated alone and that of other associations. The organic matter digestibility (OMD) of maize stover was statistically (p<0.05) less than maize stover associated with legumes. The microbial mass produced from degradation of maize stover was significantly (p<0.05) lower than those produced from the association with C . calothyrsus and L. leucocephala , and there were no significant (p>0.05) difference compared to those produced from other combinations. In general, legumes improved the production of gas, of SCFA, of ME and OMD of maize stover. However, the association of maize stover with G. sepium and L. leucocephala seems to be the better combination.
Government policies and programmes to assist livestock farmers and those engaged in livestock enterprise need to take into consideration:
- A revised and adapted land tenure which makes it easier for those who really need land for livestock to obtain it and can invest on it for a long term return under some form of private system regime.
- The necessity to have sufficient animal science specialists, range managers, and technical staff to foster rapid improvement in ruminant livestock production.
- The need to determine carrying capacity of various ecological zones and regulatory control of herd size and distribution to achieve ecological balance and avoid overgrazing.
- The need for appropriate incentives to producers in the form of marketing, credit facilities, technical supervision and subsidized inputs.
Government assistance through research and training of specialists
in the areas of range management, pasture agronomy, and animal science,
would be of significant importance to ensure future economic growth
and development of the ruminant livestock sector to enable
|7. RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT
ORGANIZATIONS AND PERSONNEL
Animal Production Department, University of Dschang,
Agronomy Department, University of Dschang,
Department of Botany, University of Dschang,
Department of Biology and Plant Physiology, University of Yaoundé
Department of Animal and Plant Science, University of Buéa,
Department of Biology and Plant Science, University of Ngaoundéré,
Department of Animal Biology, University of Dschang
Ministry: Ministry of Livestock Fishery and Animal Industries,
Institute for Agronomic Research and Development, Yaoundé,
Contacts for information on pasture and fodder production and management
Aregheore , E.M. 2001. The effect of supplementation of crop residues based diets on the performance of steers grazedon natural pasture during the dry season; Africa Journal of Range and Forage Science, 18: 25-29.
Atekwana, J. A. and Maximuangu, J. C. 1981. The performance
of imported dairy cattle breeds in
Baker, P.R. 1978. Nomadism in Africa. In: An introduction to animal husbandry in the Tropics by G. Williamson and W.J.A. Payne. 3 rd Edition. Longman. London and New York.
Bamikole, M. A., Ikhatua, U. J., Arigbede, O.M., Babayemi, O.J. and Etela, I. 2004. An evaluation of the acceptability as forage of some nutritive and antinutritive components and of the dry matter degradation profiles of Ficus; Tropical Animal Health and Production . 36: 157-167.
Bayemi, P. H. 1991. Seasonal
dynamics of tick (Ixodoidea) infestation in commercially reared cattle
in Yaoundé region,
Bayemi P.H., Bryant M.J., Perera
B.M.A.O., Mbanya J.N., Cavestany D. and Web E.C., 2005a.
Milk production in
Boukila B., Pamo T. E., Fonteh F. A., Kana J. R., Tendonkeng F. and Betfiang M. E. 2005. Effet de la supplémentation de quelques légumineuses tropicales sur la valeur alimentaire et la digestibilité in-vitro des chaumes de maïs. Livestock Research for Rural Development. Volume 17, Article #146. Retrieved December 9, 2005, from http://www.cipav.org.co/lrrd/lrrd17/12/bouk17146.htm
Boukila B., Pamo T.E., Fonteh F. A., Kana J. R., Tendonkeng F.
and Betfiang M. E. 2006b. Dégradation in vitro de Leucaena
leucocephala ou Calliandra calothyrsus associé au Brachiaria
ruziziensis, Trypsacum laxum et au Pennisetum purpureum comme
Boukila B., Pamo T.E., Fonteh F.A., Doumbia F., Tendonkeng F., Kana J. R., Mboko A.V. and Mbenga L.N. 2006a. Formulating Multinutrient feed blocks towards improving production and reproduction of Djallonké sheep. Bulletin of Animal Health and Production, 54: 152-155.
Bronsvoort B. M. de C, Nfon C., Saidou H., Tanya V., Kitching R. P. and Morgan K. L. 2002. Herd level risk factors for foot and mouth disease in the Adamawa Province of Cameroon. Edition Menzies F D, Reid S W J Dept Veterinary Clinical Sciences and Animal Husbandry, University of Liverpool, Leahurst, Neston, Wirral, CH64 7TE, UK pp 212-220.
Chollet J. Y., Martrenchar A., Bouchel D. and Njoya A. 1994. Epidemiology of gastro-intestinal parasitoses of young cattle in Northern Cameroon . Revue d'Elevage et de Médecine Vétérinaire des Pays Tropicaux, Volume 47, Numéro 4, pp.365-374.
de Leeuw P. N., Dermott M. C. and Lebbie S. H. B. 1995. Monitoring of livestock health and production in sub-saharan Africa Preventive Veterinary Medicine, 25,195-212.
Douffissa, A. 1993. Cattle
production in the Mbere (
Ekue N., Tanya V. N. and Ndi C. 1990. Foot-and-mouth disease in Cameroon Tropical Animal Health and Production, Volume 22, Number 1, pp34-36
Etoundi S.F., 2003. Caractéristiques socio-économique et techniques des exploitations d'embouche bovine dans la zone péri-urbaine du Nord Cameroon. Mémoire d'Ingénieur Agronome, Université de Dschang, 54p.
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Horowitz , N.M. 1979. The sociology of pastoralism and African livestock project. U.S. Agency for international development (Program Evaluation series. Discussion paper N° 6). Washington.
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ILRI 1998. Livestock, people and environment, ILRI (International
livestock research institute),
Imele H., Kamga P. B. and Kamga P. 1999. Etude sur le lait des vaches White Fulani au Cameroun. Bulletin of Animal Health and Production in Africa, Volume 47, Number 4, pp151-153
IRZ ( Institute of Animal Research)
1982, 1983, 1984, 1985. Annual
Kameni A., Imele H. and Mbanya N. J. 2002. An alternative heat
treatment for milk pasteurization in
Kameni A., Imele H., Formunyam R. and Djoko D. 1998. Evaluation
of goat milk produced in the highlands of
Kameni A., Mbanya J. N. and Robinson R. K. 1994. Bafut: a
Kameni A., Mbanya N. J., Nfi A., Vabi M., Yonkeu S., Pingpoh D.
and Moussa C. 1999. Some aspects of the peri-urban dairy system
Kamga P., Imele H. and Mendi S. 1999. Effect of temperature and maturation time of cream on the quality and yield of butter. Bulletin of Animal Health and Production in Africa, Volume 47, Number 4, pp167-172
Kamga P., Mbanya J. N., Awah N. R., Mbohou Y., Manjeli Y., Nguemdjom
A., Pamela B. K., Njwe R. M., Bayemi P. H., Ndi C., Imele H. and Kameni
A. 2001. Effect of the calving season and zootechnical parametres
on milk yield in the western highlands of
Lhoste, Ph. 1967. Comportement saisonnier du bétail zébu en Adamaoua camerounais. I. Etude des femelles adultes : comparaison de la race locale aux métis demi-sang Brahma. Revue d’Elevage et de Médecine Vétérinaire des pays tropicaux . 20 : 329-342.
Martrenchar A. and Njanpop B. M. 1994. First observation of an outbreak of haemorrhagic septicaemia due to Pasteurella multocida serotype B6 in Northern Cameroon. Revue d'Elevage et de Médecine Vétérinaire des Pays Tropicaux, Volume 47, Numéro 1, p19-20
Martrenchar A., Bouchel D., Njanpop B. M. and Yaya A. 1995. Use of strain B19 in the prevention of bovine brucellosis in Northern Cameroon . Effect of dose on rate and duration of seroconversion in zebu females. Revue d'Elevage et de Médecine Vétérinaire des Pays Tropicaux, Volume 48, Numéro 1, pp37-40
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Mbah, D. A. 1982a. Mortality due to rickettsia, trypanosomiasis piroplansmosis and streptothricosis among six genetic groups of cattle at Wakwa. Science and Technology Review 2: 81-88.
Mbah D. A. 1982b. Adaptation of dairy cattle to Wakwa (Adamaoua) environment. I. Resistance to cattle ticks. Science and Technology Review, Agronomic and Animal Sciences Series 2: 101-106.
Mbah D. A. 1984. Adaptation of dairy cattle to Wakwa (Adamaoua) environment. II. Susceptibility to heat stresss. Science and Technology Review, Agronomic and Animal Sciences Series 1: 125-132.
D. A., Mbanya J. and Messine O. 1987. Performance
of Holsteins, Jerseys and their zebu
Mbah D. A., Tawah L. C. and Messine O. 1991. Performance of
dairy cattle in Adamawa
Mbanya J., Vabi M., Nfi A., Yonkeu S., Kameni A., Pingpoh D. and
Moussa C. 1995. Report of survey on periurban dairy production in
Garoua and Maroua IRZV (Institut de Recherche Zootechnique et Vétérinaire)
McIntyre, J., D. Bourzat and Pingali, P. 1992. Crop livestock interaction in sub -Saharan Africa; regional and sectorial studies series. The World Bank , Washington, DC.
Merlin P. 1987. Efficacy
of chlorfenvinphos in the control of ticks on cattle in North-West
Merlin P., Tsangueu P. and Rousvoal D. 1986.
Seasonal dynamics of the infestation of
cattle by ticks (Ixodoidea) in the high plateaus of western
Merlin P., Tsangueu P. and Rousvoal D. 1987. Seasonal dynamics
of the infestation of cattle by ticks (Ixodoidea) on the Western high
Milligan, K. and Kaufmann, R. Von; 1980. Nutritional balance of the average bunaji cow; Internal mimeo. Kaduna, ILCA.
MINEF (Ministère de l’Environnement et des Forêts), 1996 . Plan National de Gestion de l’Environnement. Rapport principal, Vol I. MINEF/PNUD/Banque Mondial. 225p.
MINEPIA, 2002. La stratégie sectorielle de l’élevage, des pêches et des industries animales. Ministère de l’Elevage, des Pêches et des Industries Animales. Cameroun. 93p.
MINPAT 1986. Sixth Five Year Development Plan, Republic of Cameroon, Yaoundé
Ndi C., Bayemi P. H., Ekue F. N. and Tarounga B. 1991. Preliminary observations on ticks and tick-borne diseases in the North West Province of Cameroon. I. Babesiosis and anaplasmosis. Revue d'Elevage et de Médecine Vétérinaire des Pays Tropicaux, Volume 44, Numéro 3, pp263-265
Ndi C., Bayemi P. H., Nfi A. N. and Ekue F. N. 1998. Preliminary observations on ticks and tickborne diseases in the North West province of Cameroon . II. Bovine heartwater. Revue d'Elevage et de Médecine Vétérinaire des Pays Tropicaux, Volume 51, Numéro 1, pp25-28.
Nfi A. N., Mbanya J. N., Ndi C., Kameni A., Vabi
M., Pingpoh D., Yonkeu S. and Moussa C. 2001. Ethnoveterinary
medicine in the Northern provinces of
Niamir, M. 1990. Community forestery. Herder’s decision-making in natural resources management in arid and semi-arid Africa. FAO. Rome.
Njoya A., Mbanya N. J., Nguemdjom A., Kamga P., Ndi C., Kameni A.
and Nfi A. 1999. Cattle productivity on smallholder farms in the
western highlands of
Njoya A. Bouchel D., Ngo Tuma, 1997. Systèmes D'élevage et productivité des bovins en milieu paysan. ASNC: vers un développement solidaire des savanes d'Afrique Central. Montpelier, France, CIRAD-C -528p
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production in the Tropics, held at theUniversity of Ibadan. Ibadan,
Pamo, T. E . 1989a. Rangeland
response to low levels of nitrogen fertilization and cutting intensities
on the Adamawa Plateau.
Pamo, T. E. 1989b. Comparaison de la reprise et de la multiplication de Tripsacum laxum Nash à partir des boutures et des éclats de souche dans le bas-fond du Mayo Ndeng, ranch SODEPA-Faro, Adamaoua Cameroun. Cam. J. Bioch. Sc ., 2(2): 144-155.
Pamo, T. E. 1990. Etude comparée de la reprise et de la mutiplication de Pennisetrum purpureum schumach cv Kizozi à partir des boutures et des éclats de souche dans le bas fond du Mayo Ndeng Cameroun. Rev. Elev. Med. Vet. Pays. Trop. 43 (4) : 543-547.
Pamo, T. E. 1991. Réponse de Brachiaria ruziziensis à la fertilisation azotée et à différents rythmes d’exploitation en Adamaoua. Rev. Elev. Med. Pays. Trop. 44 (3) 373-380
Pamo Tedonkeng Etienne 1993. Some
problems hindering forage seed production in
Pamo Tedonkeng, E. and Pamo Tedonkeng C. 1991. An evaluation of the problems of open range use system in Northern Cameroon. Tropicultura . 9 (3): 125-128.
Pamo Tedonkeng E. and Pieper R.D. 1993. Livestock production
systems in the
Pamo Tedonkeng Etienne and R.D. Pieper. 1995. Effect of fertilization
and cutting frequency on the yield of Brachiaria ruziziensis Germain
and Evrard in Adamaoua Plateau,
Pamo E. T. and Yonkeu S. 1986. A study of trends in some climatic parameters of the pastoral environment in Wakwa, Adamawa, Cameroon Revue Science et Technique, Series Sciences Zootechniques 2: 19-34.
Pamo, T. E. and Yonkeu, S. 1989. Réponse du pâturage naturel à de faibles doses d’azote et a différentes fréquences de coupe en Adamaoua Camerounais. Cam. J. Bioch. Sc. Vol. n° 2: 132-143.
Pamo Tedonkeng E. and S. Yonkeu. 1993.
Effect of Nitrogen fertilizer in Combinaison with potassium and
phosphorus on rangeland yield in Adamawa
Pamo Tedonkeng E. and Yonkeu S. 1994. Arrière
effet de Stylosanthes guianensis sur la production et la valeur
bromatologique de Brachiaria ruziziensis en Adamawa Cameroun.
Rev. Elev. Med. Vet. Pays Trop .
N o 1 1994.
Pamo T. E., B. Boukila, and F. Tendonkeng. 2007. Goat production in Africa: a sign post review for research in the new millennium. International Journal of Biological and Chemical Sciences . 1(1): 76-89.
Pamo T. E., T.B.A.Kennang and M.V. Kangmo. 2001 . Etude comparée des performances pondérales des chèvres naines de Guinée supplémentées au Leucaena leucocephala au Gliricidia sepium ou au tourteau de coton dans l’Ouest Cameroun. Tropicultura, 2001; 19 (1): 10-14.
Pamo Tedonkeng E., Yonkeu, S. and Onana, J. 1997. Evaluation des principales espèces fourragères introduites dans l’Adamaoua camerounais. Cahiers Agricultures, 6: 203-207.
Pamo T. E., Boukila B., Fonteh F. A., Tendonkeng F. and Kana J. R. 2005a. Composition chimique et effet de la supplémentation avec Calliandra calothyrsus et Leucaena leucocephala sur la production laitière et la croissance des chevreaux nains de Guinée. Livestock Research for Rural Development. Vol. 17, Art. # 34. Retrieved January 11, 2005, from www.cipav.org.co/lrrd/lrrd17/03/tedo17034.htm
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Pamo T.E., L. Tapondjou, F. Tendonkeng, J.F. Nzogang, J. Djoukeng, F. Ngandeu and J.R. Kana. 2003. Effet des huiles essentielles des feuilles et des extrémités fleuries de Cupressus lusitanica sur la tique Rhipicephalus lunulatus à l’Ouest-Cameroun. Journal of the Academy of Sciences , 2003. 3 (3), 169-175.
Pamo Tedonkeng E., L. Tapondjou, G. Tenekeu and F. Tendonkeng. 2002. Bioactivité de l’huile essentielle des feuilles de Ageratum houstonianum Mill. sur les tiques de la chèvre naine de Guinée ( Rhipicephalus appendiculatus ) dans l’Ouest Cameroun. Tropicultura , 2002; 20 (3): 109-112.
Pamo Tedonkeng E., Yonkeu, S., Onana, J., and Rippstein, G. 1998. Evaluation de quelques espèces fourragères locales du domaine soudanien Camerounais. Sci. Agron. & Dev ., 1 : 19-25.
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oil of Ageratum houstonianum Mill. flowers on ticks ( Rhipicephalus
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Profile prepared by:
Prof. Etienne Tedonkeng PAMO
[The first draft of this profile was completed by the author in December 2007 and following amendment was edited by J.M. Suttie and S.G. Reynolds in March/April 2008].