Country Pasture/Forage Resource Profiles
Cameroon


By

Etienne Tedonkeng PAMO


1. INTRODUCTION
The birth of Cameroon
The role of agriculture in the economy

2. SOILS AND TOPOGRAPHY
SOILS
Soils developed in the ferralitic zone
Soils developed in the ferruginous zone
Young soils developed from varied parent materials
TOPOGRAPHY
The coastal lowlands
The Rocky Coast
The southern plateau
The Adamawa plateau
The western highlands
The northern lowlands
Major mountains

3. CLIMATE AND AGRO-ECOLOGICAL ZONES
CLIMATE
The main climatic elements
Temperatures
Precipitation
Air masses
The wet season
Climatic regions
The equatorial domain
The tropical climate domain
AGRO-ECOLOGICAL ZONES
Dense equatorial forest
Tropical grassland
4. RUMINANT LIVESTOCK PRODUCTION SYSTEMS
Traditional sedentary systems
Major grazing systems
Nomadism
Transhumance
Sedentary stock rearing
Integrated crop-livestock
Peri-urban ruminant husbandry
RUMINANT LIVESTOCK
CATTLE
Dairy development
Traditional dairy production
Introduction of exotic dairy cattle
Semi-intensive system and crop and livestock integration
Intensive system
Productivity of breeds used for milk production
Domestic milk production and demand
SMALL RUMINANTS
Goats
Sheep

5. THE PASTURE RESOURCE
Rangeland
Economic aspects of rangeland
Improved pastures

6. OPPORTUNITIES FOR IMPROVEMENT OF FODDER RESOURCES
Establishment of legumes
Fodder legumes
Multipurpose trees
Supplementation of crop residues and agro-industrial by-products with forage
RECOMMENDATION

7. RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT ORGANIZATIONS AND PERSONNEL
8. REFERENCES
9. CONTACTS


1. INTRODUCTION
The Republic of Cameroon is in the extreme north-eastern end of the Gulf of Guinea, between longitudes 8° and 16° East and latitudes 1° and 13° North. To the south it borders Equatorial Guinea, Gabon, and Congo; to the west Nigeria; to the east the Central African Republic and Chad; and to the north a narrow portion of Lake Chad (see Figure 1a).

Figure 1a. Map of Cameroon
[source: the World Factbook]

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.
Forest, park and protected areas, which cover 54.7% of the country, are an important asset, containing diverse plant and animal species. Analyses of the crop areas show some disparities between provinces: Northwest (31.1%), North (25.1%) and West (24.5%) have the most potentially cultivable land; in the South west (88.1%), West (86.1%), and the Far north (61.2%) provinces land is almost completely utilised.
The country’s boundaries were determined at the end of the nineteenth century by the colonial powers and, in most cases are artificial, except where natural boundaries occur such as rivers, mountain chains and the ocean to the south-west. Cameroon has marked ecological diversity and climatic contrasts. It stretches from equatorial to sub sahelian and all the African ecological zones can be found. Cameroon has diverse biophysical characteristics, ethnic groups, agro-ecological zones and socio-economic conditions. Physically, it has regions which include mangrove swamps, coastal lowlands, plateau highlands, plains and volcanic massifs. This diversity can also be noticed in its climate, vegetation and soils. On the human aspect, the country has a number of ethnic groups who are involved in different economic activities especially at the local level. The country has evolved over time and space in terms of administrative structures and nature of governance.

[Click here to view Table 1. Land area distribution according to the type of natural resource]

The birth of Cameroon
The land of Cameroon is as old as the rest of the world, but Cameroon in terms of a geopolitical entity with its present territorial boundaries and government did not exist before the arrival of the Germans. In the ancient times, Hanna, the Carthaginian navigator, saw Mount Cameroon and called it the “Chariot of the Gods”. “It was Mount Cameroon presumably under serious volcanic eruption as seen from what he wrote – “We saw at night”, he said, “a land full of fire. In the middle was a lofty fire larger than all the rest touching seemingly the stars”.

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.

Figure 1b: Map of Cameroon
showing the different provinces
Source: Administrative map of Cameroon
[Click to view full map]
Figure 2: Administrative map of Cameroon
showing provinces and divisions
Source: Administrative map of Cameroon
[Click to view full map]
Figure 3: Map of Cameroon
showing population density in 2000
Source: FAO
[Click to view full map]

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.

Figure 4: Map of Cameroon showing population density (Global density, urban density and town population).
Source: Fotsing (2004)
[Click to view full map]
Figure 5: Map of Cameroon industrial resources
Source: Atlas de l’Afrique
[Click to view full map]

The role of agriculture in the economy
Figure 6 shows the general economic activity of Cameroon. Before independence and until 1980, agriculture was the largest sector of the economy (Figure 7), and accounted for most of GDP and export earnings (Table 2). During the nineteen-eighties with the discovery of oil, agricultural development was neglected. Under-investment, poor price policies, a steady drift away from the rural land to urban areas, increased consumer preference for imported foodstuffs and outdated farming techniques continued to keep the level of food production well behind the rate of population growth. Table 3 presents output of some major staple food crops from 1995 – 2006.

Table: 2 Contribution of the different sectors to global economic growth - percentages

 

1968-1976

1977-1981

1982-1985

GDP

4.3

14.2

8.1

1-Agriculture

3.7

10.3

1.2

 - Cash crops

1.9

2.9

2.4

 - Staple foods

4.0

13.5

2.5

2- Processing industries

5.1

13.1

2.5

3-Others industries including petroleum sectors

2.7

44.4

10.2

4- Services

4.9

9.2

12.8

Source: MINEF, 1996

Cameroon has important and diverse natural resources (Figure 7). The Ministry of Environment and Forest (1996) while working on the National Management Environmental plan estimated that out of a total surface area of 465 412 km2, 68 125 km2 are agricultural lands and only 28.9% are actually cultivated. For pastoral production there is potentially 142 890 km2 which can be used. However, these resources are poorly distributed across the country; in some regions there are several factors such as tsetse flies or intensive/extensive agricultural practice lack means, which preclude intensive development of livestock production, while in others it is the prevailing legal status of the natural resources which might be a problem.

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)

Figure 6 : Map of general economic activity of Cameroon
[Click to view full map]
Figure 7: Agricultural map of Cameroon
Source: Atlas de l’Afrique
[Click to view full map]

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.

Cameroon was a major cocoa exporter but its share of the world market has fallen owing to ageing trees, low producer prices, disease and labour shortages. Table 4 presents major cash crop production from 1995 - 2006. Like cocoa, output from other cash crops suffered from labour shortages, inefficient production methods, lack of inputs and low levels of capital investment. Trade liberalization and the CFA devaluation of the 1990s contributed to an increase of exports. The supply of animal products has been declining over the past decade, while the demand has been increasing, as a result of increases in population and urbanization. The massive and fraudulent importation of meat coupled with the Structural Adjustment Program (SAP), which saw a massive devaluation of CFA currency, almost destroyed the country's livestock production system.

Click here to view Table 4. Major cash crops production outputs


2. SOILS AND TOPOGRAPHY

SOILS

The soils of Cameroon can be classified into three broad groups based on their degree of development as follows:

  1. Soils developed in the ferralitic zone.
  2. Soils developed in the ferruginous zone.
  3. Young soils developed from varied parent materials (include soils developed from lacustrine, colluvial, alluvial and volcanic ash deposits and soils developed on steeply sloping environments).

[For details of the major soil classification system used in classifying the soils of Cameroon refer to Yerima and Van Ranst (2005)].

Soils developed in the ferralitic zone
This zone lies south of the seventh parallel with an annual rainfall above 1 500 mm and a dry season of less than four months; it includes the equatorial forest. Further subdivisions can be distinguished depending on the rainfall. A zone of yellow ferralitic soils in a band along the Coastal Lowland region developed from sedimentary rocks, is highly leached in bases (< 20 % base saturation) and has a mean annual rainfall of > 2 000 mm with a dry season which is not pronounced. Towards the interior from this zone (Bertoua through Nanga Eboko to Yaoundé) with lower rainfall, soils are usually red with a base saturation of 20-40 %. These developed from varied parent materials including granite, gneiss, schists and micaschists. These soils are classified as Ferralsols and occur in association with Alisols, Nitisols and Acrisols which have clay accumulation horizons but low base saturation.

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
These, found north of the seventh parallel, are characterized by rainfall of less than 1 500 mm and a dry season exceeding four months. Unlike the equatorial domain, the ferruginous zone has a shorter rainy season and much lower rainfall. Chemical weathering, driven by water, is limited with mechanical weathering predominating. This results in the development of much shallower soil profiles than the preceding case. Little Fe is found in the exchange complex so the soils are grey to brown. These soils are younger with limited weathering and have base saturations over 50 % and often greater than 80 %. They have higher amounts of weatherable minerals and thus more nutrient reserves than their ferralitic counterparts. The dominant clay minerals are phyllosilicate clays composed of smectites, vermiculites, chlorites, micas and kaolinites, which have higher surface areas, greater water and nutrient retention capacities and thus are more chemically reactive than the ferralsols. Low rainfall limits vegetation growth and organic matter accumulation resulting in low amounts of nitrogen. Though these soils are more fertile than their ferralitic counterparts, the high amount of soluble products in the system result in nutrient imbalances which tend to inhibit uptake of other nutrient elements required by plants for normal functioning.

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
Besides those covered above the following soils which cover large areas can also be observed.

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.

TOPOGRAPHY

The relief map (Figure 8) shows that Cameroon is a country of varied landscapes.

Figure 8: General physical map of Cameroon
Source: Atlas de l’Afrique
[Click to view full map]

The main physical units are:

  1. The Coastal lowlands
  2. The Southern Plateau
  3. The Adamawa Plateau
  4. The Western Highlands
  5. The Northern Lowlands

The coastal lowlands
This vast sedimentary zone stretches from the mouth of River Akwa Yafe in the extreme west where it borders with Nigeria to the mouth of the river Lakounje. It is interrupted by the extension of the Cameroon Mountain into the ocean. The Coastal Lowland zone is bounded by the Atlantic Ocean to the west, the Western Highlands to the north and the Southern Plateau to the east. Between the ocean and the Southern Plateau it stretches out over a surface area of about 150 square kilometres. It has an average altitude of 90 metres.

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
b) The Rocky 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 Nigeria. The depression receives many streams from the surrounding mountains which join to form the Cross River which links Cameroon to Nigeria.

The Rocky Coast
The Rocky Coast has two sections. The first lies between Bimbia and Idenau; its volcanic rocks spread down into the sea from Mount Cameroon. Volcanic activity results in stacks protruding from the sea a few kilometres off the coast of Limbe. This section forms a break in the low-lying nature of the coastal lands and is characterized by the presence of bays, capes, cliffs and rocky islands.

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
Situated east of the coastal plain, this plateau covers all of the south and southeast of the foot of the Western Highlands and the Adamawa plateau and extends to the borders of Cameroon. To the northeast the plateau rises gently into the Adamawa in the region of Bedzare and Meiganga. To the northwest it is interrupted by a large escarpment between Yoko and Linte. Altitudes vary from 250 to 800 m; most hills have an altitude of 650 metres.

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 Adamawa Plateau, at an average altitude of 1 100 metres, lies between 6° and 8° N, cuts across the country and penetrates far into the Central African Republic. It is a faulted and upraised block of the basement complex, mainly composed of granite. The granitic rocks are covered by thick basaltic flows. Volcanic outpourings have formed some sizeable peaks, the main ones are Tchabal Gangha (1 923 m), Tchabal Mbabo (2 460 m) and the Mambila mountains (2 418 m). In the north of the plateau the relief falls very abruptly into the Benue basin; in the south it descends gradually to merge with the Southern Plateau. The Adamawa Plateau is the main water dispersal centre of the country.

The western highlands
As on the Adamawa Plateau the underlying rocks are old, Precambrian granite and gneiss which have a cover of basaltic rocks. The Western Highlands are less extensive than the Adamawa, have higher peaks and a more broken relief. Some high peaks are of crystalline rocks, such as the Nlonako, the Gotemts, the Guingue mountains, the Alantika and the Banglang mountains.

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
This region can be divided broadly in two:

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 Cameroon , the rest is in Chad, Niger, and Nigeria. Altitudes are almost uniform and the land slopes gently towards the lake. Much of this plain suffers from floods.

Major mountains
Mount Cameroon, the most prominent of the West African volcanic mountains, is a heap of piled up lava reaching a height of 4 095 metres which lies in a subsidence zone along the main Cameroon geologic fracture line. Apart from the Cameroon Mountain this fracture line also carries most of the high peaks of the country such as, the Kupe, Manenguba, Bambutus, Kom and Oku mountains. Mount Cameroon is immense with a length of about 50km and a width of about 35 km, covering therefore an area of some 1 750 km2. It starts from the sea and first rises into a small peak of 1 713 m, Etinde or Small Mount Cameroon, from which to 900m before rising again continuously until the peak summital plateau of 4 070 m is reached. On this plateau recent accumulation of solidified lava still raise the peak to a height of 4 095m. The mountain is composed of different volcanic materials which, in many places, accumulate to form small cones numbering over seventy five. Some of these cones have craters at their summits where volcanic ashes, lapilli and scoria can be noticed. Mount Cameroon is an active volcano which is shown by the permanent presence of fumaroles and geysers. It is one of the few peaks in West Africa that has experienced many eruptions within the last century. Its six last eruptions took place in 1909, 1922, 1954, 1959, 1982, and 1999, including numerous earth tremors and earthquakes.

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 Cameroon, which form an immense block on the Nigerian border are composed of very old granitic rocks; they have three sections:

  1. The middle plateau
  2. The mountainous northern and southern parts
  3. The surrounding inselbergs

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.


3. CLIMATE AND AGRO-ECOLOGICAL ZONES

CLIMATE
All of Cameroon is in the intertropical zone but the climate is not uniform. Different elements account for this lack of uniformity.

The main climatic elements
Cameroon extends from 2° to 13° N which gives it almost all the characteristics of intertropical climates which generally include hot, moist and dry conditions. The south has an equatorial climate up to latitude 6° N; the rest, between latitudes 6° and 13° N, has a tropical climate. Relief and oceanic effects modify local climates.

Temperatures
Generally temperatures and temperature ranges increase from south to north and from the coast to the hinterland, but altitude has a strong influence: for example Yaoundé (1 120 m) with 23.5°C is at altitude while Garoua in the Benue depression has an average temperature of 28°C. In the south, temperatures are relatively constant; temperature ranges in the north are much greater. Insolation is much greater in the north: 1 023 hours per year at Douala, 1 841 hours at Yaoundé and 2 969 hours at Garoua. Low insolation in the south is due to cloudy skies, higher precipitation and relative humidity.

Precipitation
Generally, rainfall in Cameroon declines from the coast towards the north and interior of the country. Highlands receive more rain than low altitudes. Douala receives 4 016 mm annually, Yaoundé 1 596 mm, Lomie 1 645 mm, Bamenda 2 596 mm, Garoua 1 000 mm, Kousseri 630 mm. Relative humidity varies in the same order as rainfall. There are four seasons in southern and central regions- a long wet season from September to December, a short dry season in August and a short wet season between the months of March and June. The north, from the Adamawa to Lake Chad, has two seasons: a dry season from November to April and a wet season from May to October.

Air masses
The Azores in the northern hemisphere and that of St. Helena in the southern control the flow of air masses over all Cameroon. Air masses from these high pressure centres converge in a low pressure zone, the Intertropical Convergence Zone (ITCZ) which has the nature of a front and is often termed the Intertropical Front.

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 Cameroon depend on the dominant Trade Winds. The Harmattan blows from the anticyclone of the Azores and the Monsoon from the St. Helena anticyclone. These winds differ greatly because of their sources, the maritime south and the desert north.

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
In July (August) the Intertropical Front is above Lake Chad and the St. Helena anticyclone is practically on the Equator. Monsoon Winds affect south Cameroon and this is the rainy season. The Monsoon is very warm, humid, unstable and susceptible to bringing heavy rains, especially when the ascending movement is caused by relief.

Climatic regions
The whole of Cameroon can be divided into two broad climatic domains:

  1. The Equatorial domain
  2. The Tropical domain

The equatorial domain
The south of the country from 2° to 6° N has an equatorial climate which can be subdivided:

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 Cameroon type occurs at the coast and extends to the mouth of the Nyong River. The seaward slopes of Mount Cameroon which receive the Monsoon at right angles are the second wettest place in the world with Debundscha (10 000 mm of rainfall) coming only after Chirrapunji in India. It has high and constant temperatures and high atmospheric humidity.

ii) The montane Cameroon type of the Western Highlands, is cool and in the past, attracted colonialists to settle in places such as Buea, Dschang and Bamenda.

Northwards the Cameroon climate degenerates gradually into tropical Sudan climate.

The tropical climate domain
The tropical climatic domain can be divided in two:

  1. The Sudan or humid tropical climate
  2. The Sahel climate.

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 Cameroon climate. Rainfall is generally low and rainy seasons often last six months. At the onset of the wet season the rains are usually torrential and accompanied by tornadoes.

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.

AGRO-ECOLOGICAL ZONES

The major vegetation zones follow the climatic regions, although the relationship is distorted where man, soils and relief intervene. Cameroon has two major vegetation zones, though the change from one to the other is usually very gradual (Figure 9):

  1. Dense Equatorial Forest
  2. Tropical Grassland
Figure 9: Major ecological zones of Cameroon
Source: Ministère de l’Environnement et des Forêts (MINEF)
[Click to view full map]

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.

Tropical grassland
There is no precise line of demarcation between the forest and grassland zones; the change is gradual. Areas covered by grassland correspond to the domains of tropical climate. The general term of savanna is given to grassland vegetation of northern Cameroon; its appearance changes as precipitation diminishes and also with altitude.

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 SYSTEMS

Ruminants, the most widespread livestock in Cameroon , are reared in traditional systems. Cattle, goat and sheep rearing systems are: nomadic or pastoral, mixed farming and the peri-urban. Production and management systems vary, from free range in less populated areas, to year-round confinement and cut-and-carry feeding in densely populated areas.

Traditional sedentary systems
Ruminants under extensive systems rely on natural grazing. Traditional production systems include scavenging, cut-and-carry production, seasonal tethering, and fattening.

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 Nigeria.

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
Grazing systems in Cameroon are extensive; herders do not apply a specific technique to increase yields. Livestock find their fodder in the natural grasslands and savannas. The herders’ way of life is closely related to the possibility of their livestock finding enough forage.

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 system in Cameroon : nomadism , transhumance and sedentary ( Figure 10 ).

Nomadism
Nomadism is the most extensive system; it is the type of life of herders who have no fixed home and move from place to place, throughout the year, with their animals in search of water and forage. The herders’ life is tributary to that of their animals. Nomadism carries high production risks and requires large areas of range. It can be seen as a large-scale rotational grazing system that could be ecologically sound. Unfortunately, a number of factors are contributing to its decay and these are largely responsible for the continuing degradation of the Sahel and Savannah. These include: the imposition of fixed frontiers at the beginning of the twentieth century; population increase with consequent increased settlement leading to constant shrinkage of the grazing area available to nomads; the introduction of new techniques and services (water, veterinary service) without a concomitant improvement of grassland and management systems; and the social attitude of people.

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.

Figure 10: Cameroon livestock production map
Source: Atlas de l’Afrique
[Click to see full map]

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
This system involves seasonal displacement of flocks from one area to another, by herders who have permanent residence, in search of better or suitable grassland. It can be considered either as the next phase from nomadism towards complete settlement, or as an elementary form of the seasonal-suitability system which involves partitioning a rangeland into units on the basis of vegetation types.

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 Cameroon near the Waza national park) and eat what remains as standing straw, if fire has not reduced it to ash. At the end of the dry season, with the first rain, the return towards the village begins; its pattern is regulated by the rainfall. This general principle of transhumance however, has a practical modality, which is more complex. Within Northern Cameroon there are two kinds of transhumance: dry season transhumance and rainy season transhumance; various motivations cause these movements especially that of the rainy season.

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 Nigeria where they remain during the whole rainy season because of disease-bearing organisms such as tsetse fly, or floods. They return after the wet season. In Diamare department in North Cameroon, many herders migrate to the Southwest because during the rainy season, most of this department is under crops and it is difficult to keep animals out of the farm lands. In Benoue department, displacements are also due to tsetse fly overrunning the riparian pastures. Wet season transhumance is generally shorter; it covers a relatively limited area and the motivation for it may not be the same in all areas.

Sedentary stock rearing
This is the production system of the settled population. Animals are kept in or near the village through the year although owners of a large number of animals entrust their flocks, or part of them, to transhumant herders for the dry season. Agriculture or fishing is the main activity of such people; livestock raising is a complementary activity. These herds are mostly of goats and sheep, although some may raise cattle.

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.

Integrated crop-livestock
In this system crops and livestock rearing are components of farming. Increasing urbanization, if coupled with income growth, provides a growing market for livestock products from both rural and peri-urban farmers. Mixed farming has many forms. Even pastoralists practise a form of mixed farming since their livelihood depends on the management of different feed resources and animal species. With the rapid changes taking place ethnic groups which were traditionally farmers are ready to acquire cattle and pastoralists are increasing their cropping/arable farming.

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
Wealthy urban businessmen and government officials practice this system, mainly on the periphery of major towns in northern Cameroon . Farmers take advantage of the potential of animals as investment and a source of milk and meat. A farmer may decide to have only cattle or cattle with small ruminants. Trained personnel are hired to carry out routine tasks. The use of crop residues and agricultural by-products is intensive and economically combined with grazing.

RUMINANT LIVESTOCK

Livestock play a very important role in Cameroon agriculture, contributing about 9% of the total agricultural or about 2.1% of the Gross Domestic Product (MINEPIA, 2002). In 1995 the livestock population comprised about 4.6 million cattle, 3.6 million goats and 3.4 million sheep. These figures have since increased to 5.9 million cattle, 4.4 million goats and 3.8 million sheep ( Table 5 ). Horses and asses are grazing species of relatively low economic importance. Accurate statistics on livestock production and marketing (see Plates 1, 2 and 3) are not easy to obtain because of lack of an appropriate statistics collection system. Animal production has increased gradually between 1995 and 2004. This sub sector is a source of revenue to more than 30% of the rural population.

Plate 1: Farmer conducting zebu cattle to market
Plate 2: Cattle market
in Douala
Plate 3: Cattle market in North West Cameroon
Click to view full pictures

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.

Table 5 : Ruminant livestock population

Years

Livestock (‘000)

Cattle

Goats

Sheep

Asses

Horse

1995

4 650

3 620

3 400

36

15.5

1996

4 623

3 650

3 450

37

15.5

1997

4 737

3 700

3 500

37

16.0

1998

4 846

3 750

3 550

37

16.0

1999

5 500

3 800

3 650

37

16.5

2000

5 882

4 410

3 753

38

16.5

2001

5 900

4 400

3 800

38

16.5

2002

5 900

4 400

3 800

39

16.5

2003

5 950

4 400

3 800

39

16.5

2004

5 950

4 400

3 800

-

-

Source: FAO, 2006.

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.

Table 6 : Data on meat production

Years

Meat –thousand tonnes

Cattle

Goats

Sheep

Horse

Pig

Rabbit

Chicken

1995

512

1 303

1 224

1.950

400

0.090

26.5

1996

509

1 314

1 242

1.950

400

0.091

30.0

1997

521

1 332

1 260

2.000

400

0.092

33.5

1998

533

1 350

1 278

2.000

480

0.092

37.5

1999

605

1 368

1 314

2.050

400

0.094

36.0

2000

647

1 570

1 350

2.050

538

0.094

26.5

2001

640

1 570

1 365

2.050

540

0.096

37.5

2002

620

1 570

1 365

2.100

540

0.096

37.5

2003

620

1 570

1 365

2.100

540

0.096

37.5

2004

640

1 570

1 365

2.100

540

0.096

37.5

2005

650

1 570

1 365

2.100

540

0.096

37.5

2006

650

1 570

1 365

2.100

540

0.096

37.5

Source: FAOSTAT data 2007. (accessed October 17 th , 2007).

CATTLE

Cattle are found throughout Cameroon but the major production areas are in the West and North West Province and from the Adamawa Province northward. Herd size is very small in the sub-humid zone because of the high prevalence of trypanosomiasis. Beef production is almost entirely from extensive systems with low inputs (see Plate 4). The traditional nomadic system has low productivity due to poor nutrition but has, over the years, met the major demand for beef in Cameroon . For hundreds of years local cattle have adapted to heat, harsh local conditions and management, and developed some resistance to the various environmental stresses. Local breeds are of two types: Bos indicus  and Bos taurus ( Table 7 ).

Plate 4: A young herdsman with cattle in the Bamboutos rangeland
[Click to view full picture]

Table 7: Distribution of bovine herds in Cameroon

Species

Breeds

Percentages

Zebu ( Bos indicus )

Gudali
Mbororo

65.0
34.0

Taurin ( Bos taurus )

Namshi
Kapsiki
Bakossi
Kouri
Ndama (imported)

1.0

 

Total

100.0

Source: Tchoumboue and Manjeli, 1991

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 of Cameroon ’s cattle.

Most cattle rearers in Cameroon are men. Njoya et al. (1997) reported that elderly men were involved in cattle rearing in the Northern region. Seventy one percent of farmers were within the age range of 24-50 years while 29% were above 50 years. In the Menoua Division, cattle rearers come from two principal ethnic groups, the Bororos and the Bamelikes (Yendji, 2000), and most them are males (97.03%) of which 62.38% are between the ages of 41-80 years.

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 Cameroon most cattle rearers (70.2%) do not grow crops. Contrary to Planchenault’s findings, Etoundi (2003) reported that in North of Cameroon, most cattle rearers (69%) also grew crops and only 4% were solely involved in cattle rearing. Yendji (2000) reported that, in Menoua, cattle rearing is practised by 63.37% of rearers who are also involved in other activities like farming, business, office work etc.

Dairy development
The two provinces particularly associated with dairy production are the Adamawa Plateau, 1 100 m above sea level and the Western Highlands, in the mid and high altitude zone, between latitudes 5°20' and 7° N 9°40' and 11°10' E.

Traditional dairy production
In Africa, pastoralists derive up to 75% of their food needs from milk (Galvin, 1985). Such pastoralists own about 50% of Africa's livestock (de Leeuw et al ., 1995); in Cameroon , they own most of the cattle. According to Kameni et al. (1994), most of the cow's milk in Cameroon comes from Fulani herds. The life of the Fulani revolves around cattle rearing and most of their income derives from it; crop production is marginal and is carried out by occasional labour. In this system, milk is from beef breeds such as the Gudali, Red Fulani and White Fulani ( Bos indicus ). More than 90 % of calvings are during the rainy season (Njoya et al ., 1999). Milk off take starts from 1 to 3 months post-calving. Calves are usually weaned at 10.5 months. Some lactating animals are kept at the camping area while the rest of the herd is taken for grazing. Milking is by hand and any milk not required immediately is either boiled and sold as liquid milk or allowed to sour to provide a base for a sorghum or maize porridge (Kameni et al ., 1999). Milk is also bartered for grain. When herds are near urban centres they are the major, perhaps only, source of fresh milk for urban dwellers. In remote areas only a very limited amount of milk might occasionally be sold because of the distance from markets. A major constraint to supplying milk to urban populations is the effective marketing of the milk potentially available from pastoral herds. Demand for milk in urban centres is greater in the dry season than in the wet but, in the dry season with cows on transhumance, pastoralists cannot take advantage of this increased demand. In the wet season, when cattle herds may be adjacent to urban centres, demand for milk is low and prices are depressed. The opportunity to capitalize on the demand for milk, coupled to the need to promote more productive dairy systems, has led to the importation of European type dairy cattle.

Introduction of exotic dairy cattle
The first exotic dairy cattle imported into Cameroon in the nineteen-thirties (Tambi, 1991), were of the German Brown breed (Atekwana and Maximuangu, 1981). At the end of the Second World War, these were replaced by Holstein Friesian and an Austrian breed (Pinzgauer) in Buea. Montbéliard was introduced in Dschang and Jakiri for crossbreeding with local cattle. In 1964, a dairy experimental station was set up at Bambui (Njwe, 1984) and in 1967 Brown Swiss heifers were imported for crossbreeding with N'Dama. Montbéliard semen was imported in 1975 for crossbreeding with Gudali ( Bos indicus ) females in the north country. Immediately preceding this, Heifer Project International (HPI) signed an agreement with the government and the importation of Jersey and Holstein Friesian cattle and semen began and continues to the present time (HPI, 1999). This same organisation has trained dairy farmers to use zero grazing with Holstein Friesian cows which are imported from Ireland since 1994. Importations of exotic cattle led to the development of more specialised systems of dairying.

Semi-intensive system and crop and livestock integration
These systems of dairying use crossbred cattle with improved pasture and supplements such as rice bran, palm kernel cake, cottonseed cake, wheat bran, and soya beans, all in small amounts. Fencing is common as is rotational grazing. Animals often utilise crop residues such as maize stover, ground nut and bean haulms, rice straw, and banana forage. They are supplemented with agro-industrial by-products such as brewers’ grains and tree legumes such as Leucaena spp. and other legumes ( Stylosanthes spp., Desmodium spp.). In the Western highlands, such systems are practiced by the Tikar (native) population (Njoya et al ., 1999).

Intensive system
Intensive systems are used by a few modern commercial farms, using the cut-and-carry system where animals are housed and supplemented with concentrates. These systems use purebred high yielding dairy cows (HPI, 1999). Small scale farmers suffer from a very heavy work load because of the lack of machinery.

Productivity of breeds used for milk production
Nearly all milk production studies have been geared towards cattle which supply the majority of milk. The common traditional breeds involved in dairying are the Bos indicus Gudali, Red Fulani and White Fulani. Their production levels are indicated in Table 8 .

Click here to view Table 8: Summary of breed performance of animals used for milk production in Cameroon

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 Cameroon, Holstein cows produced more milk than any other breed; exotic or local. Holstein F 1 crosses were also better than any other crosses for the same trait. The season of birth of cows also significantly affected their age at first calving. Female calves born in times of hardship (e.g.: dry season), took much longer to get in calf. Tawah et al. (1999b) also studied the genotype and environmental effects of crossbreeding Gudali cows with either Montbeliard or Holstein bulls. Their study confirmed reports that F 1 crosses are superior to backcrosses for milk production in harsh tropical conditions. Holstein x Gudali F 1 cows were better than Montbeliard x Gudali F 1 in milk production and reproductive performance. The performance of the F 2 was lower than F 1 in milk production and age at first calving. The authors recommended that Montbeliard x Gudali crosses be used for dairy-beef production because of their dual purpose nature while Holstein x Gudali crosses may be better suited for moderately intensive dairy production in the Cameroon Highlands and similar environments. Kamga et al. (2001) working with Holstein, Jersey and their crosses with Gudali confirmed the suitability of Holstein x Gudali crosses for milk production in Cameroon .

Domestic milk production and demand
The country has six million cattle with 4% of them dairy cows ( Figure 11 : FAO 1970-1999). The number of cattle has been increasing consistently for over 30 years. The percentage of milking cows relative to the total number of cattle has decreased, particularly in the late 1970s. Milking cows considered were those which have been milked even if the milk was subsequently given to the calf. This definition does not concern milk sucked by calves (FAO, 2000). This drop may have been associated to the fact that for eight years, 1971 to 1979, the total number of cows sold to neighbouring countries was nearly three times more (53 972 head) than the number exported during a period of 12 years after that date (18 830 head; 1980 to 1992). This exportation was done irrespective of gender.

Figure 11. Production patterns in Cameroon
Source: Bayemi et al . 2005

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 Cameroon was estimated at 5.1 kg (MINPAT, 1986) while consumption was estimated at 10 kg by Von Masow (1984). Total domestic production of milk was 50 000 tonnes (Tambi, 1991). In 1999, per capita production stood at 12.8 kg while per capita consumption was 15.3 kg in 1998 (calculated from FAO, 2000). In fact milk production in the country has substantially increased (from 48 000 tonnes to 184 000 tonnes). However, production is far from satisfying local demand for milk and dairy products. Since the devaluation of the CFA Franc in 1994, the price of imported milk and milk products has more than doubled. Teuscher et al. (1992) estimated the level of imports of milk and milk products was 11 480 tonnes, which represented about 50% of the adult per capita consumption. The low per capita consumption in subsequent years (less than half of Africa's) reflects limits on imports of dairy products, standing at only 23% of total per capita consumption. Consequently, local milk can compete with imported products. Previously the availability of cheap products in international markets supported low consumer prices in the country. Approximately 50% of the population are urban dwellers. Figure 12 shows that, although urban population is rapidly increasing, imports of milk have slowed down.

Figure 12. Dairy product imports relative to urban population
Source: Bayemi et al . 2005

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
Traditional dairy management, though sustainable for centuries, does not supply enough milk to meet the demand. Improvement in milk production is possible through introduction of European type dairy breeds. Though adapting to the environment, these breeds and their crosses are susceptible to the challenging Cameroon environment. Constraints to dairy production are listed in Table 9.

Click here to view Table 9 Tabulated constraints to dairy cattle in Cameroon

Milk processing
Traditionally, cows are milked once daily, in the morning, mainly by women and children. The calf is allowed to suckle to induce milk let down in zebus. The milk is low in microbial quality and only lasts for 3 to 4 hours at room temperature (ambient temperatures are 30 to 35  o C ) in the north. In the Western Highlands where temperatures are moderate (18 to 22 o C ) its shelf life is slightly longer. Traditional processing is done by women; local dairy products are sold in markets and shops in urban areas. Kameni et al. (1999) classified dairy products as those from traditional or modern processing methods. Dairy plants make sweetened yoghurt, set yoghurt (natural), stirred fruit yoghurt, stirred plain yoghurt, and cheese. Products found at household level include Pendidam (fermented milk), Kindirmu (set yoghurt), heat treated milk, Lebol (butter), Nebam (butter oil) and sour milk.

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 Cameroon . Studies of Bafut cheese showed that a typical Bafut cheese is hard, cylindrical and of 2 kg in weight and covered with a dry, hard rind formed by moisture loss during maturation. Its properties are indicated in Table 10 .

Table 10. Mean values obtained by the analysis of 12 samples of Bafut cheese

Properties

Mean

Range

Fat (%)

25.0

17.5-29.5

Protein (%)

26.1

22.2-33.6

Moisture (%)

41.6

40.3-45.1

Fat-in-Dry-Matter (%)

42.8

38.5-49.5

Titratable Acidity (%)

2.1

1.8-2.6

pH

4.3

3.9-4.6

Total Volatile Substances (%)

0.09

0.05-0.15

Free Fatty Acids (%)

0.3

0.18-0.33

Salt (%)

1.3

1.01-1.53

Marketing
In the dry season market demand in Cameroon for milk products is very high but milk is scarce because cattle are on transhumance. Even when milk is available, the lack of refrigeration at farm level forces producers to make and market their products every day. The marketing system is mainly informal. In Garoua there are large herds of cattle and a lot of milk in the rainy season. Women carry milk products and walk around town to retail them. In Maroua where milk output is low and dairy products expensive, sites has been provided for the sale of milk in the main market. In Bamenda, milk collection is done on major axes with refrigerated vans by Sotramilk. This dairy plant collects 100 litres per day in January and 500 litres per day September-October (peak). They use blended and reconstituted milk to make their products (Mbanya et al., 1995). Farmers form cooperatives to ensure better marketing of their milk. Tambi and Vabi (1994), surveying one cooperative, said that the financial responsibility of the household head (gender), input cost, and price significantly influence market supply. They stated however that price is relatively inflexible to changes in market supply.

SMALL RUMINANTS
Small ruminants are found all over Cameroon . They are estimated at about 8.2 million head, with goats out-numbering sheep. These animals, which are kept mostly for their meat and skins, are slaughtered during festive occasions or daily for meat in both urban and rural areas. Although there is some seasonal movement of pastoral sheep, mainly in northern Cameroon , most small ruminants are sedentary village livestock. Traditional feeding of goats and sheep is based on agricultural by-products, grazing on fallow, scavenging and browsing.

Goats
Some of the main breeds are the West African Dwarf, and the long-legged or Sahel, Zaghawa, Foulbé, Arabe. These animals survive in most environments. West African Dwarf goats are kept in the forest zones while in the northern part there are both West African Dwarf goats and the other breeds. The commonest production system is that of seasonal confinement, particularly in the cropping season, and scavenging during the remainder of the year. Goats and sheep provide over 13% of all meat consumed in Cameroon (MINEPIA, 2002). There is marked variation in demand coinciding mainly with Christian religious ceremonies or funeral celebration particularly in the south of the country.

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.

Sheep
Sheep play an important socio economic role in the life of the population, particularly Moslems. The main types of sheep are Uda, and West African Dwarf, Zaghawa, Arabe, Choa arabe, Foulbe and Kotoko, although some minor breeds or cross breeds can be found in some very limited areas. West African Dwarf sheep are mainly kept in the south while both main breeds are raised throughout the North. All Cameroon sheep are used for meat. In the north, they are eaten regularly and form part of the daily protein supply, but there is a marked variation in demand coinciding with Moslem festivals. In some areas household fattening of sheep for sale is an important economic activity.


5. THE PASTURE RESOURCE

With 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 Cameroon , almost no work has been done on range management and development except on University farms or research stations, so grazing livestock depend on poor and degraded rangeland (see Plates 5 and 6) that is often of very low nutritional quality. All Cameroon livestock are raised under extensive systems and forage availability is a major problem.

Plate 5: Dawara rangeland in the highland of the North West Cameroon
Plate 6: Cattle in the mountainous rangeland
Click to view full pictures

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 Sudan savannah zone, which falls within the tsetse fly zone has high quality vegetation for rearing and breeding of ruminants but this fly is a serious problem; grasses include Imperata cylindrica, Pennisetum spp., Panicum spp. . Eragrostis spp., Andropogon gayanus, Schizachyruim spp., Schoenefeldia gracilis, Eragrostis tremula, Aristida and Loudetia . Browse trees contribute to the fodder of the zone.

The Guinea savanna has the following grasses : Hyparrhenia spp ., Andropogon gayanus, Imperata cylindrica, Pennisetum pedicellatum, Digitaria spp . Setaria sphacelata, Pennisetum purpureum, Andropogon tectorum, Panicum maximum, Chloris spp ., Paspalum and Melinis . The Southern part represents a transitional zone between forests (see Plate 7) and the savanna zones. In general, the Guinea savanna zone is characterized by tall grasses which replace destroyed forest trees.

Plate 7. Herdsman with his cattle in the forest zone.
Click to view full picture

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).

Table 11: Major forage species of Cameroon

Species Species
Andropogon pinguipes Loudetia togoensis

Andropogon gayanus var gayanus.

Mitracarpus villosus
Andropogon gayanus var bisquamulatus Oryza barthii
Andropogon gayanus var poly Oryza longistaminata
Andropogon pseudapricus Panicum afzelii
Brachiaria jubata Panicum maximum
Brachiaria stigmatisata Paspalum scrobiculatum
Chloris pilosa Pennisetum pedicellatum
Echinochloa colona Pennisetum polystachion
Echinochloa obtusiflora Phragmites karka
Echinochloa pyramidalis Rottboellia exaltata
Echinochloa stagnina Saccharum spontaneum
Eragrostis gangetica Sacciolepis micrococcus
Eriosema glomeratum Sesbania pachycarpa
Hyparrhenia barteri Setaria pumila
Hyparrhenia bracteata Setaria sphacelata
Hyparrhenia rufa Sorghastrum bipennatum
Hyparrhenia subplumosa Tephrosia pedicellata
Ipomoea aquatica Urena lobata
Jardinea congoensis Vetiveria fulvibarbis
Leersia hexandra Vetiveria nigritiana
Loudetia simplex

Click to view Table 12. Some introduced cultivars in Cameroon

Click to view Table 13. Browse whose leaves are the parts most consumed by livestock

Click to view Table 14. Browse whose fruit and leaves are consumed by grazing animals

Rangeland
Rangelands are found in West, North west (see Plate 5), East, Adamawa, North and far North Provinces. All grazing animals rely on natural grazing. Carrying capacity is very low. Productivity of natural grassland is affected by soil fertility, the amount of browse species available, density of canopy and mainly management strategies such as grazing (Pamo et al., 2007). Pamo (1989a) observed on average that nitrogen fertilization consistently increased rangeland yield. Legumes are not common on rangeland, so their contribution to animal feed is very low. Most tropical grasses grow rapidly during the wet season, becoming fibrous and coarse and then are undergrazed because of the drop in nutritive value. Their quality declines further during the dry season and they become standing hay if fire does not transform them to ash.

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 zones of West Africa . The crude protein (CP) content of forage rarely exceeds six percent for more than six months of the year and some form of supplementation is necessary if calving rates, milk yields and growth rates are to be raised (Milligan and Kaufmann, 1980).

Economic aspects of rangeland
In Cameroon rangeland is said to be "common property" under the management of the village chief. However, it is neither controlled by officials representing the community nor by individual chiefs. Users take what they need, when they need it, regardless of the effect their actions may have on the maintenance of the rangeland (Pamo and Pamo, 1991). When the rangeland was in good condition this posed no problems, as during the colonial and the early post-colonial period when herders and their herds were too sparse to tax the available rangeland seriously. When grazing pressure outstripped supply, individual demands became competitive. Now, as more and more rangeland is destroyed, herders depending on the same resource find it increasingly difficult to meet their herds' needs.

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).

Plate 8. Degraded rangeland
Click to view full picture

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 North Cameroon . Often herders ignore the new grazing rights system and continue to use the range as in the past.

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.

Improved pastures
As part of the new strategy to improve animal husbandry, improved pastures produce more forage of high nutritive value and lead to greater animal productivity than rangeland. Forage species investigated in Cameroon are shown in Table 12 .

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 .

Plate 9: Zebu and Boran cattle on improved pasture at the end of the dry season
Click to view full picture

Click here for Table 15 : Productivity of some indigenous and exotic grasses: sum of 28 days cutting during the growing season in dry matter ton per hectare.

Click here for Table 16 : Productivity of some indigenous and exotic grasses: biomass at the end of the growing season in dry matter ton per hectare.

Click here for Table 17: Productivity of some exotic species of legume: end of growing season in dry matter tons per hectare.

Click here for Table 18 : Productivity of some exotic species of legume: end of drying season biomass in dry matter ton per hectare.

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 Cameroon . Stylosanthes guianensis has been recommended for sown pastures or fodder banks in Adamawa while Leucaena leucocephala or Calliandra calothyrsus were recommended for fence lines to be used as forage during the dry season (Taravali and Pamo, 1991; Pamo and Yonkeu, 1994).

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 Cameroon do not use forage legumes although their inclusion in pasture offers considerable benefits because of their ability to fix nitrogen biologically.

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.

Fodder legumes
During the dry season livestock feed supply is usually at its lowest especially in the North and Far North Cameroon. At this period animals feed exclusively on dry rangeland if fire has not reduced standing hay to ash and crop residues that are low in nutritive value. During the dry season leguminous crop residues such as groundnut haulms and cowpeas are relatively nutritious. However crop residues such as sorghum, millet, rice, maize are low in quality and though used throughout the zones, they do not meet the nutritional requirements of animals. Fodder legumes that have been used and show some value for conservation are Stylosanthes sp ., Stizolobium deeringianum and Lablab purpureus; when used properly with improved management of native pasture they assist to reduce the heavy liveweight losses that are common in the dry season.

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.

Multipurpose trees
Forage shrubs form an integral part of ruminant production; feeding browse has become an essential practice especially in the dry season when herbaceous forages are scarce (Bamikole et al ., 2004) and low in nutritive value (Aregheore, 2001; Pamo et al ., 2007). Browse are important in the maintenance and survival of ruminants. Their relative importance in ruminant nutrition especially during the dry season cannot be over-emphasized. Large numbers of browse trees have been tried experimentally and subsequently introduced to ruminant farmers (Pamo et al. , 2002; Pamo et al ., 2003a) .

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 with forage
Maize residues are low in nitrogen and their nutritive value can be improved by feeding them along with nitrogen rich legume supplements. The beneficial effects of feeding these leguminous forages include increased metabolisable energy and nitrogen intake, improved palatability, increased available minerals and vitamins and better rumen function.

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.

RECOMMENDATION
Research has been carried out over the years in Cameroon on ways to improve rangelands. To date it has not yielded meaningful results because of poor implementation of the findings. Yet sustainable development of this sector can only be based on sound and adapted long term research. Future research on improved pasture should focus on soil conservation and management through the use of legumes. Survey of indigenous legumes - to identify those that are more suitable for particular agro-ecological zones, methods of establishment, fertilizer use, seed production - that involves field establishment, management practices, harvesting methods, storage quality determination is required. The present poor system of livestock production of the majority of herd owners, should not be a deterrent to exploring possibilities. The need to increase farmers’ awareness of the benefits of legume-based technology through increased participatory activities, adequate training of extension officers in integrated part forage-legume production systems should be emphasised.

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 Cameroon to meet the challenges of the future.


7. RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT ORGANIZATIONS AND PERSONNEL

Universities -

Animal Production Department, University of Dschang, Cameroon

Agronomy Department, University of Dschang, Cameroon

Department of Botany, University of Dschang, Cameroon

Department of Biology and Plant Physiology, University of Yaoundé I, Cameroon

Department of Animal and Plant Science, University of Buéa, Cameroon .

Department of Biology and Plant Science, University of Ngaoundéré, Cameroon

Department of Animal Biology, University of Dschang

Ministry: Ministry of Livestock Fishery and Animal Industries, Yaoundé, Cameroon

Institutes -

Institute for Agronomic Research and Development, Yaoundé, Cameroon

Contacts for information on pasture and fodder production and management

Name

Main field of interest

Institution

E-mail address

Pamo, E.T.

Range and Pasture Sciences/ Ruminant Nutrition

Department of Animal Production, University of Dschang, Cameroon

pamo_te@yahoo.fr / pamo-te@excite.com

Onana, J.

Pasture Management

Institute for Agronomic Research and Development, Yaoundé, Cameroon

 

Sipowo, T.

Pasture Management

Ministry of Livestock Fishery and Animal Industry, Yaoundé, Cameroon .

 
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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 Cameroon . Veterinary Research Communications, 2001, Volume 25, Number 1, pp71- 76.

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 Cameroon . In Development of feed supplementation strategies for improving the productivity of dairy cattle on small holder farms in Africa. Proceedings of Research Coordination of a Coordinated Research Project organized by the Joint FAO/IAEA Division of Nuclear Techniques in Food and Agriculture held in Vienna, Austria , 7-11 September.1998.

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

Njwe R. M. 1984. Provision of adequate animal protein to the Cameroon population by the year 2000AD: Problems and prospects Cameroon , Dschang University Centre, Cameroon .

Olubajo, F.O. 1974. Pasture Research at the university of Ibadab. In: Loosli, J.K., Oyenuga, V.A. and Babatunde, G.M. eds. Animal Production in the tropics; Proceeedinngs of the International Symposium on Animal production in the Tropics, held at theUniversity of Ibadan. Ibadan, Nigeria 26-29 March 1973. pp; 67-78.

Pamo, T. E . 1989a. Rangeland response to low levels of nitrogen fertilization and cutting intensities on the Adamawa Plateau. Cameroon . Rev. Elev Med Pays Trop 42(4):591-598.

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 Cameroon . XVII International Grassland Congress New Zealand 1757-1758. New Zealand .

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 Cameroon Sahelo-soudanian region. XVII International Grassland Congress New Zealand 809-810.New Zealand .

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, Cameroon . Tropicultura . 13 (1): 9-14.

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 Cameroon . XVII International Grassland Congress New Zealand 55-56.

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. France .

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

Pamo T. E., J. R. Kana, F. Tendonkeng, B. Boukila, and M. E. Betfiang 2005b. Valeur nutritive et effet de différentes sources d’énergie sur la digestibilité in vitro de Leucaena leucocephala ou Calliandra calothyrsus au Cameroun . Bulletin of Animal Health and Production, 53: 149-159.

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.

Pamo T. E., F. Tendonkeng, J. R. Kana, B. Boukila and A.S. Nanda. 2006b. Effects of Calliandra calothyrsus and Leucaena leucocephala supplementary feeding on goat production in Cameroon . Small Ruminant Research, 65: 31-37.

Pamo T.E., B. Boukila, F.A. Fonteh, F. Tendonkeng, J.R. Kana and A.S. Nanda. 2007. Nutritive values of some basic grasses and leguminous tree foliage of the Central region of Africa. Animal Feed Science and Technology, 135: 273-282.

Pamo T. E., Tendonkeng F., Kana J.R., Tenekeu G., Tapondjou L. A. and Khan Payne V. 2004 . The acaricidal effect of the essential oil of Ageratum houstonianum Mill. flowers on ticks ( Rhipicephalus lunulatus ) in Cameroon . South African Journal of Animal Science , 2004, 34 (Supplement): 230-233.

Pamo T.E., F. Tendonkeng, J.R. Kana, P.K. Loyem, E. Tchapga and F.K. Fotie. 2004a            Effet de différents niveaux de supplémentation avec Leucaena leucocephala sur la croissance pondérale chez la chèvre naine de Guinée, Revue Elev. Méd. Vét. Pays trop., 57 (1-2): 107-112.

Pamo T. E, Kana J. R., Tendonkeng F. and Betfiang M. E. 2004b. Digestibilité in vitro de          Calliandra calothyrsus en présence du Polyethylène glycol et de Brachiaria ruziziensis, Trypsacum laxum ou Pennisetum purpureum au Cameroun. Livestock Research for Rural Development. Vol. 16, Art. # 49. Retrieved July 1, 2004 , from  www.cipav.org.co/lrrd/lrrd16/7/tedo16049.htm

Pamo, T. E., F. A. Fonteh, F. Tendonkeng, J. R. Kana, B. Boukila, P.J. Djaga and G. Fomewang II. 2006a. Influence of supplementary feeding with multipurpose leguminous tree leaves on kid growth and milk production in the West African Dwarf goat. Small Ruminant Research, . 63: 142-149.

Pamo T.E., F. Tendonkeng, J.T.T.Kadjio, H.N. Kwami, R.K.Taboum, J.R.Kana and A. Tegodjeu. 2002. Evaluation of the comparative growth and reproductive performance of West African Dwarf Goat in the Western Highland of Cameroon. In : Development and field evaluation of Animal Feed supplementation packages . Proceeding of the final review meeting of an IAEA Technical Co-operation Regional AFRA Project organized by the Joint FAO/IAEA Division of Nuclear Techniques in Food and Agriculture and held in Cairo, Egypt , 25-29 November 2000. Pp 87-96.

Planchenault D. 1992.  Enquête productivité du bétail Cameroonais Ministère de l'élevage des pèches et des industries animal (MINEPIA), Cameroon. CIRAD-EMVT, Mont pellier, France

Reynolds, L. and Adediran, S.O. 1987. The effect of browse supplementation on the productivity of West African Dwarf sheep over two reproductive cycles. In: Smith, O.B. and Bosman, H.G. (eds). Goat production in the humid tropics. Centre for Agricultural Publishing and Documentation (Pudoc). Wageningen, The Netherlands . Pp. 83-91.

Reynolds, L. 1989 . Effects of browse supplementation on the productivity of West Africa Dwarf goats; In: Wilson , R.T. and Azeb melaku(eds); African small Ruminant research and development. Proceedings of a conference held at bamenda, Cameroon , 18-25 January 1989. African Small Ruminant Research Network. ILCA (International Livestock Centre for Africa) Addis Ababa, Ethiopia . Pp. 237-250.

Smith, O.B. 1992. Small ruminant feeding systems for for small scale farmers in humid West Africa. In: Stares, J.E.S., Said, A.N. and Kategile, J.A. (ed). The complementarity of feed resources for animal production in Africa. Proceeding of the joint Feed resources networks workshop held in Gaborone, Botswana , 4-8 March 1991. Africa Feeds Research Network. ILCA (International Livestock Centre for Africa). Addis Ababa, Ethiopia . Pp. 363-376.

Stachurski F. 1993. Variability of cattle infestation by Amblyomma variegatum and its possible utilisation for tick control Revue d'Elevage et de Médecine Vétérinaire des Pays Tropicaux, Volume 46, Numéro 1/2, pp341-348.

Tambi E. N. 1991. Dairy production in Cameroon : growth, development, problems and solutions. World Animal Review. Number 67, 38-48. www.fao.org/DOCREP/U1200T/U1200T0G.HTM

Tambi N. E. and Vabi B. M. 1994. Analysis of factors influencing dairy market involvement in Bamenda, North West Province, Cameroon . Agribusiness (New York), 1994, Volume 10, Number 4, pp293-304.

Tarawali, G. and Pamo Tedonkeng E. 1991. A case for on-farm trials on fodder banks on the Adamaoua plateau Cameroon . Experimental Agriculture, 28 : 229-235.

Tawah C. L. and Mbah D.A. 1989. Cattle breed evaluation and improvement in Cameroon . A situation report Institute of Animal Research (IRZ), Wakwa, Ngaoundéré, Adamaoua, Cameroon .

Tawah C. L. and Rege J. E. O. 1996. White Fulani cattle of West and Central Africa. Animal Genetic Resources Information, Number 17, pp137-158

Tawah C. L., Mbah D. A., Enoh M. B. and Messine O. 1999a. Performance of taurine x Gudali zebu crosses subjected to artificial suckling in the tropical highlands of Cameroon Revue d'Elevage et de Médecine Vétérinaire des Pays Tropicaux, Volume 52, Numéro 1, pp65-70, 42.

Tawah C. L., Mbah D. A., Messine O. and Enoh M. B. 1998. Effects of genotype and environment on milk production and reproduction of improved genotypes from the tropical highlands of Cameroon . Proceedings of the 6th World Congress on Genetics Applied to Livestock Production, Armidale, NSW, Australia , 11-16.

Tawah C. L., Mbah D. A., Messine O., Enoh M. B. and Tanya V. N. 1999b. Crossbreeding cattle for dairy production in the tropics: effects of genetic and environmental factors on the performance of improved genotypes on the Cameroon highlands. Animal Science, Volume 69, Number 1, pp59-68.

Tchoumboué, J. and Manjeli Y. 1991. Situation et problématique de l'élevage bovin au Cameroon. Departement de zootechnie Centre Universitaire de Dschang, 24p.

Tedonkeng Pamo E., Kana J. R., Tendonkeng F. and Betfiang M. E. 2004. Digestibilité in vitro de Calliandra calothyrsus en présence du Polyethylène glycol et de Brachiaria ruziziensis, Trypsacum laxum ou Pennisetum purpureum au Cameroun. Livestock Research for Rural Development. Vol. 16, Art. # 49. Retrieved July 1, 2004, from http://www.cipav.org.co/lrrd/lrrd16/7/tedo16049.htm

Teuscher T., Bahm A. and Salah J. N. S. 1992. Livestock Research Development and Policy in Cameroon : analysis and reform proposals. Yaoundé, Cameroon : Institute of Agricultural Research for Development.

Vabi M. B. and Tambi E. N. 1995. Household consumption patterns of dairy products in Bamenda urban town; Northwest Province, Cameroon . Journal of International Food and Agribusiness Marketing, Volume 7, Number 2, pp65-78.

Voh, Jr, A. A., Oyedipe, E.O. and Buvanendran, V . 1984. Influence of management and of season of breeding on pregnancy rates of zebu cattle in an artificial insemination programme. Tropical Agriculture (Trinidad) 61: 265-266.

Von Massow V. H. 1984. Dairy imports into sub-Saharan Africa : Development and policies International Livestock Centre for Africa (ILCA), Addis Ababa , Ethiopia . Pp 1-2.

Yendji B. 2000. Caractéristiques socio-économiques et techniques de l'élevage bovin sur les hautes terre de l'Ouest- Cameroun: Cas du département de la Ménoua. Mémoire d'ingénieur agronome, Université de Dschang, 85p.

Yerima, B. P. K. and E. Van Ranst. 2005. Major Soil Classification Systems Used in the Tropics: Soils of Cameroon . Trafford Publishing, Canada . 315p.

Yonkeu, S. and Pamo, T. E. 1994. Introduction et évaluation de quelques espèces fourrages amélioratrices des pâturages en Adamawa-Cameroun. Actes du colloque sur la conservation et l'utilisation des ressources phytogénitiques 23-25 Mars Yaoundé-Cameroun.

Yonkeu, S., G. Rippstein and E. Tedonkeng Pamo. 1985. Réponse au phosphore du Stylosanthes guianensis (AUBL) s.w. Cultivar FAO 46.004 sur sol basaltique en Adamaoua Cameroun . Rev. Sci. et Techn. Sci. Ser. Zootech. 1(2).

Yonkeu, S., G. Rippstein and E. Tedonkeng Pamo. 1986. Effet des doses croissantes du phosphore sur la production du Brachiaria ruziziensis (Germain et Evrard) sur sol basaltique recent en Adamaoua. Rev. Sci. et Techn. Ser. Sci. Zooteh . 1(4).

Zemmelink, G. 1974. Utilization of poor quality roughages in the northern Guinea savanna zone. In Loosli, J.K., Oyenuga, V.A. and Babatunde, G.M. (ed.) Animal production in the tropics. Ibadan, Heinemann.

9. CONTACTS

Profile prepared by:

Prof. Etienne Tedonkeng PAMO
University of Dschang
Faculty of Agriculture and Agricultural Science
Department of Animal Production
P. O. Box 222 Dschang
Cameroon
Tel: +237 33 45 14 62; Fax: +237 33 45 13 81
Cell phone : +237 99 54 54 32
Email: pamo_te@yahoo.fr/ pamo-te@excite.com

[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].