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Chapter 7: Mali

7.1 Background
7.2 Livestock numbers and distribution
7.3 Cattle
7.4 Sheep and goats
7.5 Research activities and development
7.6 Selected bibliography
7.7 Major changes since 1977

7.1 Background

In 1981, the Ministry of Rural Development (le Ministère du Développement rural) was restructured and is now the Ministry responsible for Rural Development (le Ministère chargé du Developpement rural). This ministry comprises the Animal Husbandry Department, the Water Resources and Forestry Department and the National Cooperation Department. The Ministry is also in charge of the National Institute for Animal Husbandry, Forestry and Hydrobiological Research (INRZFH), the Mali Animal Husbandry and Beef Office (OMBEVI) and the Central Veterinary Laboratory (LCV) responsible for the production of vaccines and animal health research.

The country is divided into seven administrative regions and Bamako district, corresponding to eight veterinary regions covering 46 sectors and 128 veterinary stations.

Table 1 gives data for human and animal populations for the country.

Table 1. Human and animal populations of Mali.


Study area

Human population (1985)

- number

7 850 000

- density


Animal population

- cattle (1984)

6 663 000

2 099 000

- sheep (1983)

6 329 000

1 026 800

- goats (1983)

6 928 000

1 047 300

Sources: For human population, projections (+2.6 %) based on 1977 census figures. Directorate of Affairs. Economic For cattle population, estimates of the National Livestock Directorate (DNE) (1983) (quoted by Assogbakpe, 1985); for small ruminants, OMBEVI (1984) from 1982 census.

Recent surveys on tsetse distribution were conducted by Ashton et al (1980) and Okiwelu et al (1980).

According to Ashton et al (1980), the northern limit of G. tachinoides in Mali can be defined by a line running from west to east south of the River Senegal, north of the Baoule river, above the "Boucle de Baoule", north of Segou and then northwards to San. G. palpalis is found in the south-east of the country. Its northern limits are defined by a line running from the point at which the River Niger crosses the southern Malian border north towards the confluence of the rivers Bating and Bani then south towards the Mali border.

Distribution of G. morsitans submorsitans follows a continuous and discrete pattern.

The northern limits of continuous distribution of G. morsitans submorsitans is similar to that of G. tachinoides and extends from the western border of Mali, northwards above the "Boucle de Baoule" and thence southward just below Bamako crossing the border between Mankono and Tingrela. Localised distributions of G. morsitans occur in the area of the Niger between Bamako and Segou and in the region where the Bagoe and Bating rejoin the river Bani.

7.2 Livestock numbers and distribution

Livestock numbers for the area in 1983 are given in Table 2.

Table 2. Livestock numbers and distribution in Mali ('000).

There was a significant reduction in livestock numbers between 1972 and 1982 mainly in Mopti, Timbucktu and Gao regions due to the combined effects of drought (shortage of forage, insufficient water points) and necessary destocking (sales and slaughter) (FAO, 1982).

7.3 Cattle

7.3.1 Breed characterisation
7.3.2 Diseases
7.3.3 Herd management and composition

In 1985, the trypanotolerant cattle population was estimated at 409 000 head of N'Dama and 683 000 head of N'Dama x zebu crossbreds.

7.3.1 Breed characterisation N'DAMA PERFORMANCE TRAITS

A survey was conducted in 1983 in the Sikasso region (DNE, 1983) to collect data on the performance traits of N'Dama under village conditions. A total of 1814 cattle distributed in three herd types (sedentary (S), short transhumant (t) and long transhumant (T)) were involved. The major results obtained from the survey are presented in Table 3.

Table 3. Performance traits of the N'Dama under village conditions.




Number of adult cows




Age at first calving (years)




Calving rate (%)




- r




- extremes

60 to 64.7

50.9 to 81.6

74.4 to 92.9

Calving interval (months)




Mortality rate for 0-1-year-old calves (%)

- female




- male




Adult mortality rate (%)

- female




- male




S = sedentary; t = short transhumant; T = long transhumant. Source: DNE (1983).

Production traits for 1984 and 1985 for N'Dama raised at Madina Diassa ranch are given in Table 4. The mortality quotient mentioned in the Table is the number of calves which die in a year divided by the number of calves born in the same year.

Table 4. Performance traits of N'Dama raised at Madina Diassa ranch in 1984 and 1985.



Fertility rate (%)



Total mortality rate (%)


Mortality rate for male and female calves (%)


Mortality rate for 0-1-year-old calves (%)


Mortality quotient for 0-1-year-old calves (%)



Birthweight (kg)



Weight at 30 days (kg)

12.7 ± 0.5


- male

22.3 ± 1.25

- female

20.4 ± 1.05

Average weight at 180 days (kg)

- male


- female


Weight at 205 days (kg)

60.54 ± 4.3

Weight at 550 days (kg)

97.6 ± 9.3

115 to 143

Average weight of adult males (kg)


Average weight of adult females (kg)


Average daily weight gain between 30 and 205 days (g/d)

216.4 ± 20

Average daily weight gain between 205 and 550 days (g/d)

122.7 ± 20

Sources: Planchenault (1985); FAO (1986a). Index of productivity

Table 5 summarises estimates of the main production parameters required to calculate a productivity index based on the total weight of 1-year-old calves produced per 100-kg cow maintained per year. These productivity indices are based on data collected under village conditions and on ranches in areas of high trypanosomiasis risk in which cattle are raised primarily for beef.

Table 5. N'Dama productivity estimates.



Cow viability (%)



Calving rate (%)



Calf viability to 1 year (%)



Calf weight at 1 year (kg) (estimated)



Productivity index/cow/year (kg)



Cow weight (kg)



Productivity index per 100-kg cow maintained per year



Source: Indexes calculated by authors. MERE OR BAMBARA

No recent data are available on the Méré. OTHER CROSSBREDS

Recent data on the production parameters of N'Dama x exotic breeds are not available.

7.3.2 Diseases

Rinderpest is currently a major problem particularly in areas bordering Mauritania.

In 1983 and 1984, Mali received assistance in the form of the "Emergency vaccination campaign against rinderpest" and "Strengthening of the production capacity of the Central Veterinary Laboratory" projects.

The report of the Directorate of Livestock and Animal Health sectors presented at an FAO/CILSS meeting (FAO, 1986b) indicated that in 1985 there were persistent outbreaks of rinderpest (20 foci), no focus of contagious bovine pleuropneumonia, several outbreaks of blackquarter (21 foci) and anthrax (11 foci) and of pasteurellosis (47 foci).

Studies carried out on animal trypanosomiasis in the Niger Basin between Bamako and Ségou (Awab et al, 1981) show cattle infection rate of 5.36% during the rainy season and 3.11% during the dry season. The tsetse species found are T. viva followed by T. congolense and T. brucei in that order.

7.3.3 Herd management and composition

Fattening and animal traction are developing at a satisfactory rate. The number of draught oxen in the country in 1984 was estimated at 400 000 head. These animals are generally put to work between age 3 and 9.

The livestock production component of the Mali Textile Company (CMDT) manages a herd estimated at 200 000 draught oxen. About 10 Kurd cows and bulls were introduced recently into the Bouganaba area in the Sikasso District to study the possibility of improving their conformation (DNE, 1984a).

A survey conducted in Sikasso region (DNE, 1983) analysed the composition of sedentary herds (S), short transhumant herds (t) and long transhumant herds (T). The results are given in Table 6.

Table 6. Herd composition in Sikasso region (%).




Number of herds




Total cattle number

4 879




0-1 year




1-3 years




Entire adult males




Castrated adult males









0-1 year




1-3 years












Sedentary herds; t = short transhumant herds; T = long transhumant herds. Source: DNE (1983).

7.4 Sheep and goats

No recent data on the production parameters of sheep and goats have been obtained since the last study.

7.5 Research activities and development

7.5.1 Research centres and programmes
7.5.2 Multiplication herds and development projects

7.5.1 Research centres and programmes

In June 1984, CRZ, Sotuba maintained 217 head of cattle 113 of which were Moor Zebu, 39 N'Dama and the remainder crossbreds. CRZ has discontinued its research on the pure N'Dama breed. It is currently conducting studies on ½ Steppe Red, ¼ Moor Zebu and ¼ N'Dama crossbreds. These crossbreds should subsequently be distributed in the Bamako region for dairy production.

The Central Veterinary Laboratory (LCV) is the only institution currently conducting research on Animal Trypanosomiasis in Mali. Its trypanosomiasis activities focus on research on strategies for the use of trypanocidal products on various types of livestock. To this end, a study on the effect of trypanocidal products on N'Dama productivity, partly financed by FAO, is currently being conducted at the Madina Diassa ranch. Preliminary results of this study indicate a highly significant difference between treated and untreated groups (Traoré, 1986).

Furthermore, LCV is implementing a chemopreventive programme for village herds in Djinikorola and Yaban in Sikasso sector.

The entomological section of LCV, which is operated by entomologists of LCV and the ex-Terres nouvelles project completed in 1981 (Diall, 1984) is currently participating in a tsetse eradication trial using screens in Madina Diassa area, in collaboration with the Parasitology Department of the School of Medicine.

Other activities include research on helminthology, bacteriology and virology. Furthermore, LCV is still engaged in the production of vaccines (LCV, 1984).

7.5.2 Multiplication herds and development projects

The two N'Dama multiplication herds in Mali, maintained under Operation N'Dama Yanfolila (ONDY) and Sikasso Tea Farm, are still in operation. In January 1987, the ONDY herd consisted of 1706 N'Dama comprising 159 male calves, 137 female calves, 486 heifers, 243 steers, 641 cows and 40 bulls. FED funding, which was resumed in 1982 following a two-year break, was discontinued during the first semester of 1987. The herd on Tea Farm remains static at around 140 head. It should be noted that since the herd was constituted in 1973, no new animals have been introduced. Consequently, there has been an extremely high level of inbreeding (Assogbakpe, 1985; Traoré, personal communication, 1987).

No recent data are available on the Baguinda Integrated Development Operation.

The objectives of the Mali Livestock Sector Project are to strengthen the Central Veterinary Laboratory and the National Directorate of Livestock with particular emphasis on cold storage facilities, rural credit facilities for fattening animals under village conditions and research on animal productivity conducted in collaboration with INRZFH and ILCA. Furthermore, the project conducts research on tsetse and tick distributions and trypanosomes control (vector-disease aspect). This five-year project, funded by USAID, commenced in August 1982 and is a continuation of Mali Livestock I and II projects.

The Mali South Livestock Development project covers Sikasso region, Dioila sector in the Bamako region and the southern areas of Segou, San and Tominian sectors involving an area of 100 000 km and in 1983, 1 692 600 head of cattle and 1 109 700 sheep and goats. Programme activities included improvement of animal health services (construction of vaccination pens, equipping of veterinary stations and pest control), fattening of livestock under village conditions, providing credit facilities for the purchase of oxen and distribution of sires in the rural area. The five-year project, funded by the EEC, commenced in 1979. An evaluation mission was undertaken in July 1984 (SATEC, 1984). Due to marked discrepancies in the performance of various phases funding was discontinued and the programme ended in December 1984.

The Livestock and Meat Credit Establishment (ECIBEV) is concerned with meat production in some villages in Koulikoro region and operates a feedlot in Tienfala, 30 km from Bamako. It receives aid under the USAID sectoral project.

A study mission to prepare a Livestock Development Project in the Kayes south area was undertaken in 1984. The establishment of an N'Dama Multiplication Station is envisaged as part of this project (DNE, 1984b).

7.6 Selected bibliography

Ashton D R, Goodwin J T, Ba A and Cisse A. 1981. Tsetse distribution in the Republic of Mali. An interim report. In: Sixteenth Meeting of the international Scientific Council for Trypanosomiasis Research and Control, Yaounde (Cameroun), 1979. OAU/STRC Publication 111. OAU/STRC (Organization of African Unity/Scientific, Technical and Research Commission), Nairobi, Kenya. pp. 341-348.

Assogbakpe F. 1985. Consultation mission on the marketing and multiplication of trypanotolerant cattle, FAO project GCP/RAF/190/ITA. Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso.

Awan M A Q, Maiga S, Bouare S and Telly A. 1981. The status of bovine trypanosomiasis and seasonal variation in its occurrence in Zone I (Niger Valley) of the Republic of Mali. Chemonics, Washington D.C., USA. 90 pp + 8 figures.

Dhiver B and Piquier H. 1982. Mission d'assistance technique à la Direction National de l'Elevage pour le suivi et l'évaluation du Projet de développement de l'élevage dans le sud-Mali. SATEC (Société d'assistance technique et de conseil), Paris, France.

Diall O. 1985. Country Report: Mali. Presented at the first meeting to coordinate the activities in West Africa of the Programme for the Control of African Animal Trypanosomiasis and Related Development held in Bobo-Dioulasso, Burkina Faso. FAO (Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations), Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso.

DNE (Direction national de l'élevage). 1983. Rapport d'une enquête réalisée à Sikasso en mai 1983 par la cellule d'appui à la DNE.

DNE (Direction national de l'élevage). 1984a. Rapport sur la situation de l'élevage au Mali. Octobre 1984.

DNE (Direction national de l'élevage). 1984b. Mission d'étude d'un projet de développement de l'élevage dans la zone de Kayes-sud.

FAO (Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations). 1982. Republic of Mali. Report of the multi-donor mission on the food, agriculture and livestock situation. OSRO: Report 01/83/E.

FAO (Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations). 1986a. Mission to Madina Diassa ranch within the framework of the activities of FAO project GCP/RAF/190/ITA. Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso.

FAO (Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations). 1986b. Consultants' report on the improvement of animal health services in CILSS member countries. Vol II: Country reports and project proposals. Consultations held in Banjul, The Gambia, 23-27 June 1986. FAO, Rome, Italy.

Laboratoire central vétérinaire (Central Veterinary Laboratory). 1984. Rapport d'activités du Laboratoire Central Vétérinaire, année 1983.

Le Hazif J and Lobry J C. 1983. La viande d'embouche bovine au Mali. Production et étude du marché d'exportation. BDPA (Bureau pour le développement de la production agricole) Paris, France. 99 pp.

Okiwelu S N, Van Wettere P and Maiga S. 1980. Distribution and ecology of the tsetse fly (Niger Valley). Chemonics, Washington D.C., USA.

OMBEVI (Office malien du bétail et de la viande). 1983. Statistiques du bétail et de la viande, 1982. OMBEVI, Mali.

OMBEVI (Office malien du bétail et de la viande). 1984. Répartition géographique des petite ruminants par secteur et par région. OMBEVI, Mali.

Planchenault D. 1985. Rapport de mission au ranch de Madina Diassa. IEMVT/CIRAD (Institut d'élevage et de médecine vétérinaire des pays tropicaux/Centre de coopération international en recherche agronomique pour le développement), Paris, France.

SATEC (Société d'assistance technique et de conseil). 1984. Mission d'évaluation du Projet de Développement de l'élevage dans le sud-Mali. Colson F and Perron J. SATEC, Paris, France.

Shaw A P M and Kamate C. 1981. An economic evaluation of the trypanosomiasis problem in zone one. Chemonics, Washington D.C., USA. 283 pp.

Traoré M. 1986. Technical Report. FAO project GCP/RAF/190/ITA, Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso.

USAID (United States Agency for International Development). 1982. Mali livestock sector project. Phase II. Project paper.

7.7 Major changes since 1977

The significant difference between cattle population figures given in this volume and those for 1976-77 points once again the difficulty involved in obtaining reliable estimates when censuses are not carried out. A small ruminant census carried out in 1982 shows that figures for 1976-77 were grossly underestimated.

Total cattle population in the study area increased at a steady rate of + 16% from 1 810 000 head in 1977 to 2 099 000 head in 1984. However, distribution by breed changed significantly, revealing a gradual and alarming disappearance of the N'Dama (N'Dama -12%, zebu x N'Dama +31% and zebu +22%).

Since early 1987, and except for the CMDT draught oxen training operations in Southern Mali Madina Diassa (ONDY) ranch has been the sole operation involved in trypanotolerant livestock development in Mali following the end of the Mali South Livestock Development Project, except for the CMDT draught oxen training operations in the area.

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