The future of indigenous cattle breeds of pastoralists in Benin

Activity: Talk or presentationOral presentationAcademic


Pastoralism is under pressure and consequently cattle breed diversity in the pastoralists’ herds is at the risk of being affected, as well as the traditional ecological knowledge associated with the use of indigenous cattle breeds. The
objectives of this study were to: (1) inventorise pastoralists’ indigenous breeds of cattle and their performance in selected traits; (2) analyse pastoralists’ preferences for specific breeds and reasons for this preference; and (3)
determine whether the knowledge about breeds and their traits was passed from the one generation to the other. Data were collected from focus groups discussions and from a semi-structured questionnaire with 72 pastoralists.
Interviewees belonged to three generations and three agro-ecological zones in the periphery of the W Biosphere Reserve in Benin. From the focus groups discussions we identified the most common cattle breeds in the region
(i.e. Keteeji, Jaliji, Bodeji, Tchiwali and Gudali) and the most relevant traits (i.e. milk production, meat production, endurance and tolerance to trypanosomiasis). Individual interviewees scored the performance of cattle breeds in the
four main traits. Keteeji was valued for its endurance and tolerance to trypanosomiasis, Bodeeji was highly valued for endurance and Gudali was perceived of high value for meat and milk production, but of low value for endurance.
Keteeji was the preferred breed by nearly 50% of the pastoralists, because it withstands hunger. Gudali was the least preferred breed; it was preferred by 11% of pastoralists. Hence, to deal with the changing and unfavourable
conditions of their environment, which will only aggravate in the future, pastoralists prefer breeds performing well with regard to non-productive traits. Knowledge about breeds did not differ between generations implying that it is
still being passed from the one generation to the other.
Period31 Aug 2017
Event titleEAAP 68th Annual Meeting of the Animal Science (EAAP)
Event typeOther
LocationTallinn, EstoniaShow on map