Title: Environmental impacts of livestock husbandry: approaches to improving rangelands in Niger

Author(s): Hassane Yaye Abdou
Final project
Year of publication:
Supervisors: Isabel C Barrio
livestock, rangeland, impacts, restoration and management, Sahel


In Niger, as in most Sahelian countries, livestock has an important socio-economic, cultural and food security role for the population. Ranked as the second socio-economic activity after agriculture, livestock also represents the second strongest export after mining. Livestock production in the Sahel is threatened by multiple factors and subsequently household livelihoods are at stake. This project summarizes available published studies on the environmental impacts of domestic animal husbandry and some approaches, either through management or through restoration, to improve rangelands in Niger. I found that livestock farming in Niger is characterized by a great diversity of domestic animals (species and breeds) and a great diversity of forage species (woody plants and grasses) with a scarcity of surface water. Animal management (livestock practices) differs according to the agro-climatic zones of the country. This study highlights the main effects or impacts of livestock on vegetation, soil and surface water. Some solutions are discussed such as restoration and land management to improve pasture areas and to sustain livestock production in the Sahelian countries where livestock is the main income source for smallholders.

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