Improved productivity and sustainable pastoral systems in an era of insecurity-Fulani herds of the southern Jos Plateau, North-Central Nigeria

Ayodele O Majekodunmi, Charles Dongkum, Tok Langs, Alexandra Shaw, Susan Welburn

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

This study investigated the productivity and management of sheep and cattle kept by Fulani pastoralists of Bokkos local government area on the Jos Plateau, North-Central Nigeria. Despite the challenges related to insecurity and restricted access to natural resources, results show large breeding herds with above average productivity and reproductive performance. The management strategy was focused on providing both milk and increased cattle numbers for pastoralists and beef to satisfy the high market demand. High natural herd growth and moderate offtake rates allowed households to maintain herd sizes with a small net increase in cattle numbers. Sheep productivity in these herds was characterised by high births, high mortality and high offtake, leading to overall negative herd growth. The use of hired herders is on the rise in response to natural resource conflict, insecurity and reduced family labour availability due to alternative livelihood strategies. Disease and related mortality remain significant constraints to productivity which could be addressed by increased access to quality veterinary care. However, any further increases in livestock numbers would put additional strain on already inadequate natural resources.

Original languageEnglish
JournalTropical Animal Health and Production
Volume48
Early online date16 Sep 2016
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2016

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