The use of the pasture areas by the cattle and the goats in the Sahel region of Burkina Faso

The traditional systems of stock breeding in the Sahel are mainly based on the valorization of the fodder resources on the pasture areas. To know about the way they are used is a preliminary to the development and management actions in order to minimize the availability problems related to the reduction of pasture areas, their impoverishment and the increasing number of animals these past years. A diagnosis of the way they are used by the flocks of cattle and goat has been done during an annual cycle on two lands characterizing the Sahel of Burkina Faso. The investigations have enabled to appraise the differences in seasons that characterize the use of the pasture areas and to have details of the specific behaviors of the species on their units. In all the systems, the low grounds , the farms and the glacis and are areas that are more pastured by the cattle ( 36%, 21%, 35% respectively) whereas the goats essentially go to the low grounds and silt laden glacis (53% and 35% of pasture respectively). The food behavior confirms a dependence of the first on herbaceous fodder (71% of pasture time) and the seconds on woody plants (65% to 72%). The solutions to the feeding problems would essentially be in the optimization of the comparative advantages and its differences through the improvement of the productivity of the pasture areas by organizing the access to them. Further investigations concerning the evaluation of the fodder are meanwhile necessary to deepen these matters related to the food supply.

Keywords: Pasture, Cattle, Goat, Food supply, Sahel, Burkina Faso.