Smallholders' perceptions of goat farming in southern Benin and opportunities for improvement.

Tropical Animal Health and Production
L H DossaM Gauly


To be successful, initiatives to improve smallholder's goat production should directly address the needs and objectives of the keepers while promoting rational use of local genetic resources. This paper identifies the objectives, constraints and needs of goat farmers in southern Benin and discusses their relevance to the development of improvement programmes. Between November and December 2005, structured questionnaires, focus group discussions and participant observation were used to collect information from 38 goat farmers in two selected locations. Goats were kept mainly for sale whenever cash was needed. Traits related to reproduction, to behaviour, to health and to meat production were considered equally important and were ranked very highly by goat keepers. Increased net income per flock through increased number of marketable animals is the derived breeding objective from the trait analysis. Disease outbreaks resulting in high mortality, poor housing, and feed shortages were, in descending order, the most important problems. It was concluded that the development of initiatives to improve management practices is an overriding priority. It will lead to increases in productivity in the short term and foster farmers' particip...Continue Reading


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