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Research article - Peer-reviewed, 2022

Extension Services for Livestock Keepers in Low-Income Countries—A Low Priority?

Pousga, Salimata; Magnusson, Ulf; Moumouni, Ismail; Dayo, Guiguigbasa-Kossian; Kante, Assa; Boqvist, Sofia


Simple Summary Animal-source foods are an important dietary complement to the calories in staple food, but in low-income countries, productivity on the smallholder farms that provide most of the domestic food supply is low. The general objective of this survey-based study was to contribute to effective integration of livestock issues in agricultural extension and advisory programs within the framework of sustainable food and nutrition security in Burkina Faso, Mali, and Benin. The findings show that despite the equal importance given by farmers to animal and plant production, livestock production appears to be disadvantaged in terms of access to extension services and new technology compared with plant production, even though many farmers are willing to pay for this service if available. Furthermore, livestock farming is facing constraints related to feeding, health, and reproduction, limiting development of the sector. Based on this study, we recommend that agricultural extension programs be planned in a holistic context, taking into account the major concerns of farmers, with technological packages in integrated crop-livestock systems. Achievement of sustainable agricultural development and national food security in Africa is dependent on several factors, including productivity in the livestock production sub-sector. This study surveyed farmers' perceptions on provision of extension services relating to livestock production in Burkina Faso, Mali, and Benin. A structured questionnaire comprising dichotomous, multiple-choice, and open-ended questions was used to survey a total of 1560 farmers in Burkina Faso, 345 in Mali, and 480 in Benin. Most farmers surveyed pursued integrated crop and livestock production, but more frequently in Burkina Faso (91%) than in Mali and Benin (66%). Around one-third (36%) of the respondents in Burkina Faso had access to livestock extension services, while the corresponding figure in Mali and Benin was 54% and 69%, respectively (p < 0.01). Moreover, 71% of respondents in Mali, 73% in Burkina Faso, and 84% in Benin reported significantly (p < 0.05) fewer extension activities for livestock compared with crop production. Thus, livestock production seems to be given low priority in agricultural extension interventions. We recommend that future diffusion of technological packages should be more holistic, considering the major concerns of the specific environment and the socio-cultural traditions of both livestock and crop producers.


West Africa; food security; animal sourced food; small holder; pastoral; agro-pastoral

Published in

2022, volume: 12, number: 6, article number: 726

Authors' information

Pousga, Salimata
Nazi Boni University
Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Department of Clinical Sciences
Moumouni, Ismail
University of Parakou
Dayo, Guiguigbasa-Kossian
Centre International de recherche-développement sur l’élevage en zone subhumide (CIRDES)
Kante, Assa
Sasakawa Africa Association (SAA)

Sustainable Development Goals

SDG4 Ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all
SDG17 Strengthen the means of implementation and revitalize the global partnership for sustainable development

UKÄ Subject classification

Agricultural Science

Publication Identifiers


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