Strategies and approaches to sustainable livestock production in Sub Saharan Africa


  • Never Assan Zimbabwe Open University, Faculty of Agriculture, Department of Livestock Production, Bulawayo Region, Box 3550, Bulawayo, Zimbabwe


Livestock production, Smallholder, Gender, Climate change, Sub Sahara


Livestock is a dominant agricultural activity in Sub Saharan Africa, which is generally considered a key asset for most rural population and contribute to the livelihoods and nutrition of purely subsistence households. This discussion is a synthesis of possible strategies to consider for sustaianble livestock production, focusing on issues of climate change, gender, smallholder livestock support and use of indigenous knowledge systems, and how these may influence livestock production. There are many measures which need to be explored with the aim of making the livestock systems become driving forces of sustainable agricultural development. One of the major factors responsible for the declining livestock productivity in the region is the relegation to the background of the contributions of women in the issues of livestock production. On the other hand, climate change and variability is now widely regarded as the most serious challenge facing Sub Saharan Africa, with consequences that go far beyond the effects on the environment, hence affecting most communities indiscriminately. Despite the negative impact of climate change on livestock production and biodiversity conservation, poor resources peasant famers are incentivized to engage in these activities because of the wide spectrum of benefits accrued, such as cash income, food, manure, draft power and hauling services, savings and insurance, and social status and social capital. Since time immemmorial, indigenous livestock knowledge systems have been used in smallholder livestock farming sector, while strengthening livestock productivity. These are some of the key aspects in promoting livestock development, through economically and socially empowering local communities, and consequently providing a way to enable rural communities to break the cycle of poverty. In this discussion, some of the strategic steps that can be adopted for future sustainable livestock production, include and not limited to the following: promotion of gender equality and equity in livestock production systems in terms of equal access to livestock productive resources, boosting climate change mitigation startegies, and empowering women in livestock production decision making.


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How to Cite

Assan, N. . (2014). Strategies and approaches to sustainable livestock production in Sub Saharan Africa. Scientific Journal of Animal Science, 3(12), 284-290. Retrieved from



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