African livestock: A terrible thing to waste

Six Buck, lino print by San/Bushman artist Flai Shipipa via Pinterest.

Care about ‘sustainable agriculture’ in Africa? Then you should care about livestock. Take a look at the evidence as reported earlier this year in a scientific paper published by researchers at the International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI) this month.

From the abstract to the paper
‘The role of herbivorous livestock in supporting the sustainability of the farming systems in which they are found is complex and sometimes conflicting. In Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA), the integration of livestock into farming systems is important for sustainable agriculture as the recycling of nutrients for crop production through returns of animal manure is a central element of the dominant mixed crop-livestock systems.

‘Sustainable agriculture has been widely advocated as the main practical pathway to address the challenge of meeting the food needs of the rapidly growing population in SSA while safeguarding the needs of future generations. The objective of this paper is to review the state of knowledge of the role of herbivores in sustainable intensification of key farming systems in SSA.