Previous Page Table of Contents


Economics of improved production systems


Models of improved production systems for small ruminants
The market potential for increased small ruminant production in southwest Nigeria


Models of improved production systems for small ruminants

M. UPTON


Traditional production systems
A model of the breeding flock
Sensitivity analysis
Planning improved production systems
Intensifying production
Alley cropping
References


Traditional production systems

It is clearly not possible to develop improved production systems without first studying the existing ones. On the one hand, the performance of the existing, traditional system provides a baseline standard with which to compare proposed innovations. On the other hand, an understanding of the resource requirements and constraints of the existing system provides guidance as to which of the possible new technologies are appropriate and worth pursuing, and which are not. Much agricultural research in the past proceeded on the assumption that new technologies could be developed in the isolation of the research station and imposed on farmers from above. It is surely a sign of progress that these attitudes are changing.

Fortunately, a number of studies of traditional farming systems have been made in southwest Nigeria (Galletti et al, 1956; Upton, 1967; Ay, 1980). The farming systems in this area are typical of many parts of the humid zone of West Africa and perhaps other areas in the humid tropics. Although gradual changes in these farming systems have occurred over the years, the above mentioned studies show that the majority of farm households keep sheep and goats, but only as a supplement to crop production. In spite of the fact that small ruminants are only "a low-labour-input and low-priority adjunct to traditional arable and cash crop farming" (Oyenuga, 1967), they are ubiquitous in rural and even urban areas. Since they are trypanosomiasis tolerant, they greatly outnumber cattle in the region and are much more important in terms of total livestock units (Matthewman, 1977; based on FAO, 1966).

The transition zone between the tropical rain forest and the savanna is a sub-climax of the forest zone, created by burning. As there are fewer trees, the land is more easily cleared for continuous cultivation than the rain forest, but crop yields are apparently somewhat lower on average. Thus there are differences between farming systems in the savanna and the forest transition zone.

In the forest transition zone the typical Yoruba farming household presently consists of the elementary unit of farmer, wives and children. With the spread of primary-education, children are rarely available for farm work. Furthermore, since many farmers and the majority of their wives have off-farm occupations, particularly in food processing and marketing, and petty trading, the potential household labour force for farming is only one or two persons. It should also be noted that many Yoruba families have dual residences, one in town and one in the village or farm camp. Long periods are spent away from the village and the farm, especially during the dry season and festivals. At busy times of the year, additional labour is hired. Arable crops are cereals, roots and other vegetables, of which maize and cassava are the most widely grown for home consumption and cash sale. Land is hoe cultivated and crops are interplanted. To restore fertility, land reverts to bush fallow after 3 or 4 years of cropping. This is a fairly extensive system and land is apparently not in short supply. A sketch indicating the pattern of productive activity is given in Figure 1.

Small ruminant keeping is generally not integrated with crop production. Most cropland is some distance from the village centre, typically 15 to 20 minutes' walk, while the goats and sheep remain in the village, where they scavenge and-are fed household scraps and crop byproducts. No forage crops are grown and manure is not returned to the cultivated plots. Although most families keep small ruminants, the average number per owner is only about three or four animals, with goats predominating. Indeed, in some villages there are no sheep (ILCA, 1979; Matthewman, 1980; Okali, 1979). Although both species are represented by dwarf breeds, sheep are generally larger, though less prolific, than goats.

Figure 1. The farming system in the humid zone of West Africa

The animals are rarely housed or tethered, except in areas such as eastern Nigeria where pressure on land is creating competition between crops and livestock, so the latter must be restrained. Where the animals roam freely, the entire village stock can be considered as a single, interbreeding flock, and usually there are no attempts to control mating. Since very few males are required for breeding, most families can sell or consume all the male offspring. Animals receive virtually no veterinary care, and mortality rates are relatively high, though variable. In general these animals receive little attention, consequently labour costs are negligible. However, some supplementary feeding may occur, especially during the dry season. Feed-stuffs such as eri (maize bran) may be purchased or labour may be spent in cutting and carrying browse (Carew, 1982; Sempeho, 1982).

Farming in the derived savanna zone differs in that the cultivated area per family is almost double that for the forest zone, while the proportion under tree crops is smaller. Complete clearing and de-stumping is easier and tractors are more widely used. Since yields are lower, though, farm incomes are generally below those obtained in the forest zone. In the derived savanna zone there is some evidence that slightly more goats are kept per household, on a more commercial basis, in that breeding stock is owned rather than borrowed and a greater proportion of kids is sold.

Given the lack of integration between crop and livestock enterprises, small ruminant production may be viewed as an independent investment. Furthermore, given the advantages of simplicity and limited scale in model building, there is a case for analysing the small ruminant subsystem on its own, at least as a starting point.

A model of the breeding flock

A sheep or goat kept for breeding is an item of capital. It could be slaughtered for current consumption but instead it is kept to produce more output in the future. The establishment of a breeding flock is, therefore, a form of capital investment expected to yield a future return. As such, it competes for available resources with alternative forms of on-farm investment, such as clearing bush for cultivation or establishing permanent crops, or with off-farm investments such as petty trading or education of children.

Since many small ruminants are sold in local markets, and price data have been recorded (Okali and Upton, 1985), we may use market prices to estimate costs and returns. Animals that are slaughtered for home consumption or for ceremonial purposes may also be evaluated in this way, since the market price represents the opportunity cost (i.e. alternative income foregone). Commonly, a sheep or goat flock is established by borrowing or caretaking of breeding females rather than by purchase (Okali, 1979). Although this is an interesting social practice, worthy of further study in view of its potential impact on income distribution, it does not alter the fact that a breeding animal is an investment. Caretaking is really not very different from a cash loan, the share of the offspring which are returned to the Owner representing an interest charge. Of course, the owner actually receives fewer offspring by lending out, but presumably has good reasons for doing so.

It is convenient initially to consider just one species; indeed in some areas such as Fasola, goat only flocks predominate (ILCA, unpublished data). There remains the question of whether the unit of analysis should be the group of three or four animals kept by a single individual or if it should be the entire, free-roaming, interbreeding village flock. In fact, so long as interest centres on the rate of return on investment, and assuming that there are no economies or diseconomies of scale, the size of unit chosen is unimportant. A single breeding doe may then be used as a unit of analysis, with the results being raised by the appropriate numbers to arrive at individual family or village level figures. Fractional values will appear in the performance of a single doe which will require the services of, perhaps, 1/16th of a buck (mean ratio of adult females to adult males = 16:1) (Mack, 1983), and produce 2.2 kids per year. This is not a problem since the results represent average or expected values.

The factors likely to affect the rate of return on investment in a breeding doe are illustrated in Figure 2. Under traditional systems, so little labour is devoted to tending goats and so little is spent on feed, housing and veterinary care that we may ignore these costs. Recent data on reproductive performance have been collected by ILCA's Small Ruminant Programme in Ibadan (Mack, 1983), and their averages are given in Table 1.

Table 1. Reproductive performance data for dwarf goats under traditional management.

A. Average litter size (kids/litter) 1.5
B. Parturition interval (days) 259
C. Annual reproductive rate/kid-drop 2.1

(A . 365)
B

D. Survival rate to 3 months (%) 0.67
E. Survival rate from 3 to 12 months (%) 0.77
F. Survival rate from 0 to 12 months (D×E) (%) 0.52
G. Effective kidding rate (kids surviving to 12 months) (C×F) 1.09
H. Liveweight at 12 months (kg) 10
I. Productivity - liveweight production per doe (kg) (G×H) 10.9
J. Number of does per buck 16
K. Mortality of breeding stock (%) 0.20

Source: Mack (1983).

These data may be used to arrive at estimates of the annual productivity per doe as shown below. For this purpose it is assumed that animals are disposed of at the age of 1 year. In practice, many are slaughtered for ceremonial purposes during their first 3 months. The value of such young animals is not known, and they could potentially be raised to 12 months of age (subject to the normal mortality rate of course). Doe mortality is not known, but given that the average doe continues to breed for about 5 years, mortality is estimated as one fifth or 20%. The same figure is used for bucks, and dead animals are assumed to be valueless.

Table 2. Market prices for dwarf goats, 1982-1983.

L. Mean price per kg US$ 3.35
M. Price per adult doe US$ 52.92
N. Price per adult buck US$ 44.10

Source: Okali and Upton (1984).

Figure 2. Factors affecting the rate of return on investment in small ruminants.

Source: Adapted from Spedding; in Dalton G E (ed.) Study of agricultural systems. Applied Science Publishers, London. 1975.

Market prices given in Table 2 can be used to estimate output and costs as follows:

P. Gross output per doe (I×L) US$ 36.52
Q. Doe depreciation (K×M) US$ 10.58
R. Buck depreciation (K×N) US$ 8.82
S. Breeding stock depreciation US$ 11.14
T. Net output per doe per year (P - S) US$ 25.38
U. Capital investment per doe US$ 55.68+ 18.25 = 73.93
V. Annual rate of return 34%

We see that, on average, traditional, low input methods of goat keeping produce a satisfactory rate of return. However, there is considerable variation about the mean, caused by variation in mortality. The sensitivity analysis of the results is discussed in the next section. First, comparable data for sheep are presented in Tables 3 and 4, on the basis of which we estimate:


US$

Gross output per ewe

72.36

Ewe depreciation

10.81

Ram depreciation

14.74

Breeding stock depreciation

11.80

Net output per ewe per year

60.56

Capital investment per ewe

73.79 + 36.17 = 109.96

Annual rate of return

55%

Table 3. Reproductive performance data for dwarf sheep under traditional management.

Average litter size (lambs/litter) 1.23
Parturition interval (days) 322
Annual reproductive rate/lamb-drop 1.4
Survival rate to 3 months % 0.84
Survival rate from 3 to 12 months %) 0.83
Survival rate from 0 to 12 months %) 0.7
Effective lambing rate 0.98
Liveweight at 12 months (kg) 19.7
Productivity - liveweight production per ewe (kg) 19.3
Number of ewes per ram 15
Mortality of breeding stock (%) 0.16

Source: Mack, (1983).

Table 4. Market prices for dwarf sheep, 1982-1983.

Mean price per kg US$ 3.74
Price per ewe US$ 67.62
Price per ram US$ 92.61

Source: ILCA unpublished data.

Thus it appears that sheep yield substantially higher outputs and rates of return than goats under traditional management. This is despite the fact that goats are considerably more prolific. Sheep, however, are bigger and heavier, have lower mortalities and are more highly priced. Nevertheless, goats generally appear more popular than sheep, possibly because they are easier to manage and because less capital and labour is involved.

Sensitivity analysis

In an attempt to estimate the risks involved in small ruminant production, and to suggest which factors are most critical in determining returns, sensitivity analysis was carried out. Four key factors were identified - reproduction rate, mortality, growth rate and price - and the effect of variation in each of these factors was estimated. Estimates of the standard errors of most of these variables are available from ILCA surveys. From these estimates the standard errors for an individual flock of four breeding animals were found. Each key variable was adjusted in an adverse direction by one standard error to test the impact on returns. Note that there is a more than 15% probability of such variations occurring by chance. The results for goats are presented in Table 5 and those for sheep in Table 6.

It is clear from this analysis that the risks of loss are much higher for goats than for sheep. The additional feed and labour costs associated with sheep - which have been omitted from the present analysis - might absorb some of the extra returns from sheep. Nonetheless, it seems fairly unlikely that losses would be made. With goats, however, losses might easily be made, especially where mortality is high.

Table 5. Sensitivity analysis of returns to dwarf goat production.

Parameters changed

Measured valuea

Adjusted valueb

Net output
per doe (US$)

Rate of return (%)

Reproductive performance

Mean litter size (kids/litter)

1.5

1.18

-

-


Parturition interval (days)

259

322

12.15

18

Mortality (%)

Survival to 3 months

0.67

0.50

-

-


Survival to 12 months

0.52

0.31

-

-


Breeding stock mortality

0.80

0.40

-0.45

loss


Liveweight (kg) at 12 months

10

7.9

17.71

24

Price per kg (US$)

3.35

2.91

20.58

29

a Rate of return using measured values = 34%
b Values adjusted in an adverse direction by one standard error.

Table 6. Sensitivity analysis of returns to dwarf sheep production.

Parameters changed

Measured value

Adjusted value

Net output per doe (US$)

Rate of return (%)

Reproductive performance

Mean litter size (lambs/litter)

1.23

0.94

-

-


Parturition interval (days)

322

562

19.72

22

Mortality (%)

Survival to 3 months

0.84

0.62

-

-


Survival to 12 months

0.70

0.41

-

-


Breeding stock mortality

0.16

0.34

17.28

18

Growth

Liveweight (kg) at 12 months

19.7

11.15

29.15

31

Price per kg (US$)

3.74

3.27

51.47

49

This analysis suggests that the most critical area, i.e. where improvements are most needed, is that of reducing mortalities. The most obvious approach is through veterinary disease control measures such as the control of PPR, which has been evaluated in a number of West African countries and is currently being tested by ILCA. However, improved nutrition might also have an impact on disease susceptibility and therefore on mortality. Variation in growth rate (mentioned below) seems to have a relatively small impact on returns. The second most influential factor on overall economic performance appears to be the reproduction rate. This is most likely to be improved, initially at least, by improved management. Since market prices are subject to seasonal variation (Okali and Upton, 1985), it has been suggested that controlled breeding, to produce marketable animals at periods of peak prices, could improve returns. However, this clearly requires a high standard of management, and the present analysis suggests that the variation in prices has only a relatively minor impact on the return obtained. Efforts to modify the breeding pattern of small ruminants should probably have relatively low priority.

Programmes to control PPR by vaccination, and mange and other ectoparasites by dipping, can be easily evaluated under this model. Trials currently being carried out suggest that these treatments have little or no impact on growth rates, but goat mortalities can be reduced substantially (Opasina, 1984; Adeoye, 1984). Survival rate to 3 months can apparently be increased to 86% on average which, with a similar survival rate from 3 to 12 months, gives an annual rate of 73%. Mortality of breeding adults is reduced to 16%. Substituting these figures in the model above for dwarf goats yields a net output per doe of US$ 40.23. This represents an increase of over US$ 14.70 per doe, which must be compared with the cost of health measures. Estimates of the cost are generally well below this figure. Hence large-scale, government-sponsored PPR control programmes would appear to have a significant effect on returns to goat keeping, reflected in a favourable cost-benefit ratio. Risks of loss to individual goat keepers would be much reduced.

Planning improved production systems

There can be little doubt that a disease control programme that increases the producer's net return and reduces his risk without affecting the rest of his farming and other activities represents an improvement. However, if it should lead to an increase in the size of the breeding flock, it may also have an impact on the rest of the production system and the household's activities. The same would be true of most other improved production systems.

In order to plan any improvements it is necessary to identify the objectives and constraints on small ruminant production. The main objective appears to be financial gain. Matthewman (1977) reports that 91 % of a sample of 95 farmers in two villages said that this was their reason for keeping smallstock. The facts that timing of sales may be adjusted to meet financial emergencies, so that the small ruminant flock acts as a reserve, and that ruminants are slaughtered for ceremonial purposes, do not suggest fundamentally different objectives. Risk avoidance, however, may be an additional consideration.

Given that the main objective is financial gain, and given that on average both sheep and goats offer a satisfactory rate of return, it is not clear why only three or four animals are kept per household. A range of alternative constraints on livestock numbers has been suggested. Farmers themselves have given the following list of limitations: feed, need for fencing, time, cash and disease (Okali, 1979). Clearly, feed is a possible constraint. While animal numbers are limited to three or four per household, especially in the case of goats, it may be possible for them to live mainly by scavenging on household scraps and consuming a small amount of purchased supplementary feed. An increase in numbers might put pressure on readily available feed sources so that forage production would become necessary. If the fodder is to be cut and carried, labour requirements per animal are likely to increase and some form of housing may be needed. If the fodder is to be grazed or browsed, fencing and additional labour for shepherding may be needed. Thus feed, labour and the need for fencing or housing are probably justifiable limitations on expansion.

It is less obvious why disease and capital cost should limit the expansion of sheep and goat production. Clearly, disease limits production from small ruminants. On the other hand, disease control measures can bring about significant improvements. However, even with present average mortality levels it is possible to slaughter some young females and still maintain the size of the breeding flock (see Appendix).

It can be shown mathematically that, for a given mortality rate, the larger the flock, the smaller the risk of total loss. For instance, with a 30% mortality and a flock of four animals, the probability of all of them dying is 0.008 or nearly 1%. With a flock of eight animals, the probability of losing them all is 0.00007 or practically zero. Operating against this is the possibility of a disease spreading more rapidly through a large group of closely confined animals. Nevertheless, on balance, there is probably less proportionate risk associated with increased numbers. Clearly, disease control measures reduce the risks of livestock keeping for all flock sizes.

Capital should not be a serious limitation, partly because flock sizes could be allowed to increase naturally, and partly because borrowing or caretaking is prevalent. In one survey, 54% of farmers kept borrowed animals or their offspring (Okali, 1979). Women in particular acquire stock in this way. It is claimed that social constraints are such that a livestock owner cannot refuse a request for a loan of breeding stock, that the offspring are shared equally between borrower and lender, but that the risk of loss through death is borne largely by the owner (Sempeho, 1981). On this basis, and given the details in Tables 1 to 4, it appears that the lender can still obtain a rate of return of 10% from goats or 37.5% from sheep on the capital value of the breeding female. The borrower receives his or her share of the offspring for consumption or rearing to breeding age, with practically no capital cost. It is arguable that if improved technologies are developed, allowing improved nutrition and expansion of sheep and goat production, the necessary capital could be found within the village community. However, credit might allow more rapid expansion.

It has been suggested that the five major direct constraints on productive performance of livestock are breeding, nutrition, health, management and marketing. For sheep throughout the tropics, the order of importance is probably (1) nutrition, (2) disease, (3) management, (4) breeding and (5) marketing (Devendra and McLeroy, 1982). Our discussion of the constraints identified by farmers, and the causes of variation in performance, lend support to this ranking for sheep and goats in humid West Africa, except that disease control might be placed before nutrition in order of priority. Disease control programmes may reduce mortalities and thereby expand productivity with very little change in farming systems. Improvement in nutrition then becomes highly desirable, as does increased fodder production to maintain increased numbers. However, as suggested above, this is likely to impinge on other farming activities and will necessarily require improved management. Few benefits are likely from improved breeding and marketing without prior improvements in health, nutrition and management.

Intensifying production

There are two obvious possibilities for the intensification of sheep and goat production. One is cultivated pasture production for grazing by sheep. The other is permanent housing with cut and-carry feeding or zero grazing. Both approaches have been tried but serious problems may arise if management is inadequate.

The establishment of pasture competes directly with arable cropping for the use of cleared land. Even though land availability may not be a constraint on crop production, the clearing of bush and land preparation costs are substantial. Thus cleared land may well be a limiting resource. Furthermore, pasture or ley farming requires more thorough land clearing than many arable crops, the reason being that the only satisfactory way of cultivating old pasture is by ploughing, whereas crop residues can often be cleared by hoeing (Boserup, 1965). Particularly in the forest zone plots may be too small to justify tractor cultivation, so land consolidation may be a precondition for pasture production.

Fencing is an additional substantial cost; without it tethering, careful shepherding and supervision are needed. It may also be necessary to carry water to the field daily. In any case, farmers have suggested that additional supervision is needed as the risks of theft increase when livestock are kept on farms away from the village centre. Unfortunately pasture production may be inadequate to support grazing livestock throughout the dry season, so alternative feeding arrangements might have to be made for this period. With inadequate management overgrazing can easily occur, leading to destruction of the sward and soil erosion problems.

Attempts have been made to estimate costs and returns from sheep grazing in southern Nigeria, based on various assumptions regarding stocking rates and cost of establishment. Matthewman (1977) suggests that "if capital costs of establishment could be kept low, then production could be profitable".

On the other hand, housing and hand-feeding are well established in parts of humid West Africa; in parts of eastern Nigeria, for instance, it is illegal to allow livestock to roam free. Clearly housing provides the opportunity for closer control of feeding, diseases and breeding. It prevents crop damage by the animals and reduces risks of accidents. It provides the opportunity for better management, but several additional costs are involved apart from the costs of the shed itself. With poor management, returns may be worse than under the free-range traditional system. Additional labour costs are incurred in cutting and carrying fodder and in fetching water. Furthermore, increased purchases of concentrates and food supplements are likely to be necessary.

Under the free-roaming system very few adult males are needed since a small number can service the whole village flock. Once animals are confined, however, every household must keep a stud male, unless special arrangements are made for temporary caretaking or borrowing of males. The maintenance of larger numbers of 'unproductive' males will again raise costs. Finally, there is some evidence to suggest that confinement of animals increases disease risks. Preliminary analysis of health and production data from confined animals in eastern Nigeria seems to show considerably higher mortalities than are evident among free-roaming animals in western Nigeria. The need for improved management is evident.

Thus it appears that grazed pasture production and permanent housing with stall-feeding require substantially higher standards of management than are practiced at present, if the systems are to succeed. Even if these approaches can be proved economically viable on a research station, it might be inadvisable to recommend them widely to farmers unless improvements in management can be ensured.

Alley cropping

Alley cropping is a system devised by the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA), in which arable crops are grown in alleys between cultivated hedgerows of leguminous shrubs such as Leucaena leucocephala or Gliricidia sepium (Kang et al, 1981). The shrubs are grown from seed planted with an arable crop, and after 12 months they are pruned regularly to provide a surface mulch. Thus these hedgerows serve the function, traditionally provided by the bush fallow, of bringing minerals up from the lower soil profile and restoring fertility. In addition, leguminous shrubs add significant quantities of nitrogen to the soil from the mulch, decaying roots and nodules. It is claimed that such a system can support continuous cropping at intermediate yield levels, possibly indefinitely. In this way, two substantial problems may be overcome: shortage of labour for bush clearing, and the consequent inability to maintain fertility with ever shorter fallow periods.

In comparison with traditional cropping systems, alley cropping offers increased crop yields and avoids the need for periodical bush clearing. However, additional costs are incurred in growing the shrubs, in particular:

· A reduction in the arable cropped area, or arable crop plant density per hectare, because some land is occupied by the shrubs;

· The labour cost of regular pruning, necessary to avoid shading of the arable crop and to return organic matter to the soil.

Although various economic analyses have been made, no field trials have been reported. Thus it is difficult to estimate the benefits to farmers. However, a rough idea may be derived from trials at IITA which gave a net return per cropped hectare of arable crops without fertilizer of about US$ 882, and a net return per hectare of alley cropping of over US$ 1102. These figures are presented in Table 7 with crude estimates of labour and capital requirements. It is suggested that given the higher return per hectare, alley cropping probably yields a higher return per man-day despite the extra labour costs of regular pruning, and a higher return on capital. In fact, the capital saving is greater than suggested by the figures in Table 3, since land-clearing costs will not arise once the alley cropping system is established.

Table 7. Estimated costs and returns from alternative land use systems.



Traditional arable cultivation

Alley cropping

Alley cropping with cut-and-carry

Pasture production for sheep grazing

Research station standard management, no fertilizer

Research results suggest big yield increase over no fertilizer controla

25% of cuttings provide full maintenance for 3 does and followers

Stocking rate: 10 ewes and followers per ha

Gross margin per cropped hectare(US$)

970b

1 102

1 176

661

Annual labour cost (man-days)

270

320

345

25

Capital cost, clearing, establishment of crops and purchase of livestock (US$)

294

220

441

1 470c

Gross margin per day (US$)

3.52

3.38

3.38

26.46

Gross margin per US$ of capital (US$)

4.85

7.35

3.82

0.73c

All estimates are highly tentative and loosely based on previous coatings which differ widely, particularly on labour use and costs of bush clearing and crop establishment (see Matthewman, 1977).
a Knipscheer et al (1983).
b Returns per cropped hectare on farms may only be one third of this figure or less.
c Estimates of pasture establishment costs per hectare in Togo are almost twice this figure (Sere and Doppler, 1981). Hence the gross margin per US$ of capital for pasture production is probably even lower than US$ 0.73.

A certain amount of the hedgerow foliage can probably be removed and fed to livestock, without adverse effects on crop yields. In this way small ruminant production can be integrated with alley cropping without competing for the use of cleared land. Insofar as fodder supply is a constraint on the expansion of sheep and goat production, this adaptation could allow an increase in the number of animals kept. On the assumption that a hectare of alley cropped land will produce 4 t of shrub foliage and that 25% of this is removed for fodder, it is estimated that three does and their offspring could be fully maintained. In practice it may be more appropriate to provide only a part of the food requirement for a larger number of animals at least during the rainy season, but the liveweight production per hectare should be similar in either case. It is thought that the increase in stock numbers will be so slight as not to require additional expenditure on housing. Cut browse can be fed to free-roaming animals as a food supplement.

Clearly this supplementary use of a byproduct of alley cropping should increase the return per hectare of cropped land beyond the level attained under alley cropping. There will be an increase in the labour requirement for cutting and carrying the browse daily, and additional capital is required for confining the goats. Nevertheless, the gross margin per man-day is only slightly reduced on average. In fact, since much of the feeding will be done during comparatively slack periods, the impact on peak labour demand may be slight. Return per man-day at peak periods may be raised. Overall return on capital may be reduced but the rate of return is still high, provided that disease control measures are incorporated. Some estimates of the costs and returns of pasture production are included for comparison. Although return to labour may be high, the low return per hectare and the very poor return on capital make this a doubtful proposition.

If the research results and budgetary estimates are borne out in practice on farms, then a genuinely appropriate technology will have been developed. Alley cropping with cut-and-carry browse requires no new forms of capital (Gliricidia and Leucaena seed can be produced locally). No foreign exchange expenditure is involved. Indeed, the potential saving in fertilizer requirements may save foreign exchange. The technology is scale neutral in that there are no apparent economies of scale. Large-scale crop growers are more likely to practice mono-cropping while potential large-scale livestock producers are more likely to turn to cattle, pigs or poultry. The system is rather labour intensive, but despite seasonal labour shortages, it is valuable in providing productive employment throughout the year. Returns are obtained quickly in that the system can be fully established and functioning within 1 or 2 years. It provides a satisfying combination of agronomy, forestry and animal husbandry.

Appendix: Modelling a goat flock

There are advantages in formalizing the basic model of production described earlier. The method is illustrated using the goat production and price data given in Tables 1 and 2, but the same principles would apply to other types of livestock. The purpose is to model the patterns of development over time, and of the size and structure of the flock.

It is first necessary to divide time into discrete periods of, say, weeks, months or years, so that we can estimate the changes between one period and the next, or more precisely between one date and the next date, which is one period later. Generally speaking, the shorter these periods or time intervals are, the more accurate the analysis will be. However, choice is usually restricted by the data available. Given the data in Table 1, it would be possible to base the analysis on 3-monthly intervals, but for illustrative purposes, yearly intervals are used.

The next step, linked with the first, is to distinguish different sex and age groups or (cohorts). When 3-monthly time intervals are used, animals aged from 0 to 3 months may be distinguished from 4- to 6-month-old animals, and so on. Given yearly data, we need only distinguish five cohorts, namely:

1. Female kids under 1 year
2. Replacement does
3. Breeding does
4. Male kids under 1 year
5. Adult males

If we denote the number of animals in each cohort at time t by x1t, x2t, x3t, x4t and x5t, and use the notations given in Table 1 for production parameters, we can calculate animal numbers (given zero offtake) at time t + 1 (i.e. a year later) as follows:

(1) 0.5C' x2t + 0.5Cx3t = X1,t+1

where it is assumed that 50% of all births are female and C' represents the kid-drop for replacement females between 1 and 2 years of age.

(2) Fx1t = X2,t+1
(3) (1 - K)x2t + (1 - K)x3t = X3,t+1
(4) 0.5C'x2t + 0.5Cx3t = X4,t+1
(5) Fx4t + (1 - K)X5t = X5,t+1

This can be set out in a matrix/vector form as follows:

0

0.5C'

0.5C

0

0

x1t = x1,t+1

F

0

0

0

0

x2t = x2,t+1

0

1-K

1-K

0

0

x3t = x3,t+1

0

0.5C'

0.5C

0

0

x4t = x4,t+1

0

0

0

F

1-K

x5t = x5,t+1

or more briefly by using the following matrix and vector notation:

TXt = xt+1

Using the data for dwarf goats set out in Table 1, this set of equations becomes:

0

0.6

1.05

0

0

x1t = x1,t+1

0.52

0

0

0

0

x2t = x2,t+1

0

0.8

0.8

0

0

x3t = x3,t+1

0

0.6

1.05

0

0

x4t = x4,t+1

0

0

0

0.52

0.8

x5t = x5,t+1

Since the age at first parturition is 1.5 years and the first litter size is 1.2 kids, this is assumed to be the annual reproductive rate for replacement females (C'). Their mortality is assumed to be the same as for adult females.

With a given set of offtakes y1 to y5, the equations may be modified as follows:

0

0.6

1.05

0

0

x1t - y1 = x1,t+1

0.52

0

0

0

0

x2t - y2 = x2,t+1

0

0.8

0.8

0

0

x3t - y3 = x3,t+1

0

0.6

1.05

0

0

x4t - y4 = x4,t+1

0

0

0

0.52

0.8

x5t - y5 = x5,t+1

or summarized as: Txt - y = xt+1.

These equations may be manipulated in various ways to estimate production patterns or flock growth over time. It is assumed throughout that:

(i) The maximum growth rate depends only on the constitution of the female flock, so the equations may be limited to those for the female cohorts (three in our example);

(ii) We can treat the individual breeding doe as a unit and relate numbers of other age and sex groups to it (i.e. x3= 1);

(iii) The buck: doe ratio is fixed (i.e. x5 = Kx3)

Hence the variables to be determined are:

(a) Relative numbers of kids and replacement females (x1, x2 and x4); and
(b) Rates of offtake of yearling females and males (y2 and y5).

Case 1. Zero flock growth, i.e. xt+1 = xt

hence: Txt-y = xt ® (T-I) xt-y = 0

For the above numerical example the results are x1 = 1.2, x2 = 0.25, x4 = 1.2 and x5 = 0.08. The annual offtake is 0.37 female and 0.61 male yearlings, or a total of 0.98 animals per breeding doe. This is slightly lower than the estimate of 1.09 given in the text because allowance is now being made for the breeding of replacements.

Given a weight of 10 kg at 12 months, and a price per kg of US$ 2.89, the net output per doe can be calculated as:

0.98 × 10 × US$ 2.89 = US$ 28.32

In order to estimate the capital investment it is assumed that kids are valued at half the price of a yearling (i.e. US$ 14.55), to give a total of:

(1.2×$14.55)+ (0.25×$29.10)+ (1×$52.92)+ (1.2×$14.55)+ (0.08×$44.10) =US$ 98.65
Female kids Replacements Breeding doe Male kids Adult males

Thus the rate of return is:

This method takes full account of the value of followers and is, therefore, preferable to the simple calculations presented in the text.

Case 2. Maximum, steady-state flock growth

This means that offtake and age distribution are such that the proportionate composition of the flock stays constant although total numbers are growing:

Txt-y = g xt ® (T-gI)xt-y = 0

In this formulation there are clearly too many unknown variables. However, if it is recognized that fewer males than females need to be retained for breeding, then:

(i) The maximum growth rate depends only on the constitution of the female flock, so the equations may be limited to those for the female cohorts (three in our example);

(ii) Maximum growth implies zero culling of females, hence for the female cohorts:

.c(T-gI)xt = 0*

(iii) The number of adult males needed, and hence the culling rate for males, can be estimated from the number of females and the desired male: female ratio.

(* Mathematically g is the principal eigenvalue of T while xt is the corresponding eigenvector in this formulation.)

Using the figures in Table 1 for dwarf goats, the maximum sustainable, steady-state rate of flock expansion is 19.3% per year. Thus flock size could be doubled in 4 years. The flock composition relative to a single doe would be: .cx1 = 1.13, x2 = 0.49, x4 = 1.13 and x5 = 0.08

The annual offtake would be 0.56 male yearlings.

Case 3. Flock expansion

It is assumed that flock expansion begins with a single doe having access to a breeding male, and no culling of female animals is done. Hence for female cohorts:

Txt = xt+1, T2xt = xt+2, T3xt = xt+3 etc.

The pattern for dwarf goats over the first 5 years is shown in Table 8.

Table 8. Growth of a goat flock over 5 years.


Year 1 Year 2 Year 3 Year 4 Year 5
Female kids (x1) 0 1.05 0.84 1 1.37
Replacements (x2) 0 0 0.55 0.44 0.52
Breeding does (x3) 1 0.8 0.64 1.06 1.20

Naturally, offtake of males would be possible from the outset. It is worth noting that numbers would decline initially, until a balanced flock of followers is established.

The flock constitution after n years would be Tnx0, or gnx0.

References

Adeoye S A O. 1984. The incidence of diseases and pests in sheep and goats in two groups of villages in the forest zone of southwest Nigeria. Unpublished M.Vet.Sci. thesis, University of Ibadan.

Ay P. 1980. Agrarpolitik in Nigeria: Produktionsysteme der Bauern und die Hilfslosigkeit von Entwicklungsexperten. Ein Beitrag zur Revision agrarpolitischer Massnahmen in Entwicklungsländern: Feldforschung in West Nigeria. Institut für Africa Kunde, Hamburg.

Boserup E. 1965. The conditions of agricultural growth. George Allen and Unwin, London.

Carew B A R. 1982. Production potential and nutritional studies of goats and sheep in south-western Nigeria. Unpublished Ph.D. thesis. University of Ibadan.

Devendra C and McLeroy G B. 1982. Goat and sheep production in the tropics. Longman, London.

FAO. 1966. Agricultural development in Nigeria, 1965-1980. FAO, Rome.

Galletti N. Baldwin K D S and Dina I O. 1956. Nigerian cocoa farmers: An economic survey of Yoruba cocoa farming families. University Press, Oxford.

ILCA. 1979. Small ruminant production in the humid tropics. Systems Study No. 3; ILCA, Addis Ababa.

Kang B T. Wilson G F and Sipkens L. 1981. Alley cropping maize (Zea maize L.) and Leucaena (Leucaena leucocephala) in southern Nigeria. Plant and Soil 63: 165-179.

Knipscheer H C, Menz K M and Verinumbe L. 1983. The evaluation of preliminary farming systems technologies: Zero tillage systems. West Africa 11: 95-103.

Mack S D. 1983. Evaluation of the productivities of West African Dwarf sheep and goats. Humid Zone Programme Document No. 7. ILCA, Ibadan.

Matthewman R W. 1977. A survey of small livestock production at the village level in the derived savanna and lowland forest zones of southwest Nigeria. Study No. 24. Department of Agriculture and Horticulture, University of Reading.

Matthewman R W. 1980. Small ruminant production in the humid tropical zone of southern Nigeria. Trop. Anim. Health Prod. 12: 234.

Okali C. 1979. Socio-economic information for ILCA's Small Ruminant Programme in the Badeku and Eruwa areas, Oyo State, Nigeria. Humid Zone Programme Working Paper No. 1. ILCA, Ibadan.

Okali C and Upton M. 1985. Market potential for increased small ruminant production in the humid zone of West Africa. In: Sumberg J E and Cassaday K (eds) Sheep and goats in humid West Africa Proceedings of the workshop on Small Ruminant Production Systems in the Humid Zone of West Africa, held in Ibadan, Nigeria, 23-26 January 1984. ILCA, Addis Ababa, pp. 68-74.

Opasina B A. 1984. Disease constraints on village goat production in southwest Nigeria. Unpublished M. Phil. thesis, University of Reading.

Oyenuga V A. 1967. Agriculture in Nigeria: An introduction. FAO, Rome.

Sere C and Doppler W. 1981. Simulation of production alternatives in ranching systems in Togo. Agric. Sys. 6: 249-260.

Sempeho G J M. 1981. Literature review on small ruminant production in S.W. Nigeria. Humid Zone Programme Document No. 6. ILCA, Ibadan.

Sempeho G J M. 1982. Supplementary feeding of West African Dwarf sheep and goats in S.W. Nigeria. Humid Zone Programme Document No. 4. ILCA, Ibadan.

Upton M. 1967. Agriculture in southwest Nigeria. Development Study No. 3. Department of Agricultural Economics, University of Reading.

The market potential for increased small ruminant production in southwest Nigeria

C. OKALI and M. UPTON


Abstract
Introduction
Materials and methods
Results and discussion
References


Abstract

The paper explores the market potential for increased small ruminant production within the humid zone of southwest Nigeria. It appears that current production of southern breeds is insufficient to meet demand and large numbers of animals are imported from the north. While the urban markets studied handle mainly northern breeds, the rural markets deal predominantly in southern breeds. Despite consumers' supposed preference for sheep especially during Muslim festivals, many more goats are sold in both rural and urban markets.

Introduction

The humid zone of West Africa has traditionally depended on areas to the north to meet its animal protein requirements. In the south the disease trypanosomiasis has limited livestock production, and most resident ruminant animals are the indigenous trypanosomiasis-tolerant dwarf sheep and goats.

At present small ruminants represent a major underexploited resource within the humid zone. They are largely kept by arable/tree crop farmers; typically, individuals keep two to four breeding animals, mainly goats, on which spending is minimal. In general, farmers provide no special feed, housing or other inputs, and production is risky due to high mortalities from disease. Nevertheless, potential returns are high (Upton, 1985).

The International Livestock Centre for Africa (ILCA, Ibadan) has shown that significant increases in numbers of small ruminants, particularly goats, can be achieved by the control of a single disease, namely peste des petits ruminants (PPR) (Opasina, 1984). ILCA has also shown that the consequently increased feed requirements can be met by planting browse trees as part of an alley farming system. In 1984 the Livestock Production Unit of the Nigerian Federal Livestock Department initiated a small ruminant development programme in southwest Nigeria using TCRV vaccine to control PPR, and alley farming to provide feed. This paper discusses the market potential for the increased livestock production.

Materials and methods

Detailed market information covers the Ibadan-Bodija and Oyo-Akesan urban markets, the rural markets of Egbeda and Apomu to the southeast of Ibadan, and Iware and Oja to the south and west of Oyo. Production information is taken from a number of villages in southwest Nigeria.

Census data are based on the number of animals available for sale on a particular market day. Because of stock movements from one market to another, and the fact that some animals may be removed and returned at a later date if the price offered is too low, the census data can only be used as an indicator of total supplies for these markets. Price data refer to prices received by traders at resale rather than to prices received by producers. Price and census data are collected over 2 weeks in each market every month. Since the two urban markets are daily markets, observations cover 14 days. The rural markets are held at various regular intervals and the number of market days in any month varies between 4 and 10.

Results and discussion

The markets

Small ruminant production in southwest Nigeria is limited in scale, and it is insufficient to meet present demand. For various reasons, the humid zone has a comparatively high human population density and a wealthier population than areas to the north. In addition, southwest Nigeria has a traditional urban culture, and towns and cities are an important feature of the society. The area is therefore served by a large number of rural and urban markets which are linked in the exchange of goods, including small ruminants.

Few of the markets specialize in single commodities. In the rural markets small ruminants usually occupy an area on the market perimeter, although in larger rural markets there may be more than one location where small ruminants are sold. Few rural markets have overnight facilities and most animals that remain unsold at the end of the market day are removed. Ibadan has two markets specializing in small ruminants, whereas in Oyo, a much smaller town, they occupy a large area of a general goods market. Animals may remain in these urban markets for a number of days.

Small ruminant marketing in the southwest is dominated, in terms of animal numbers, by importation from northern Nigeria (Figure 1). Livestock move from north to south in two streams, one passing to the eastern part of Nigeria, and one to the west through the Ibadan-Bodija market which serves as the redistribution point. From here they are taken to other markets, both within Ibadan and in other towns and villages. Most sales from Bodija are therefore made to wholesalers. Akesan, the urban market at Oyo, receives all its northern supplies from Bodija and is a terminal market for these northern breeds, as are the rural markets of Egbeda, Apomu, Iware and Oja. Almost all the small ruminants produced within the humid zone and sold in the rural markets are marketed locally.

Although functions vary depending on the position of each market in this chain, the organization is similar. Business is transacted through middlemen or brokers who assist buyers and sellers in reaching agreement. The middlemen receive a variable fee for this service. Unless producers in the south sell locally or to itinerant traders, they do not deal directly with buyers, even in the rural markets where less than 10 animals may be on sale on a market day.

Figure 1. Small ruminant population in four rural and two urban markets in southwest Nigeria, July 1982 - June 1983.

Itinerant traders travel through the producing areas in the southwest, bulking animals to sell in the urban and rural markets, but the number of animals involved is small. For example, few southern animals entered the Ibadan-Bodija market in 1982 or 1983. Even the major Ibadan market for these southern breeds (not covered in this survey) invariably has a larger number of northern animals for sale.

Livestock supplies

In the rural markets covered, between 20 and 30 small ruminants were available for purchase on market days in 1983. In Akesan the number of available animals was approximately 200 and in Bodija over 1000.

No record exists of the number of small ruminants entering the southwest from the north. Census data from the two urban and four rural markets during 1983 show that almost all the small ruminants available in the urban markets, and over half the goats in the rural markets, were northern breeds. Although sheep formed a relatively small proportion of animals on sale in the rural markets, they were mainly the southern breed.

The relative scarcity of southern animals reflects production and consumption in the southwest. While up to 75% of the residents of some villages own at least one sheep or goat, flocks owned by individuals are small. Animals are consumed by many households at various ceremonies and festivals throughout the year, but they are not generally used to meet daily meat requirements. In this situation, offtake for sale in the market is small. Mack (1983) reports that only 9% of the total exits from village flocks reflect sales, whereas 10% reflect household consumption and 46% reflect mortalities resulting from disease.

It is clear that consumption of small ruminants is not restricted to urban areas. Information from the Badeku and Eruwa areas of Oyo State shows that even producing areas are unable to meet their own internal demand, and that they purchase additional animals (Table 1). The deficits are not met from other local producing areas; 41% of the purchases over 12 months were of northern animals.

The relative scarcity of southern sheep for sale reflects the predominance of goat production in the humid zone. All ILCA's village surveys in the south of Nigeria show the clear predominance of goat production (Table 2), and production surveys of flocks in the derived savanna belt all omit sheep because the numbers available for monitoring are insufficient. In many communities and households, sheep are banned because of their potentially destructive grazing habit or for ritual reasons. The latter is true of a number of ethnic groups and not only the Yoruba, who are the dominant ethnic group in this southwestern area.

Table 1. Sales and purchases made over 12 months in two areas in southwest Nigeria.



Eruwa villages Eruwa town Badeku villages Badeku village All localities

% of responses

Owners who sold 16.1 2.8 19.0 32.1 16.9
Owners who purchased 12.9 60.0 47.6 50.0 43.3
Number of sales or purchases made 22.5 14.2 16.6 - 13.9
Number of responses 31 35 42 28 136
Number of animals 10 35 38 37 120
Number of animals sold 7 2 10 13 32

Source: Okali (1979).

Table 2. Ownership of small ruminants in the humid zone of Nigeria.


Savanna villages Forest villages
% population owning small ruminants 59.4 74.2
% owners with


goats only 90.5 57.1

sheep only 5.0 16.0

sheep and goats 4.4 26.7
Mean flock sizes


goats only 3.4 2.0

sheep only 1.2 2.4

sheep and goats 2.3 5.0

all flocks 3.7 2.2

Source: Okali (1979).

Sheep production is more common in the north than in the study areas, and the majority of sheep sold in the urban markets were northern animals. The number of sheep available for sale in urban markets was always less than the number of goats, and only exceeded the number of goats in the rural markets in September 1983 during the Muslim Ileya festival (Figures 2 and 3). This was true in spite of the fact that southwest Nigeria is predominantly a Muslim area, and that the quantity of sheep available in all the markets increased during this Muslim festival period. The difference in supplies of the two species was especially evident in the rural markets where northern sheep accounted for only 1% of the total animals recorded in the census over 12 months. This 1% appeared in only two of the four markets and in only 1 month, September. Even in the Akesan urban market, over 6 months in 1983, including the September festival period, three traders handled 3640 small ruminants of which only 14 were sheep.

Figure 2. Numbers of sheep and goats available per day in four rural markets in southwest Nigeria in 1983.

Figure 3. Numbers of sheep and goats available per day in Bodija market in 1983.

A number of reasons may explain this situation. Although rams are traditionally prescribed for slaughter at festivals, goats and other animals may be substituted. Goat sales therefore also increase during festival periods. Possibly more important is the fact that goats, which are smaller and less expensive than sheep, are used for other ceremonies throughout the year, including births, deaths and marriages. Hence at current prices, the demand for goats exceeds that for sheep. It should also be noted that the supply of northern sheep is limited even at festival times, as evidenced by steeply rising prices. This lack of supply may be due to market space constraints and trader association rules, but it is more likely that northern and southern sheep producers are not organized to meet large seasonal fluctuations in demand.

Liveweight prices

Information on prices received by traders refers to observed rather than to reported sales in the market place. Prices are quoted per kg of liveweight.

In general, small ruminants purchased in markets are eventually used for consumption rather than for breeding (Table 3). For breeding stock, southern producers rely on known sources: although there is a shortage of breeding stock, animals can be borrowed even if they are not for sale. Since few veterinary health services are available, producers rely on emergency selling of seriously sick animals to avoid total loss. These emergency sales are an important source of disease in the markets, which explains to an extent why markets are not generally a source of breeding animals. Northern animals are rarely used for breeding in the southwest although they are known to be used for this purpose in the southeast.

While there is a reputed consumption preference in southern Nigeria for southern breeds, and while most of the dwarf animals in the Bodija market, for instance, are used by women food processors working in the market canteens, northern animals are acceptable for consumption.

From July 1982 to June 1983 all buyers, whether final consumers or middlemen, paid an average liveweight price of US$ 3.60/kg (Table 4). Traders received 8% more - US$ 3.90/kg - for sheep which were 27% heavier than goats. In general, however, there appears to be no price premium per se for heavier animals. Although there is considerable breed variation within the animals grouped broadly as northern and southern, northern breeds available for sale were considerably heavier than the southern breeds - up to 37% in the case of bucks (Figure 4). The smallest animals on sale were the male dwarf goats averaging 9 kg. Traders operating in the rural markets received a lower price for southern animals than the traders operating in urban markets, and vice versa for northern stock. This is to be expected, given the additional transport and handling costs involved. Since the Akesan market imported all its northern stock from the Ibadan-Bodija market, northern animals were more expensive in Akesan than in Bodija.

Table 3. Reasons for animal purchases over 12 months in two areas in southwest Nigeria.



Eruwa villages Eruwa town Badeku villages Badeku village All localities

Number of animals

Goats





festivals 0 3 8 2 13

ceremonies 9 10 13 28 60

breeding 1 15 1 - 17
Total 10 28 22 30 90
Sheep





festivals 0 4 12 5 21

ceremonies 0 2 4 2 8

breeding 0 1 0 - 1
Total 0 7 16 7 30

Source: Okali (1979).
Note: Some of the animals which had been purchased for festivals and ceremonies had not been slaughtered. A total of 59 people, 43% of the sample, purchased sheep and goats during the 12 months.

Table 4. Liveweight price/kg (US$) received by traders in two urban and four rural markets in southwest Nigeria, July 1982-June 1983.




Goats

Sheep

northern

southern

northern

southern

M

F

M

F

M

F

M

F

Urban markets

3.16

2.93

3.63

3.75

3.85

2.90

4.69

4.73

Rural markets

3.59

3.30

3.20

3.70

3.67

3.70

3.70

3.66

Although detailed price analysis is yet to be completed, it is clear that there is a considerable price variation throughout the year (Figure 5).

Figure 4. Liveweights of sheep and goats in two urban and four rural markets in southern Nigeria, July 1982 - June 1983.

Figure 5. Liveweight price/kg received by traders in two urban and four rural markets in southwest Nigeria, July 1982 - June 1983.

The highest prices for sheep were recorded in September and May; the highest prices for goats were in September and January. September and January coincide with two Muslim festivals and increased demand. January is also a period of homecoming for many urban and, in this part of Nigeria, rural residents. 'Home' for a large number of rural residents, such as the people living in farm camps around Ibadan and Oyo towns, is an urban area. It is significant that this January price increase for goats occurred only in the urban markets (Figure 6). The second rise in prices paid for sheep in April/May was not accompanied, as in September, by a similar increase in sheep available for sale, perhaps because all possible offtake had already been sold in September before the onset of the dry season.

The prices received by traders for southern animals in rural markets resemble most closely the producer price, since this is usually the first, or at most the second, point of sale for these animals. Of the four rural markets, Egbeda is the most local in terms of the source of its southern animals, and the prices received by traders in this market were the lowest. From July 1982 to June 1983, traders received US$ 3.20, 3.24, 3.80 and US$ 3.20/kg liveweight for bucks, does, rams and ewes respectively.

Figure 6. Liveweight price/kg received by traders in two urban and four rural markets in southwest Nigeria July 1982 - June 1983

Increased production potential

In an earlier paper (Okali, 1979), a soft model of small ruminant marketing in the south of Nigeria was presented (Figure 7) and attention drawn to three features: the price variation throughout the year, reflecting an increased demand during religious festivals; the expected price difference between northern and southern animals; and the expected price difference between rural and urban markets. This first interpretation of market data from southwest Nigeria further emphasizes the difference between northern and southern animals and rural and urban markets, but not only in terms of prices. Although the southern market appears to be dominated by imports from the north, the rural markets studied clearly serve the southern producers. Sheep production, particularly in the south, appears to be a specialized operation aimed almost entirely at satisfying demand for the Muslim festival in September.

Goats are the main product of the southern production system and the focus of the proposed ILCA/FLD pilot project. Sheep would appear to be more profitable than goats, especially for rural producers who experience little competition from northern sheep in the rural markets. Goats, however, are in demand throughout the year, even in rural areas, and are potentially a stable income source. According to the census data, southern goats are sold throughout the year in spite of the high mortality due to disease. Although some of the imported northern goats reach the rural markets, the larger proportion remains in the urban markets, where they appear to be insufficient at times of peak demand. The almost total lack of sheep in the rural markets suggests that the importation of northern sheep is unable to satisfy urban needs, or that the effective demand for sheep in rural areas is much larger than that for goats.

Figure 7. A soft model of the small ruminant market in southwest Nigeria.

Acknowledgement

The authors wish to acknowledge the contribution of J. Durkin to data analysis.

References

Mack S D. 1983. Evaluation of productivities of West African Dwarf sheep and goats in southwest Nigeria. Humid Zone Programme Document No. 7. ILCA, Ibadan.

Okali C. 1979. Socio-economic information for ILCA's small ruminant programme in Badeku and Eruwa areas, Oyo State, Nigeria. Humid Zone Programme Working Paper No. 1. ILCA, Ibadan.

Opasina B A. 1984. Disease control among village goats in southwest Nigeria. Unpublished M. Phil. thesis, University of Reading.

Upton M. 1984. Models of improved production systems for small ruminants. In: Sumberg J E and Cassaday K (eds) Sheep and goats in humid West Africa. Proceedings of the workshop on Small Ruminant Production Systems in the Humid Zone of West Africa, held in Ibadan, Nigeria, 23-26 January 1984. ILCA, Addis Ababa. pp. 55-67.


Previous Page Top of Page