Participatory rural appraisal of dairy farms in the north west province of Cameroon
Bayemi, P. H., Bryant, M. J., Pingpoh, D., Imele, H., Mbanya, J. , Tanya, V., Cavestany, D., Awoh, J., Ngoucheme, A., Sali, D., Ekoue, F., Njakoi, H. and Webb, E. C. (2005) Participatory rural appraisal of dairy farms in the north west province of Cameroon. Livestock Research for Rural Development, 17. Art# 59. ISSN 0121-3784
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Official URL: http://cipav.org.co/lrrd/lrrd17/6/baye17059.htm
A Participatory Rural Appraisal (PRA) was conducted in dairy farms of the North West Province of Cameroon. The aim of the PRA was to have a better understanding of the prevailing dairy systems, identify problems, and set priorities for research and development that can contribute to improved systems of production. A multidisciplinary team of researchers and extension agents was constituted. It was made up of scientists of the following fields: cattle management, forage science, agro economy, veterinary, dairy technology, nutrition and extension. The research team visited farmers' groups and divided itself into subgroups for farm and village walks during which direct observations were also noted. The extension agent of the locality, key informants, gave additional information overlooked by farmers. Interviews were also carried out with other stakeholders of the dairy sector. The research team met the day following the visit to agree on a common report. Results show that five small scale dairy production systems are found in the region: transhumance, improved extensive, semi intensive, zero grazing and peri-urban. Agriculture is well integrated to dairying. Main constraints include in order of importance: poor marketing opportunities and long distances to market, limited grazing land and poor supplementation strategies, poor reproductive management and poor calving interval, inadequate knowledge in processing, hygiene and milk preservation, and limited health control. In market oriented farms, reproduction and feeding were the most important constraints. Main factors influencing dairy production are: milk collection, fresh milk price, consumer demand, genotype and management. These results suggest that much can be done to improve production by extending improved packages to dairy farmers.