Animal Breeding / Cattle / Dairying / Genetics / ILRI / Indigenous Breeds / LiveGene / LIVESTOCK-FISH / Senegal / West Africa

Better dairy cattle breeds and better management can improve the livelihoods of the rural poor in Senegal

Research on dairy cattle breeds in Senegal shows that combining best livestock genetics with improved animal management practices can result in significantly increased household benefits.

For non-transhumant dairy cattle keepers in two study sites, keeping Indigenous Zebu by Bos Taurus cross-breed animals, under better management, resulted in the highest profit of the scenarios considered. This is because the breed-type is both well-adapted to local environmental conditions and productive (the contribution of its Indigenous Zebu and Bos Taurus genes, respectively). Improved management also allowed its genetic potential to be expressed.

The results, from one of only a few studies of this type in developing countries, will allow different stakeholders to make evidence-based decisions on which breed or cross-breed of dairy cattle to promote or keep.

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