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Tropentag 2023, September 20 - 22, Berlin, Germany

"Competing pathways for equitable food systems transformation: trade-offs and synergies."

Use of trees and shrub by farmers to control gastrointestinal nematodes (GIN) in extensive livestock production systems of West Africa

Aminata Beye1, Linda Cletchio Gabriella Traoré2, Mamadou Coulibaly3, Tamsir Mbaye4, Eva Schlecht5, Marième Fall Ba4, Daouda Ngom1, Felix Heckendorn6, Regina Rößler7, Hadja Sanon2, Drissa Coulibaly3, Hawa Coulibaly3, Sita Sanou2, Assan G. Fall8

1Cheikh Anta DIOP University, Senegalese Inst. of Agricultural Research, Dept. of Plant Biology (FST/UCAD), Senegal
2Nazi Bony University (UNB), Dept. of Animal Prod. Syst. (SNA/SPA), Burkina Faso
3Inst. Polytechnique Rurale / de Formation et de Recherche Appliquée (IPR/IFRA) /Institut d’Economie Rurale, Breeding Science and Technology / Cattle Program, Mali
4Senegalese Inst. for Agric. Res. (ISRA), National Forestry Research Centre (CNRF), Senegal
5University of Kassel / University of Goettingen, Animal Husbandry in the Tropics and Subtropics, Germany
6Research Inst. of Organic Agriculture (FiBL), Animal Science Dept., Switzerland
7University of Kassel, Animal Husbandry in the Tropics and Subtropics, Germany
8Senegalese Institute of Agricultural Research, Senegal


Traditional veterinary practices have taken a back seat to modern veterinary medicine in livestock health management in Africa. However, the latter is not able to cope with all health problems on livestock farms, especially in rural areas where access to quality veterinary drugs and services is not available. Adding to this is the low purchasing power of livestock farmers. They are forced to resort to traditional practices to treat their animals in case of disease, which is especially true for gastrointestinal nematodes (GIN) in small ruminants.
This study aimed to identify, with the herders, the local woody plant species usually used to treat parasitic infections of small ruminants in West Africa. Indeed, in traditional medicine, woody species represent about 65% of the most important African medicinal plants. An ethno-botanical survey based on semi-structured interviews was conducted with 370 herders and agro-pastoralists in Senegal, Mali and Burkina Faso between June and July 2021. More than 60% of the respondents stated that the use of tree-based remedies has a positive impact on animal health. Out of 81 herders surveyed in Senegal, 42.0% used woody plants for animal health treatment. In Burkina Faso, 28.7% out of 159 farmers used ligneous plants to treat their animals against gastrointestinal strongyles. In Mali, 16.4% out of 130 farmers used parts of trees to treat small ruminants against GIN. Across the three countries, 20 woody species belonging to 10 botanical families were identified as being regularly used to treat GIN. Khaya senegalensis, Azadirachta indica and Faidherbia albida were the most commonly cited species, and at family level Fabaceae (67%) dominated before Meliaceae (17%) and Combretaceae (17%). Leaves (50%), pods (33%) and bark (17%) were the organs mainly used to produce herbal anthelmintics. The cross-country comparison of results revealed that, although farmers have a good knowledge of effective plant-based GIN control, preparation formulae and application doses are often variable and only mastered by a few users. In view of smallholders’ reliance on herbal medicine, more effort should be devoted to tap the potential of woody plants as alternative remedies for the treatment of GIN in sheep and goats.

Keywords: Gastrointestinal nematodes, small ruminants, West Africa, woody plant species

Contact Address: Aminata Beye, Cheikh Anta DIOP University, Senegalese Inst. of Agricultural Research, Dept. of Plant Biology (FST/UCAD), Dakar, Senegal, e-mail: aminabeye45@gmail.com

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