Nutrient Cycling in Agroecosystems

, Volume 115, Issue 2, pp 201–230 | Cite as

Input and output of nutrients and energy in urban and peri-urban livestock holdings of Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso

  • Eva Schlecht
  • Julian Plagemann
  • Serge Eugène Mpouam
  • Hadja Oumou Sanon
  • Mamadou Sangaré
  • Regina RoesslerEmail author
Original Article


Urban livestock farming responds to increasing consumer demand for fresh meat, milk and eggs and contributes to farm households’ food security. The current study investigated inputs and outputs of nutrients in peri-urban livestock systems of Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso, by quantifying, during 16 months, homestead feeding of small ruminants, beef and dairy cattle, and pigs, along with the animals’ feed intake on pasture, body weight changes, milk yields and faecal excretion. Eighteen farms considered representative of the major livestock systems in the city were selected to this end, and 1342 valid feeding records constituted the database. Across animal species, homestead feeding entailed an annual influx of 100–1600 kg dry matter (DM), 17–51 kg nitrogen (N) and 7–15 kg phosphorus (P) per tropical livestock unit (TLU) of 250 kg body weight; the subsequent excretion of faeces resulted in an accumulation of 210–860 kg DM, 5–6 kg N and 1–3 kg P per TLU and year in the peri-urban space. With a city population of about 190,000 TLU, nutrient depletion of the feed-supplying rural hinterland is expected. Despite highly variable feedstuff quality and availability, farmers’ feed offer supplied more nitrogen than animals required in 68% of all cases, and in 81% of all cases dietary imbalances between protein and energy supply contributed to suboptimal feed utilisation at the individual animal level, reducing biological and economic performance. To address these problems, farmers must receive appropriate information about feed quality, ration formulation, and group-specific feeding strategies.


Energy supply Feeding practices Nutrient supply Pigs Ruminants West Africa 



This work was carried out as part of the UrbanFoodPlus Project, jointly funded by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) and the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) under the initiative GlobE—Research for the Global Food Supply, grant number 031A242-A. The sponsors had no role in the design of the study; in the collection, analyses, or interpretation of data; in the writing of the manuscript, and in the decision to publish the results. Special thanks go to Louise Marie Kaboré and Cécile Sarambé who followed and observed the cattle and small ruminant herds of participating farms during grazing, Dr. Nouhoun Zampaligré (CIRDES) for local supervision of this work, and Bokoum Hassane for his continuous support in facilitating the collection of data. Last but not least, we thank all livestock keepers for their willingness to participate in this study and to accept our visits over the 16-month data collection period.


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© Springer Nature B.V. 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Group Animal Husbandry in the Tropics and SubtropicsUniversity of Kassel and Georg-August-Universitaet GoettingenWitzenhausenGermany
  2. 2.Département Productions AnimalesInstitut de l’Environnement et de Recherches Agricoles (INERA)Ouagadougou 04Burkina Faso
  3. 3.Unité de Recherche sur les Production Animales (URPAN)Centre International de Recherche-Développement sur l’Elevage en zone Subhumide (CIRDES)Bobo-Dioulasso 01Burkina Faso

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