Towards community-based in situ conservation strategies: a typological analysis of Borgou cattle herding systems in northeastern Benin


A thorough knowledge of cattle herding systems is very important for planning sustainable genetic improvement and conservation strategies. This paper is initiated to characterize Benin native Borgou cattle farming systems in its department of origin by mean of survey including 180 cattle farmers owning at least one phenotype of that breed. Using multiple correspondence analysis and hierarchical ascending classification, four groups of Borgou cattle farms have been identified. The first group qualified as “semi-intensive purebred Borgou cattle farming” own high numbers (87.2 ± 3.95 heads) purchased and reared with the view to promote its genetic improvement, its production, and its conservation as Benin animal genetic resource. The second group (sedentary purebred Borgou cattle farming) is represented by Bariba ethnic group with small numbers (22.18 ± 0.71 heads) of purebred Borgou cattle used mainly for draught. Cattle farmers of the third group are “large transhumant of Zebu and Borgou crossbred cattle farmers” represented by Fulani and Gando ethnic groups whose herds are generally composed of high numbers (75.20 ± 3.43 heads) of cattle acquired by purchasing, inheriting, and fostering. The last one is the “small transhumant of Zebu and Borgou crossbred cattle farming” with an average herd size of 31.98 ± 0.72 heads. Cattle farming is their main activity and animals are used for the production of milk and cheese. These distinctions between Borgou cattle farmers can be an anchorage point for designing sustainable community-based in situ conservation strategies for safeguarding this local breed in its original cradle.

This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution.

Fig. 1
Fig. 2
Fig. 3
Fig. 4


  1. Abbott, R.J. 1992. Plant invasions, interspecific hybridization and the evolution of new plant taxa. Tree 7:401-405.

    CAS  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  2. Assani, A.S., Alkoiret, I.T., Houinato, M., and Mensah G.A., 2016. Typology of cattle herds in transhumance in the classified forest of upper Alibori Northern Benin. European Scientific Journal (ESJ). Vol.12, No.15 ISSN: 1857 – 7881.

  3. Ayantunde, A.A., De Leeuw, J., Turner, M.D., and Said, M., 2011. Challenges of assessing the sustainability of agro-pastoral systems. Livestock Science. 139 (1), 30–43.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  4. Ba, A., Lesnoff, M., Poccard-Chapuis R., and Moulin, C.H., 2011. Demographic dynamics and off-take of cattle herds in southern Mali. Tropical Animal Health and Production., 43: 1101-1109

    Article  Google Scholar 

  5. Breman, H., and Traoré, N., 1987. Analyse des conditions de l’élevage et proposition de politiques et de programmes. Mali. Sahel D(87)302. OCDE/CILSS/Club du Sahel, Paris. 243 p.

    Google Scholar 

  6. Chabi Toko, R., Adégbidi, A., and Lebailly, P., 2016. Démographie et performances zootechniques des élevages bovins traditionnels au Nord Bénin. Revue d’élevage et de médecine vétérinaire des pays tropicaux, 69 (1) : 33-39

    Article  Google Scholar 

  7. Dehoux JP., and Verhulst A., 1994. Une race trypanotolerante méconnue: la Borgou. Animal Genetic Resources Information Bulletin. 13, 39–45. Retrieved August 08, 2013, from

    Article  Google Scholar 

  8. Domingo, A.M., 1976. Contribution à l’étude de la population bovine des Etats du golfe du Bénin. Thèse de Docteur Vétérinaire, École Inter états des Sciences et Médecine Vétérinaires de Dakar, Sénégal, 143 pages.

  9. Dossa, L.H. and Vanvanhossou, F.U.S., 2016. The indigenous Somba cattle of the hilly Atacora region in North-West Benin: threats and opportunities for its sustainable use. Tropical Animal Health and Production 48:349–359. DOI

    Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  10. Dossa, L.H., Wollny, C., Gauly, M., Gbégo, I., 2009. Community-based management of farm animal genetic resources in practice: framework for local goats in two rural communities in southern Benin. Animal Genetic Resources Information, 44, 11–31.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  11. Epstein, H., 1971. The origin of the domestic animals of Africa: vol 1.-New York : Pub. Africana.- 30 p.

    Google Scholar 

  12. Escofier, B. and Pages, J., 1990. Analyses factorielles simples et multiples. Objectifs, méthodes et interprétation, 2è ed. Paris, France, Bordas, 267 p.

    Google Scholar 

  13. FAO, 2019. The State of the World’s Biodiversity for Food and Agriculture, J. Bélanger & D. Pilling (eds.). FAO Commission on Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture Assessments. Rome. 572 pp. (

    Google Scholar 

  14. Houessou, S.O., Dossa, L.H., Diogo, R.V.C., Houinato, M., Buerkert A., and Schlecht, E., 2018. Change and continuity in traditional cattle farming systems of West African Coast countries: A case study from Benin. Agricultural Systems 168 (2019). 112–122.

    Google Scholar 

  15. Hounkpevi, D., 2005. Elevage et amélioration génétique de la croissance des bovins Borgou de la ferme Okpara en République du Bénin Mémoire de Diplôme d'Etudes Spécialisées, Gembloux, Faculté universitaire des sciences agronomiques, Liège. 79p

  16. Hutchings, J.A., and Fraser, D.J., 2008. The nature of fisheries and farming induced evolution. Mol. Ecol17:294313.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  17. Idrissou, N., 2004. Amélioration Intégrée de la Production Laitière de la Vache Borgou au Bénin. Mémoire de Diplôme d'Etudes Spécialisées, Faculté de Médecine Vétérinaire, Liège. 43 pages

    Google Scholar 

  18. Jabbar, M.A., 1993. Evolving crop-livestock farming systems in the humid zone of West Africa: potential and research needs. Outlook on Agriculture 22 (1), 13–21.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  19. Jabbar, M.A., Reynolds, L., and Francis, P.A., 1995. Sedentarisation of cattle farmers in the derived savannah region of south-West Nigeria: results of a survey. Trop. Anim. Health Prod. 27 (1), 55–64.

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  20. Kidd, A.G., Bowman, J., Lesbarrères, D., and Schulte-Hostedde, A.I., 2009. Hybridization between escaped domestic and wild American mink (Neovison vison). Molecular ecology. 18:1175-1186.

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  21. Koutinhouin, G.B., Youssao, A.K.I., Kpodekon T.M., Gantoli YG, 2010. Influence de la traite précoce des vaches sur la croissance pondérale et l’état sanitaire des veaux en élevage traditionnel : cas de la zone périurbaine de Natitingou (Bénin). Livestock Research for Rural Development. Volume 22, Article #24. Retrieved August 13, 2019, from

  22. MAEP (Ministère de l’Agriculture, de l’Elevage et de la Pêche), 2007. Programme de relance des productions animales au Bénin. Cotonou, p. 205

  23. McGinnity, P., Prodoehl, P., and Ferguson, A., 2003. Fitness reduction and potential extinction of wild populations of Atlantic salmon, Salmo salar, as a result of interactions with escaped farm salmon. Proceedings of the Royal Society London. Biological Sciences. 270:2443-2450.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  24. R Core Team, 2018. R: A Language and Environment for Statistical Computing. R foundation for Statistical Computing. Vienna

  25. Sènou, M., Toléba, S., Adandédjan, C., Poivey, J.P., Ahissou A. Touré, F.Z., and Monsia C., 2008. Increased Milk Yield in Borgou Cows in Alternative Feeding Systems. Revue d’Elevage et de Médecine Vétérinaire des Pays Tropicaux. Vol. 61 (2), 109-114.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  26. Somda, J, Kamuanga, M., Mendes, A., Gomes, J., 2004. Caractéristiques socioéconomiques et performances économiques des élevages laitiers en Guinée Bissau : cas des régions de Bafata et Gabu. Socio-economic Research Working Paper No 4, ITC (International Trypanotolerance Centre), Banjul, The Gambia, 48p.

  27. Staines, B.W., 1991. Red deer, Cervus elaphus, in the handbook of hritish mammals, edited by G. B. Corbett and S. Harris. Blackwell

  28. Tesfa, A., Kumar, D., Abegaz, S., and Mekuriaw, G., 2017. Conservation and Improvement Strategy for Fogera Cattle: A Lesson for Ethiopia Ingenious Cattle Breed Resource. Hindawi Advances in Agriculture.12 pages.

  29. Tesfaye, A., 2004. Genetic characterization of indigenous goat populations of Ethiopia using microsatellite DNA markers. PhD thesis. National Dairy Research Institute (Deemed University), Karnal (Haryana), India. 279 pages

  30. Verrier, E., Audiot, A., Bertrand, C., Chapuis, H., Charvolin, E., Danchin-Burge, C., … Sabbagh, M., 2015. Assessing the risk status of livestock breeds: a multi-indicator method applied to 178 French local breeds belonging to ten species. Animal Genetic Resources, 57, 105–118.

  31. Youssao A.K.I., Ahissou A., Michaux C., Farnir F., Touré Z., Idrissou N.D., and Leroy P.L., 2000. Facteurs non génétiques influençant le poids et la croissance de veaux de race Borgou à la ferme d’élevage de l’Okpara au Bénin. Revue d’Elevage et de Médecine Vétérinaire des Pays Tropicaux. 53(3): 285–292

  32. Youssao, A.K.I., Dahouda, M., Attakpa, E.Y., Koutinhouin, G.B., Ahounou, G.S., Toleba, S.S., and Balogoun BS., 2013. Diversité des systèmes d’élevages de bovins de race bovine Borgou dans la zone soudanienne du Bénin. International Journal of Biological and Chemical Sciences. 7(1): 125–146.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  33. Youssao, A.K.I., Salifou, CFA., Ahounou, G.S., Dotche, O.I., Issifou, T.M., 2016. Typologies des élevages de bovins de race Borgou dans les élevages urbains et périurbains dans la zone soudanienne du Bénin. Rencontres - Recherches – Ruminants, 23

Download references


We are grateful to the University of Parakou for providing facilities for accomplishing this study. We also thank all the interviewees of the communes surveyed for their frank and valuable collaboration during the investigation.

Author information



Corresponding author

Correspondence to Hilaire S. S. Worogo.

Ethics declarations

Statement of human and animal rights

The article does not contain clinical studies or patient data. An informed consent was obtained from all individual participants included in the study. This article does not contain any studies with animals performed by any of the authors.

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Additional information

Publisher’s note

Springer Nature remains neutral with regard to jurisdictional claims in published maps and institutional affiliations.

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Verify currency and authenticity via CrossMark

Cite this article

Worogo, H.S.S., Idrissou, R., Assani, A.S. et al. Towards community-based in situ conservation strategies: a typological analysis of Borgou cattle herding systems in northeastern Benin. Trop Anim Health Prod 52, 1055–1064 (2020).

Download citation


  • Borgou cattle
  • Cattle farmers
  • Multiple correspondence analysis
  • Benin