Livestock Research for Rural Development 12 (1) 2000

Citation of this paper

The institutional marginality of Livestock production extension: the case of Burkina-Faso

John Morton  and R Trevor Wilson*

Social Sciences Department, Natural Resources Institute, University of Greenwich, Central Avenue, Chatham Maritime, Kent ME4 4TB, UK,
Fax: 44 1634 883706  
Bartridge Partners, Umberleigh, North Devon EX37 9AS UK,
Fax: 01769 560601  


The article uses a case study of Burkina Faso to examine the problems involved in assigning institutional responsibility for livestock production extension, and the improvised and hybrid solutions that may be adopted at local level. In Burkina Faso, as in other developing countries, changes in livestock production systems, especially processes of intensification and crop-livestock integration, and increasing peri-urban production, create new demands for livestock production information.  However, the national extension system, designed on Training and Visit lines, does not assign a role in extension (i.e. information transfer) to the Provincial Services for Animal Resources.  Livestock production extension is mainly delivered by generalist frontline staff, some progress has been made in overcoming problems associated with this.  In practice, middle-level livestock specialists are to be found working in extension in “Pastoral Zones” and enclave projects, and with selected mixed farmers and peri-urban producers.  This self-selection of clientele and involvement of middle level staff in frontline extension has negative equity implications which need addressing through cost-recovery.  

Key words: Extension, livestock, Africa, equity, training, information


The transfer of livestock production techniques to farmers by extension services in developing countries has been neglected by both policy makers and researchers, but is likely to become increasingly important for many countries.  An important reason for this neglect has been the marginal position of livestock production extension between national extension systems directed in practice towards crop production, and livestock services dominated by animal health concerns and by vets.  This article uses the case of Burkina Faso, based on a research visit in 1995,  to illustrate the problems involved in assigning institutional responsibility for livestock production extension, and also the improvised and hybrid solutions that may be adopted at a local level.  

The increased demand for livestock production extension in developing countries, and the reasons for it, have been discussed elsewhere (Morton et al 1997; Morton and Matthewman 1996, 1998; Matthewman and Morton 1997).  The reasons include: the growing importance of mixed crop-livestock production for sedentary farmers and sedentarising pastoralists in semi-arid Africa, itself driven by resource constraints and rising populations; and the growing opportunities for peri-urban and other intensive livestock production to feed urban populations in developing countries.  Both these factors mean that large numbers of people are becoming involved in livestock production who are either not traditional livestock producers or who are producing under radically changed circumstances.  In addition information constraints on livestock production are becoming increasingly limiting as disease problems are slowly brought under control.  The sorts of information that can fall under the rubric of livestock production extension are listed by Morton, Matthewman and Barton (1997 - see also Matthewman and Morton 1997); the most important is livestock nutrition, including the optimal use of supplements, but proper housing, information on breeding, and on the processing and marketing of livestock products are also important, as is maximising the contribution of livestock to crop production through draught power and conservation of manure.  

The livestock sub-sector has a uniquely problematic relation to extension services. It is sufficiently distinct from other agricultural sub-sectors to warrant separate ministries of livestock in many developing countries, and livestock departments at the immediate sub-ministerial level virtually everywhere else.  It is also sufficiently integrated with other forms of agricultural production for there to be a plausible case for its inclusion in agricultural extension services (the same situation may arise with forestry or soil conservation, but does not seem so widespread).  The result is an endemic tension between the claims of extension services and livestock ministries or departments.  

This tension has not been eased by the widespread adoption of the World Bank-sponsored Training and Visit (T&V) system. This includes, among other ‘key features’, a ‘single line of command’ by which one national department ‘should be solely accountable for the operation of the extension system, notwithstanding the required co-ordination and liaison with other organizations’ (Benor and Baxter 1984).  

Two examples from other developing countries show how livestock production extension can be shuffled between ministries or simply neglected.  In Kenya the question has been affected by repeated changes of policy over the existence of a separate livestock ministry.  The Ministry of Livestock Development and the Ministry of Agriculture merged in 1984, were separated in 1987 and merged again in 1992.  The National Extension Project Phase I (1983-91) was run by  the Ministry of Agriculture, then by an Agriculture Department within the combined ministry.  There was some extension of livestock production messages, managed separately both from agricultural extension and animal health services, but with generally low impact.  Under Phase II extension of crop and livestock production messages is integrated.  In practice most extensionists have a background in crop production, and a study in 1995 (Barton and Reynolds 1996) found the integration far from perfect, although considerable progress in fields such as cross-training of crop and livestock staff has subsequently been made.  

In India, the well-established state-level extension services run by the Department of Agriculture have never had a mandate to provide extension on livestock.  Livestock production extension is the responsibility of State Departments of Animal Husbandry, but these  are dominated by animal health concerns, contain few if any animal productionists, and commit under 10% of their budgets to information delivery (Matthewman and Ashley 1995, see also Matthewman, Ashley and Morton 1997).  

Livestock production in Burkina Faso  

Burkina Faso is a poor, landlocked country lying in the semi-arid and sub-humid zones of the West African Sahel.  Livestock numbers are estimated at 4.2 million cattle, and 12.5 million sheep and goats, and livestock production contributes 28 percent of agricultural GNP and 12 percent of total GNP (FAO 1995).  

The north of the country, with low and unreliable rain, is dominated by mobile pastoralism, associated mainly with the Fulani ethnic group.  Zebu cattle are the most important livestock species, and milk (for consumption and sale) is the main production objective.  Male cattle are reared until mature but are destined for sale, mainly for direct slaughter although an increasing number are sold to cultivators from further south, as draught oxen or for fattening. The essentials of this system are mobility in search of grazing and water, and the constant battle to match herd numbers and family needs to resource availability.  

Fulani and other pastoralists have been settling and starting to cultivate over a long period in various parts of Burkina Faso, including the relatively favoured areas of the south and centre which they formerly only visited as dry season refuges.  Pastoralists settle either as a result of direct impoverishment, or from a desire to establish, through cultivation, use-rights to land  before others do.  In such areas they are "strangers" with no historical land rights, and are subject to the authority of the nominal owner of the land, of the village headman and of the local chief.  

Over most of the centre and south of the country rainfed farming of a mixture of crops is the dominant agricultural system.  Individual land holdings are small, cultivation is almost entirely by hand and few inputs are used. Risk-reducing strategies include the growing of a range of annual cereals, traditional vegetables and some perennials.  Smallholders, of several ethnic groups, have traditionally kept only small numbers of sheep and a few goats, with a few individuals keeping cattle and horses (Bourzat and Wilson 1989).  Small stock, especially sheep, are important for many social and ritual purposes and as a form of savings that can be converted to cash at short notice.  Some small-scale fattening has been practiced, probably over many centuries.  

Poultry are important in this system.  Little management is provided and birds are expected to scavenge for feed and water.  Chickens are kept mainly for meat and are also important in ritual and social practices.  Guinea fowl are kept for egg production and eggs are regularly sold to provide small amounts of cash.  

The southern part of the country is infested with tsetse fly.  The trypanosomosis risk has been an important factor in the historically low levels of livestock production.  Clearing of land for cultivation helps to reduce tsetse challenge and this coupled with new environmentally-friendly methods of control plus the strategic use of trypanocidal drugs opens up the possibilities for more intensive animal husbandry systems.  

There has always been some conflict between the pastoral and mixed farming systems.  This mainly consisted of transhumant Fulani grazing their herds on crop residues, stubble and fallows during the dry season and having access to water from shallow wells.  The return for the mixed farmers was the manure deposited on their fields, but there was also conflict as Fulani stock trespassed on crops during the growing season and caused damage.  

It seems likely that conflictual aspects have become more important in recent years.  Population pressure and the new markets created by urbanisation have caused an increase in land under cultivation,  at the expense of grazing land.  In some areas the adoption of animal traction has allowed greater areas to be cultivated per farmer, and also created a need for fodder or grazing for the draught animals.  Farmers have also increased their livestock holdings as insurance against drought, as a form of investment for the proceeds of cash cropping, and because some were able to profit from low livestock prices during the droughts of the 1970s and 1980s.  As pastoralists have simultaneously been settling and starting to cultivate, old complementarities have increasingly been replaced by competition (see, among other sources, Spiers and Olsen 1992, and Zuppan 1994).  

New livestock systems are emerging rapidly, especially in and near the main urban centres.  These enterprises are being created in part as a response to devaluation of the CFA Franc in 1994 and the concurrent removal of export subsidies on meat by the European Union, which jointly had the effect of restoring the natural comparative advantage of the Sahel countries as producers of cheap livestock products.  They are also being created in part as a result of retirements of state employees as part of the structural adjustment programme.  

There is thus a coincidence of a class of people with money, education and entrepreneurship, with an opportunity to turn these assets to productive enterprise.  In addition to large-scale poultry production, the main enterprises being developed are peri-urban milk production, beef feedlots and sheep fattening.  

There are of course differences of scale, and differences in competence and success are already beginning to appear.  Dairy enterprises range from a few cows and calves of local breeds which barely provide a living to larger and more efficient enterprises that use exotic breeds.  The smaller enterprises are usually under-capitalised and have little or no security with which to secure a loan.  There are frequent interruptions in the feed supply, especially of good quality roughage, concentrates and agro-industrial by-products.  Larger dairy producers are doing better, actively seeking out and creating markets.  Some actively select animals on pedigree and performance with or without the assistance of the extension services.  

Beef feedlots are a common new enterprise type.  Holding sizes vary from a few to as many as 200 head. Animals are bought singly or as small lots from a nearer or farther market, usually in poor condition,  penned for part of the day and fed concentrates and a mineral supplement, even if this is only salt.  The rest of the day the animals go out to open grazing.  Modern telecommunications and contacts in the main coastal consuming centres give accurate and current information on market prices.  Few if any of this class of owner can weigh his animals or has any idea of daily rates of gain, but weight may not be the main source of benefit.  It is often easier to take advantage of open access resources to provide basic feed for the animals, get veterinary and husbandry advice at little cost and wait for market forces to push up the price of stock and then take a profit.  

New sheep-fattening enterprises are a development of a traditional system.  These are generally smaller enterprises than cattle operations and operate with slightly higher risks due to the greater susceptibility of sheep to disease. Profits can also be high for this enterprise based on high seasonal demand around the main Muslim festivals and a lower but more stable demand for animals for traditional social occasions.  

Changing production systems in Burkina Faso are therefore generating new needs for information among livestock producers.  Processes of intensification and crop-livestock integration generate needs for information among both existing mixed farmers and former pastoralists on: the cultivation of fodder crops; the storage of fodder crops and natural hay; the optimum use of manure; the husbandry of animals kept in permanent confinement and therefore “zero-grazed”: and animal traction.  New commercial systems require information on: breeding and husbandry of new or exotic genetic resources; fertility; use of concentrates; hygienic collection, storage and marketing of milk; and marketing of livestock and livestock products.   

Agricultural services in Burkina Faso  

The structure of agricultural services in Burkina Faso is complex. The national Ministry of Agriculture and Animal Resources is made up on the one hand of the twelve Regional Centres for Agro-Pastoral Production (CRPA), each covering  between one and three provinces, and primarily responsible for delivering services, and on the other hand of a number of central Directorates, both administrative and advisory.  

The central Directorates specifically relevant to livestock are:  

The Directorate for Organising the Traditional Livestock Industry (DOET), responsible for the planning and management of pastoral zones, both in the more arid north and as enclaves in the south, and the organisation of traditional pastoralists:  

The Directorate for Livestock Production and Industries (DPIA),  which has services dealing with livestock development in general, with poultry and small livestock and with the processing and marketing of animal products.  

The Directorate for Animal Health (DSA) which is responsible for preventive and curative health services to livestock.  

The other relevant Directorate at national level is the Directorate for Agricultural Extension (DVA) which is the main implementing agency for the World Bank-funded Agricultural Support Services Project (PRSAP).  PRSAP represented an evolution in World Bank support to Burkina Faso from area-based projects operational between 1981 and 1989 (see World Bank 1991) which in turn succeeded commodity-specific projects on cotton.  During this period, and especially after 1985, the Bank was “increasingly explicitly .....promoting the T&V system” (Bindlish et al 1993).  In 1986 the Government introduced its Pilot Programme for Strengthening Agricultural Extension.  A modified form of the Training and Visit System was adopted nationally in 1989.  

An important modification to the accepted T&V model was that extension agents dealt with groups rather than contact farmers.   The proliferation of various forms of formalised village or farmer groups has been a feature of development in French-speaking Africa (see Mercoiret 1995) and Burkina Faso has been foremost in this trend.  Reasons for this include the general interest in regulating rural affairs, epitomised in the pervasive concept of 'encadrement',[1] the revolutionary politics of the Sankara government of 1983-1987 (see Otayek 1989), and the adoption of  'gestion de terroir' as a national strategy in 1986 (see Engberg-Pedersen 1995)[2].  For this reason 'groupements villageois'  and 'groupements d'éleveurs' are important features of many projects and the smaller 'groups de travail' are the major channel for transmission of extension messages.  Bindlish et al. (1993) report that 27% of farmers are members of 'groupes de travail'.   

The objectives of PRSAP (see World Bank 1988) are:  

a) to improve the effectiveness and impact of agricultural and livestock extension services, in transferring technology to farmers;

b) to strengthen animal health services and adaptive research programmes;

c) to provide functional literacy training to farmers, thereby enhancing their ability to participate more directly in technology generation and dissemination.  

To these ends the project has three main components; agricultural extension, livestock services and functional literacy.

Agricultural Extension  

The Project was designed to strengthen the nascent extension services in the CRPAs by;  

Livestock Services  

The Project was to:  

It should be noted here that DPIA was not to receive any funds for extension, in the sense of information delivery: all extension was seen as the operational responsibility of the CPRAs, with supervision by DVA.  

Functional Literacy  

The Project was to rehabilitate and/or equip training centres for young farmers, to provide some assistance to the Ministry of Rural Co-operative Action at national level, and to provide functional literacy material to newly literate rural people and young farmers.  

Extension at the local level  

In each province there is a SPA (Provincial Service for Agriculture), a SPRA (Provincial Service for Animal Resources) and a SPOFPP  (Provincial Service for the Organisation of the Professional Training of Producers). The Head of each of these services reports directly to the Director of the CPRA.  

Each Province is divided into zones, usually between 5 and 10.   Each zone is known as a Zone d’Encadrement de l’Agriculture (ZEA) and a Zone d’Encadrement de l’Élevage (ZEE) for crop and livestock related activities respectively.  For each activity there is a Chief of Zone, reporting to the relevant provincial service.  For crop-related activities each zone is divided into Unités d’Encadrement de l’Agriculture (UEA), usually four or five, each consisting of six to twelve villages.  For livestock purposes such subdivision is rare: only around ten ZEE are divided this way, into 44 Unités d’Encadrement de l’Elevage (UEE), compared to over 800 UEA nationwide.  

Under PRSAP it is the DVA at the national level, and the SPAs at the provincial level, which are responsible for agricultural extension, including extension of animal production messages.  This feature of PRSAP is reinforced by the relative absence of frontline workers with livestock training or orientation.  For the great majority of the country, livestock extension is delivered, if at all, through a generalist, and in practice crop-based, extension system.  

Each Unité d’Encadrement de l’Agriculture has a frontline extension worker known as the Agent Vulgarisateur de Base (AVB), or Chief of UEA.  Extension themes are decided at the beginning of each season by the CRPA.  Until 1994-95 this was done on the basis of informal feedback on producer needs through the extension system, especially as based on end of season meetings between frontline agents and village groups.  Between the 1994 and the 1995 seasons a more systematic information-gathering and diagnostic exercise, using relatively open questionnaires, was introduced.   

As is standard for Training and Visit systems, Subject Matter Specialists (SMSs) form part of the extension set-up, generally one per province in Animal Production, Crop Production and Rural Organization, and one per CRPA in Soil Conservation.  SMSs  are trained in research findings on these themes at monthly meetings of two or three days held at the major research stations throughout the country.  SMSs and researchers work together on research themes and on establishing one-page "fiches techniques" that result on the one side from identification of farmers' problems and on the other from solutions to these problems found by research.   

The Subject Matter Specialists jointly conduct the training of all Chiefs of UEAs, in principle every fortnight but in many areas only once a month.   The programme follows the calendar established by the CRPA, but SMSs can respond also, on the spot or one session later, to questions and concerns voiced by frontline agents.  

The programme for the CRPA Centre-Sud in 1995 contained, for most months, one theme in crop production, one in livestock production and one in farmer organisation.  The themes in livestock production were as follows:  


Importance of timely vaccination


Cultivated fodders


Prophylaxis, hygienic housing


Treatment of internal and external parasites, feed hygiene


Mowing and storage of natural fodder


Collection of crop residues


Urea treatment of straw


Use of agro-industrial by-products


Rations for animals in fattening


No livestock theme

Extension Roles for Livestock Specialists  

Zonal and Unité staff who have a livestock training are usually middle level or junior staff whose rankings in the service are Assistant d'Elevage or Agent Technique d'Elevage.  Formal educational qualifications for these people are respectively Baccalaureat plus two years specialised training, and Secondary school plus two years training.  Agricultural extension workers have similar educational levels at similar grades but no specialisation in livestock.  

The Chiefs of ZEEs, who report to the Directors of the SPRAs, have a number of functions: inspection of meat on sale at local markets, curative and preventative veterinary work, and livestock extension.  None of these functions is officially supported by PRSAP.  In fact the role of the Chiefs of ZEEs in livestock extension was not foreseen in the PRSAP Appraisal Report, which assumes a unified crop-livestock extension service but is distinctly inexplicit on the methods and structures for livestock extension (see also Compaoré 1994). However, some government documents imply that ideally there should be an alternative model of a national network of UEEs and livestock-specialised extension workers, working in parallel to the UEAs, a model whose implementation has been temporarily delayed due to lack of resources.  Such a model, in the authors' view, has virtually no chance of ever being implemented.  Indeed the latest indications are that government and donors are considering greater, not lesser, integration of agriculture and livestock services at a zonal level.  

In response to this situation which appears to marginalise livestock production extension and livestock production specialists within the extension system,  there are trends which allow livestock specialists an increased role in extension, but not necessarily in any way planned at a national or even a local level.  The three trends that can be distinguished are:  the growth of enclave projects focused on pastoral or agropastoral areas;  the self-assignment of an extension role by Chiefs of UEEs; and the involvement of livestock production specialists in peri-urban livestock extension.  

Enclave projects  

In certain designated Pastoral Zones in the centre and south of the country, where pastoralists previously using the areas at the southern limit of their annual migration have been encouraged to settle, and in the whole of the semi-arid Soum province in the north, the SPRAs take the lead in organising extension, supported by various donors.  While the areas themselves and the approaches to extension differ, certain common features distinguish these projects from the mainstream extension system.   

Firstly the SPRAs are able to field a full complement of livestock-specialist staff down to unité level with high extensionist:household ratios.  Secondly, information-delivery is integrated with other services; milk treatment and marketing, group formation, credit, input supply and literacy training. Thirdly, approaches to extension are more imaginative, with a  greater stress on audio-visual techniques, and in particular, much greater use of volunteer auxiliaries from among the herders.  

The extension role of Chiefs of UEEs  

Outside designated Pastoral Zones, Chiefs of ZEEs have considerable authority to commit their own time to direct interaction with more specialised livestock producers, while allowing animal production messages to be passed to 'ordinary' mixed farmers through the general extension system, which they represent as “having to work through” the crop-trained AVBs.  They can exercise this authority by working with: pure pastoralists living within agricultural areas and mixed farmers they feel to be particularly receptive to livestock development.  An attempt to represent an institutional set-up that has evolved spontaneously in many areas because of the ambiguities of PRSAP on livestock extension is shown in Figure 1.

An example of selective work with mixed farmers was seen at Togtenga near Koupela. The Chief of ZEE is nominally responsible for over 40 villages but has chosen to concentrate his activities on 13 'groupements' in 7 villages and Koupela town.  Toktenga is a village of sedentary mixed farmers who have been expanding their traditional sheep fattening system over recent years.  The Chief of ZEE had been active in promoting the mowing of natural hay, the cultivation of dolichos as fodder, and the construction of hay barns.  There appeared to be high adoption rates of these technologies, despite the very labour intensive design of adobe hay barn proposed.  

Peri-urban livestock extension  

The commitment of extension effort to successful peri-urban producers by intermediate level livestock staff is visible in many areas.  The opportunities for lucrative urban fattening enterprises, particularly following devaluation, have already been discussed.   In Pouytenga, site of a very large livestock market which attracts buyers and sellers from neighbouring countries, and Koupela, the nearby provincial capital, there are large numbers of such fattening enterprises.   The larger, more export-oriented enterprises (some at least run by retired civil servants) have organised themselves into groups which are recognised by, and receive support from ONAC (the National Office of External Trade) as well as from the SPRA.  ONAC assists them in the business of exporting or making contacts with importers from the coastal countries, and has even sent some members to neighbouring countries for seminars.  A group member may receive something like four or five working days of attention from the Chief of the ZEE every quarter:  two or three days formal training in a sub-group of around fifty,  individual visits,  and the attendance of the Chief of the ZEE at group business meetings.  The individual visits may include veterinary care, girth measurement as a proxy for monitoring weight, and advice on the best use of agro-industrial products and salt licks.  Elsewhere, the authors interviewed individual fatteners of sheep and cattle, who obviously had constant access to the Chief of the ZEE for veterinary care and extension advice, although this clearly does not necessarily result in a particularly improved operation.

In urban and peri-urban Ouagadougou, a similar pattern was observed with larger dairy producers.  In one case, a dairy farmer who was improving his stock by buying exotic breeds had been assisted by the Chief of the ZEE with a ten page farm management plan for a five year period, complete with financial projections. By contrast,  a woman with a few  cattle, in an area that had recently been absorbed by urban Ouagadougou, had no regular contact with the extension service.  Any advice she did get was evidently inappropriate to her situation:  she had no access to land to cultivate fodder, and no access to credit to start improving her enterprise with the use of agro-industrial by-products and improved premises.  She felt she 'irritated' the SPRA.  

It is evident that Chiefs of ZEEs and other livestock staff in peri-urban areas have considerable discretion to programme their own time.  A combination of the attractiveness of working with successful producers, kinship networks and other forms of patronage lead them to work disproportionately with the wealthier and better connected individuals and groups  

Urban fattening in particular is a very productive sub-sector of the economy, especially following devaluation and the end of subsidised EU beef exports, and there are benefits to the country as a whole in ensuring a flow of information on best practices to urban producers.  Extension support to individual peri-urban producers is therefore worthwhile.  However, where these are also the relatively wealthy there are strong equity arguments for charging them for extension as soon as possible (Morton, Matthewman and Barton 1997).  There are complex issues around cost-recovery in extension but in this case equity arguments are not countered by so-called “free-rider” arguments.  Extension to peri-urban producers is very largely of an enterprise development nature, tailored to individual producers, who can expect to capture all its benefits and therefore meet its entire costs.  


A categorisation of the institutions that deliver or could deliver livestock production extension into crop-based, animal health-based and free-standing systems (Morton, Matthewman and Barton 1997, Matthewman and Morton 1997) is a useful starting point for considering the issues related to this under-researched topic.  It is not easy, however, to categorise the Burkinabé system in this way, even without considering the NGOs and special projects that have not been considered here (see Morton and Wilson 1995, Morton, Matthewman and Barton 1997).  Most animal production extension is given by generalist, in other words crop-based, extension workers.  Extension given by livestock-specialised staff, who also have animal health duties, is given in particular niches of the crop-based system.  These niches seem to have evolved spontaneously at a local level, in response to the inadequate or ambiguous messages coming from extension planners about who can perform livestock production extension, and what role livestock-specialist staff can have.  

While the Burkinabé system is difficult to categorise, and subject to institutional drifts and confusions, it is not necessarily failing to deliver livestock production information.  It was difficult to draw conclusions about the efficacy of the system overall, as the mosaic of “normal” crop-based extension, the independent activities of livestock staff and special projects meant that extensionist:household ratios, qualifications of frontline staff and frequency of contact varied wildly.  Many of the rural farmers and herders interviewed by the authors expressed a general contentment with the extension services, and the changes brought about in their production. In some cases generalist frontline workers were effectively delivering livestock production messages, at least to some farmers.  In general, group-based approaches to extension appeared to be working well.  The efficacy of the national system as regards crop-based messages has been demonstrated by Bindlish et al (1993).  However, the same study highlighted information on animal production as an important unmet need of producers.  

By 1995, there were further signs of progress.  Extension calendars were relatively flexible and producers could have their problems addressed within a short timescale; extension calendars were being set at progressively lower levels of the structure, so were more geographically adaptive; and there was a systematic attempt to identify producers’ needs.  In this way the system was beginning to avoid some of the problems associated with Training and Visit systems and the delivery of livestock production information within them (Morton, Matthewman and Barton 1997).  There was clearly a continuing need for additional training of frontline staff with a crops background in livestock extension.  The other major problem in delivery of messages lay with an emphasis on extension worker monologue and a lack of development of audio-visual or other media.  More fundamental problems, that are discussed elsewhere (Morton and Wilson 1995, Morton, Matthewman and Barton 1997) lie in the supply of appropriate livestock production messages, in other words in the research system and in research-extension-producer linkages.   

The Burkinabé case is an illustration of the possible unintended consequences of delivering livestock production extension through a crop-based, T&V system.  One of those unintended consequences is a negative impact on the equity of extension delivery.  Middle-ranking livestock specialists are largely able within the system to choose their own target groups.  As these are frequently “progressive” farmers, who in turn tend to be better-connected and better-resourced, there are potentially serious consequences for equity unless balanced by cost-recovery measures.  However, for the mass of rural producers we see the system as illustrating some of the opportunities presented by livestock production extension through a national, crops-based system.


The research on which this article was based was funded by the Natural Resources Policy Research Programme of the UK Overseas Development Administration (now the Department for International Development) and by the World Bank.  The authors would like to thank staff of various government departments, donors and NGOs for their assistance: views expressed remain the responsibility of the authors alone. 


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Received 2 September 1999


[1] A term difficult to translate, with connotations of training, supervision and group formation - “putting within a framework”.

[2] “Gestion de terroir” and the related “amenagement de terroir” both refer to village-level management and conservation of natural resources.

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