The Implications of Rainfall Variability on Cattle and Milk Production in Jakiri Sub-Division, North West Region, Cameroon

  •  Emmanuel Sunjo Tata    
  •  Sunday Shende Kometa    
  •  Amawa Sani Gur    


The rapidly increasing demand for beef and dairy products especially milk in an environment that has become super sensitive to climate vagaries as a result of climate change and variability have no doubt become a topical issue in today’s man-environment relationship debate. Cattle production in Jakiri is an activity that derives its mere existence from the primary resource base of rangelands (pasture) and water availability. Intra as well as inter-annual variability and trends of rainfall thus play an important role in determining this resource base and water availability on which cattle production depends in this area. Furthermore, the quantity of milk produced significantly depends on the availability of this resource base to the cows that are used for crude milk harvesting. This study therefore sets out to examine the extent to which rainfall variability has been affecting cattle and milk production which sustains a good number of livelihoods in the area. Being located within the Montane Guinea savannah ecological zone of Cameroon, the study makes use of rainfall data for a period of 33 years and commercial milk production figures since its introduction in Jakiri in 1998. These recorded data were complemented with field surveys, focus group discussions with the graziers and the milk production farmers, field interviews with veterinary experts and secondary data. Although rainfall and milk production relationships on annual and dry season bases do not seem statistically significant, they however do so, on wet season basis. The increasing variability of rainfall especially during the dry season significantly necessitate the transhumant operation into the neighbouring river valleys and flood plains. Given this intricate relationship between rainfall and cattle production as well as other threats to the full functioning of rangelands, the study proposes recommendations that if implemented, can boost cattle and milk production that sustains the lives of people.

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