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Extensive herding pastoral calendar in North-East Benin: A tool for cattle herd management Volume 23, issue 4, Octobre-Novembre-Décembre 2012

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Authors
UP/FA BP 789 Parakou Bénin, UAC/EPAC 01 BP 2009 Cotonou Bénin, UAC/FSA 01 BP 526 Cotonou Bénin, INRAB/CRA 01 BP 2359 Cotonou Bénin

The economic management of herds nowadays imposes development of policies articulated around the complex herd-environment. It is necessary to figure out how this complex functions, just as it is important for herders to seek harmony with their environment as a key objective for all stakeholders in this sector. The analysis of the environmental frame highlights some favourable conditions for the development of cattle herding. All cattle herders’ strategies should allow them enough space for their activity, whether at the level of their origin country or in neighbouring areas, which can be regional or national. Their behaviour also is established upon their fine knowledge of the vegetation in different parts of the pastoral lands and relies on indicators of fodder species availability according to seasons in North-East Benin and neighbouring regions. The vegetation units used as rangelands cover natural grasslands in savannas and woodlands. The temporal and spatial evaluation of the physical state of the herds and animals makes it possible for herders to build the itineraries of rangelands and to determine the convenient periods of their exploitation on the basis of the pastoral calendar.