Livestock, nutrient cycling, and sustainable agriculture in the West African Sahel
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This paper addresses the issue of nutrient cycling by livestock in the West African Sahel. Its basic premise is that an efficient cycling of nutrients between soils, crops and livestock is vital to the sustained productivity of farming systems in the Sahel. It reviews traditional linkages between ruminant livestock (cattle, sheep and goats) and soil productivity, and assesses the adequacy of such practices in light of changes taking place in the region. It concludes by suggesting ways in which nutrient cycling could be improved and made part of a broader strategy to enhance sustainable crop-livestock production in the West African Sahel.