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Raising goats as adaptation process to long drought incidence at the Coastal Zone of Western Desert in Egypt

About-Naga A., Osman M.A., Alary V., Hassan F., Daoud I., Tourrand J.F.. 2014. Small Ruminant Research, 121 (1) : p. 106-110.

The Coastal Zone of Western Desert (CZWD) Egypt, extended from Alexandria East to Libyan border West, is a hot dry area of <150 mm annual rainfall; the area had faced 14 years of drought from 1995 to 2011. Field survey has been carried out with the Bedouins in the area to assess the effect of such long drought incidence on their socioeconomic vulnerability and livestock production systems, upon which they rely for sustaining their livelihood. The study covered 182 breeders during the Summer 2011, distributed over 3 agro-ecological zones; the rain-fed area (West), the new reclaimed land (East) and Siwa desert oasis (South). The breeders in the rain-fed area who were affected more by the incidence of drought, had to take some radical measures to cope with such prolonged drought. One of which is reducing their flock size from 201 heads, in average, by 1995 to 115 in 2011. Raising more goats was another means in their adaptive strategy to the incidence of long drought. Goat percent in the oasis flocks has been raised from 32 in 1995 to 56% in 2011, and in the rain-fed area from 20.7 to 22.5%. Twenty percent of the breeders in the oasis raised only goats. The situation differs in the new reclaimed lands, with the availability of the cultivated green fodder and crop residues, the breeders increased their flock size from 161 heads in 1995 to 234 in 2011, mostly from sheep. Goats contribute significantly to the nutritional status of the householders in the 3 agro ecological zones; in average family consumed 15% of their goats for the family meat requirement in the rain-fed and oasis areas. More than 50% of the cash income of the breeders in the rain-fed area during 2011 came from selling weaned kids and lambs, 62% in the oasis from early fattened kids and lambs, and 42% in the reclaimed land came from selling late fattening lambs. Raising goats seems to be an effective adaptive process to cope with the long drought incidence in the hot dry region. It contributes significantly to the nutritional status of the family, and an efficient source of income for the householders in the rain-fed area and desert oasis, but not in the reclaimed cultivated lands. (Résumé d'auteur)

Mots-clés : exploitation agricole familiale; système d'élevage; autoconsommation; effectif du cheptel; enquête sur exploitations agricoles; sécheresse; adaptation; caprin; Élevage; Égypte

Thématique : Elevage - Considérations générales; Météorologie et climatologie; Economie familiale et artisanale

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