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Opportunities and challenges of diversified crop-livestock system in new reclaimed lands

Aboul Naga A.M., Alary V., Osman M.A., Juanès X.. 2016. In : Book of Abstracts of the 67th Annual Meeting of the European Association for Animal Production. Wageningen : Wageningen Academic Publishers, p. 156. Annual Meeting of the European Federation of Animal Science. 67, 2016-08-29/2016-09-02, Belfast (Irlande).

ln 2013-14, a farm survey was conducted over 175 small-scale farms to assess the level of diversification and integration of crop-livestock activities in the new reclaimed land (NRL) of Egypt, over a gradient of land reclamation from 1960-2010. In the first years of settlement, crop-livestock systems were mainly developed according to soil type, water availability, accumulated experience and lesson learned from neighbors. Mostly the crop system based on traditional crops; wheat and berseem in the Winter and maize, and vegetable (beanuts and potato) in the Summer. Berseem and maize were for animal fee ding. Livestock included large ruminants (buffaloes and cattle) for milk and meat and small ruminants as a cash flow complement and for social and religious events. ln the areas where common beneficiaries farmers are dominant, they continue to allocate 30-50% of the land to fodder crops. Besides, 46% of university graduates, have rep laced their traditional crop system with fruit tree plantations (mainly oranges); they reduced significantly their livestock activity, as soon as they started to collect fruits; livestock having been the main financial basis for the development of tree systems. The new opportunities of diversification of the crop system through trees in the NRL have supplanted the livestock activity, considered it as a labor intensive activity for graduates, with economic constraint related to feed costs and health issues. ln parallel, the diversification through livestock activities remains a major pillar of farm sustainability for common beneficiaries, in order to face the problems of water availability, and to maintain soil fertility. Behind these different strategies, different challenges can be observed: increase farm income or/and reduce family labor load and/or reduce water and soil risks at the local level. The farm survey shows that the different scale challenges evolve during the settlement according to farm land tenure, past experience and level of education.

Mots-clés : système agrosylvopastoral; conservation de l'eau; diversification; gestion des ressources naturelles; système de culture; agroécosystème; Égypte

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