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Collective livestock research for sustainable disease management in Mali and Burkina Faso

Liebenehm, Sabine, Affognon, Hippolyte, Waibel, Hermann
International journal of agricultural sustainability 2011 v.9 no.1 pp. 212-221
bovine trypanosomiasis, cattle, disease control, drug resistance, drugs, farmers, farms, trypanocides, Burkina Faso, Mali
An international multi-disciplinary team of scientists, led by the International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI), tackled the problem of bovine trypanosomosis and the development of drug resistance in West Africa, inter alia, by the promotion of rational drug use (RDU) principles. These principles had been brought to farmers by practical training and by the provision of information leaflets. This study aimed to evaluate the impact of RDU training at smallholder level with respect to advances in farmers' knowledge and farm productivity before research outputs could be scaled up. Therefore, 508 cattle farmers attended a disease-specific knowledge test and provided information about farm production. Results show that farmers who participated in the training are more likely to identify signs and causes of the disease and to correctly administer drugs. Allocating scores to each question in the knowledge tests and scrutinizing the differences between trained and untrained farmers by matching procedures shows that participating farmers reach higher scores in all knowledge categories. Moreover, the acquisition of additional knowledge and the application of improved control strategies significantly increase farm performance. Additionally, an allocative effect was identified since trypanocide expenditures were saved by less expensive inputs.