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Assessing the diversity of preferences of suburban smallholder sheep keepers for breeding rams in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso

Tindano, K., Moula, N., Traoré, A., Leroy, P., Antoine-Moussiaux, N.
Tropical animal health and production 2017 v.49 no.6 pp. 1187-1193
adhesion, animal genetic resources, body size, color, crossing, decision making, developing countries, disease resistance, farmers, genetic improvement, herds, markets, pastures, rams, surveys, urbanization, willingness to pay, Burkina Faso
Urbanisation in developing countries entails deep changes in the livestock sector and the management of animal genetic resources (AnGR). Sheep breeding around Ouagadougou (Burkina Faso) illustrates these changes and the need to coordinate genetic improvement in general and the use of crossbreeding in particular. For this, it is important to understand breeders’ choices and improvement strategy, to accompany them within a national plan for AnGR management. In a context of missing market for breeding rams, a stated choice experiment was conducted with 137 farmers, together with a characterisation of herd management practices. This survey analyses farmers’ preferences for breeding rams, estimating their willingness to pay (WTP) for different traits (attributes). Their practices were characterised by a high reliance on natural pastures (82% of farmers) and a minority of crossbreeding (23%). The highest WTP was observed for disease resistance. However, the subgroup of farmers practicing crossbreeding showed a tolerance to high susceptibility. A strong preference for the white colour was revealed. Although significant, the influence of sheep body size on decision-making showed a lesser importance, again with a distinct behaviour in the subgroup practicing crossbreeding. These results illustrate the need to take account of the diversity of goals and preferences among smallholder sheep keepers to gain their adhesion to a coordinated genetic improvement framework.