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Dairying by settled Fulani women in central Nigeria and some implications for dairy development

Research reports

According to studies on the contribution of women to the pastoral economy of the semi-nomadic Fulani, milk --either consumed at home or exchanged for grain --was the main source of subsistence. Women are responsible for milking, processing and marketing milk, and for obtaining grain for family consumption.

Most Fulani cattle-keepers in Nigeria have settled or practise transhumance from a fixed home base. With tsetse fly reduced in parts of the subhumid zone as a result of increased land clearing for farming, wildlife hunting and chemical control, these areas offer relatively favourable conditions for year-round cattle keeping. In the last few decades, an increasing number of Fulani have been moving into and settling in the subhumid zone, usually close to or in the midst of crop farming communities. Most of the Fulani have also taken up farming, but their cattle herds remain their major source of livelihood. Cattle and dairy products are sold to traders and farmers in the zone, the majority of whom do not keep cattle.

Ann Waters-Bayer