Livestock in Niger has great potentials. If well managed, this sector can significantly improve food security and boost poverty alleviation in the population. In order to encourage the development of local milk production in Liptako Gourma, the present study was undertaken to identify constraints related to milk production in the area. A questionnaire based survey was conducted to collect data from 360 dairy farmers. The study revealed that Liptako Gourma harbours a diversified cattle population comprised of 83.3% of Djelli in Niamey, 69.8% of Peul Zebus and 55.8% of Azawak in Tillaberi and 20.0% of Goudali in Dosso. The workhands is mainly constituted of Fulani farmers (77.3 ± 5.0% in Tillaberi) and Zarma agro- farmers (33.3 ± 16.8% in Niamey). They have traditional skills in milk production technology. The study also showed that animals’ feeding is highly dependent on seasonality. The most prevalent animal diseases were fasciolosis (55.0, 36.6 and 51.7%, in Dosso, Tillaberi and Niamey, respectively), bezoars (15.0, 60.0 and 12.8% in Dosso, Tillaberi and Niamey, respectively) and respiratory problems (46.6, 40.0 and 35.8% in Dosso, Tillaberi and Niamey, respectively). The low level of education of farmers which is, for example, 16.2 ± 4.4% in Tillaberi, the low level of investment, the poor hygienic practices and difficulties associated with milk conservation and sale constitutes further constraints that thwart the development of the dairy sector. Findings of this study call for technical supports from veterinarians and hygiene services to dairy farmers so as to significantly control the aforementioned constraints.
Key words: Local milk, Liptako Gourma, Niger, milk valorisation, production constraints.
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