Launching workshop of new research initiative to address challenges facing Mali’s small ruminant value chain
Livestock farming is practiced by at least 80% of the rural population and plays a key role in Mali’s economy. It contributes about 12% to the country’s GDP. Approximately 85% of Malians own small ruminants, especially women. Unfortunately, low productivity and marketing constraints limit the ability of ruminant livestock to provide a secure livelihood. Over 30 million sheep and goats provide livelihoods for nearly 5 million Malians and food for millions of Senegalese, Guinean and Ivorian neighbours. Catalyzing the expansion of small ruminant livestock value chains in Mali will increase livelihoods, food security and nutrition for millions of Malians, especially women and youth.
As part of the One CGIAR 2030 research and Innovation Strategy, ‘Sustainable Animal Productivity for Livelihoods, Nutrition, and Gender Inclusion’ (SAPLING) is among 32 initiatives funded by One CGIAR designed to achieve a world with sustainable and resilient food, land and water systems to deliver more diverse, healthy, safe, sufficient and affordable diets, and to ensure improved livelihoods and greater social equality within planetary and regional environmental boundaries.
Seroprevalence of brucellosis in small ruminants and related risk behaviours among humans in different husbandry systems in Mali
Written by Souleymane Traoré, Richard B. Yapi, Kadiatou Coulibaly, Coletha Mathew, Gilbert Fokou, Rudovick R. Kazwala, Bassirou Bonfoh, and Rianatou Bada Alambedj
Mali has a high pastoral potential with diverse coexisting production systems ranging from traditional (nomadic, transhumant, sedentary) to commercial (fattening and dairy production) production systems. Each of those systems is characterised by close interactions between animals and humans, increasing the potential risk of transmission of zoonotic diseases. The nature of contact network suggests that the risks may vary according to species, production systems and behaviors. However, the study of the link between small ruminants and zoonotic diseases has received limited attention in Mali. The objective of this study was to assess brucellosis seroprevalence and determine how the husbandry systems and human behaviour expose animal and human to infection risk. A cross-sectional study using cluster sampling was conducted in three regions in Mali. Blood was collected from 860 small ruminants. The sera obtained were analysed using both Rose Bengal and cELISA tests. In addition, 119 farmers were interviewed using a structured questionnaire in order to identify the characteristics of farms as well as the risk behaviors of respondents. Husbandry systems were dominated by agro-pastoral systems followed by pastoral systems. The commercial farms (peri-urban and urban) represent a small proportion. Small ruminant individual seroprevalence was 4.1% [2.8–5.6% (95% CI)]. Herd seroprevalence was estimated at 25.2% [17.7–33.9% (95% CI)]. Peri-urban farming system was more affected with seroprevalence of 38.1% [18.1–61.5 (95% CI)], followed by pastoral farming system (24.3% [11.7–41.2 (95% CI)]). Identified risk behaviors of brucellosis transmission to animals were: exchange of reproductive males (30.2%); improper disposal of placentas in the farms (31.1%); and keeping aborted females in the herd (69.7%). For humans, risk factors were: close and prolonged contact with animals (51.2%); consumption of unpasteurized dairy products (26.9%); and assisting female animals during delivery without any protection (40.3%). This study observed a high seroprevalence of brucellosis in small ruminants and also identified risky practices that allow cross transmission between the two populations. This calls for control strategy using a multi-sectoral and multidimensional approach.
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