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Cattle rearing in humid west Africa was nearly impossible in the past owing to the prevalence of trypanosomiasis, a disease caused by the tsetse fly. However, in recent times, with population pressure, jungle clearance, crop cultivation and tsetse control measures, the challenge has been reduced. Consequently there has been an influx of transhumant cattle rearers who used to visit the zone for dry season grazing and return to the safer sub-humid and semiarid zones in the wet season. An increasing number of them have begun to settle in the humid zone and are adopting crop-livestock mixed farming. There is also a tendency among some local crop farmers to adopt livestock in the farming systems. Consequently new farming systems are evolving in the zone. The potential of this evolving farming system and its implications for systems oriented research by national and international centres are examined.


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