CIFOR–ICRAF publishes over 750 publications every year on agroforestry, forests and climate change, landscape restoration, rights, forest policy and much more – in multiple languages.

CIFOR–ICRAF addresses local challenges and opportunities while providing solutions to global problems for forests, landscapes, people and the planet.

We deliver actionable evidence and solutions to transform how land is used and how food is produced: conserving and restoring ecosystems, responding to the global climate, malnutrition, biodiversity and desertification crises. In short, improving people’s lives.

Some suitable grasses and legumes for ley pastures in Sudanian Africa: the case of the Borgou region in Benin

Export citation

In Sudanian region of Africa, agricultural systems are under increasing pressure because of human and animal population growth, climate changes, extensive practises, decreasing prices for cash crops, etc. Possibilities of intensification in smallholder fanning systems of the Borgou region in Benin are limited due to difficulties to pay for external inputs. Therefore, rural communities rely heavily on low input technologies to increase crop production and animal feed. Cultivated forages are of better-feed quality for ruminants compared to weed fallows. Their integration in cropping system through ley pastures has the potential to increase not only animal feed availability but also to improve soil fertility. This paper reviews some possible grass and legume species that can be used for that purpose with a special focus on the strengths and weaknesses of the species in terms of soil and climate suitability, forage production, nutritive value and soil fertility restoration. The choice of one or several among them as leys in pure stands or mixed forage crops must be taken carefully considering the balance between advantages and disadvantages of the species, the available financial and technical inputs and the adaptation to the local environment.

Related publications