Get the CIFOR publications update

CIFOR publishes over 400 publications every year on forests and climate change, landscape restoration, rights, forest policy, agroforestry and much more in multiple languages.

Integrating crop and livestock in smallholder production systems for food security and poverty reduction in sub-Saharan Africa

Integrating crop and livestock in smallholder production systems for food security and poverty reduction in sub-Saharan Africa

The resource base that ensures food supply and the socio-economic component which depends on this resource base are the two major components that make up the food system in sub-Saharan Africa. The sequence of the food system is organized in a spatial flow framework of biomass base. The components of rural production system consist of food production biomass at homestead and farm level, and often at the communal base non-food production lands. The degree of integration between these resources base determines flows such as material cycle, energy, food and cash, and influences how the entire production system needs to be managed. The management system influences resource use efficiency and economic returns at different levels, at individual household, communities, and national levels. Efforts to developing agriculture and reducing poverty remained sectoral and focused mainly on a specific crop or individual animal level, failed to see interconnections among sub-systems and across space and time. The concept of the integrated food system has not been adequately adopted, in many sub-Saharan African countries and the agricultural system in the region continues to exhibit a low level of productivity and resource use efficiency. Hence, food insecurity and poverty remained high among smallholder farming communities producing crop and livestock despite the availability of arable land and abundance of another natural resource. This review focuses on the significance of integrated crop-livestock system in the tropics and suggests a framework to begin understanding and addressing complex problems in smallholders’ production system.

Authors: Amejo, A.G.; Gebere, Y.M.; Kassa, H.

Topic: food security, livestock, Biomass production, crops, small scale farming, poverty

Geographic: Africa

Publication Year: 2018

ISSN: 1991-637X

Source: African Journal of Agricultural Research 13(25): 1272-1282


Creative Commons License

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

Altmetric score:

Download Option:

Export Citation

Related viewing


CIFOR website usability survey

We're conducting research on our website and we'd love to hear from you about your experience on This will help us make improvements and prioritize new features. The survey should only take 5 minutes, and your responses are completely anonymous.

If you have any questions about the survey, please email us:

We really appreciate your input!

Start survey
I don’t want to participate
Remind me later