The role of camels as a lever enhancing the pastoral households resilience around N’Djamena (Chad) - INRAE - Institut national de recherche pour l’agriculture, l’alimentation et l’environnement Access content directly
Conference Papers Year : 2022

The role of camels as a lever enhancing the pastoral households resilience around N’Djamena (Chad)


The climatic conditions, the political instability and the 70s and 80s war upset the trajectories of pastoral households. Some pastoral households left Batha in central Chad to settle around N’Djamena. During this migration, they profoundly transformed their farming systems. Our goal is to show how the camel, a local animal resource, has been a lever of transformation of local production systems, with their resilience, robustness and adaptability. We rely on a survey conducted in 2018 among 173 households, randomly selected in the 27 camel pastoralists camps around N’Djamena, i.e. 10% of the households. These households have specialized in camel breeding at the expense of cattle breeding. Camels now represent 80% of the TLU. Previously, these households moved between an attachment site in the north of Batha during the rainy season, and a host site in the south during the dry season. For this long-distance mobility (~400 km), the whole household accompanied the herd. Today, they organised the mobility between three sites. In the dry season, the herds are split in two. The household keeps the lactating females around N’Djamena for milk sale as a young adult drives the rest of the animals to the south (up to 500 km). In the rainy season, camels cannot stay around N’Djamena due to sanitary constraints but also to land occupation by crops. The household and the whole herd go north (around 300 km). The well-known robustness of camels enables these mobilities over very long distances. The sale of milk was once considered a social taboo. Today, it is a major strategy for diversifying the pastoralists’ livelihoods. Milk remains a commodity for self-consumption, but it is also a major source of income. Forty-two percent of households generate a gross milk margin per worker greater than the minimum wage. The camel capacities to produce milk in the dry season (3 to 4 litres milked per female and per day) enabled this conversion to milk sale during the presence near the urban market of N’Djamena, on the contrary of cows for which the rainy season remains the most favourable to produce milk.


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Dates and versions

hal-03775225 , version 1 (12-09-2022)


  • HAL Id : hal-03775225 , version 1


M.A. Mahamat, Guillaume Duteurtre, M.O. Koussou, Charles-Henri Moulin. The role of camels as a lever enhancing the pastoral households resilience around N’Djamena (Chad). 73rd Annual Meeting of the European Federation of Animal Science, EAAP, Sep 2022, Porto, Portugal. ⟨hal-03775225⟩
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