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Management of natural forage resources and fires in the extensive livestock production systems in the natural savannahs of the humid tropical zone

Research project T4/DD/28 (Research action T4)

Persons :

Description :

The proposal is submitted in an optic of development of a tool for control on the savannah fires and natural resources management so that, on the one hand, it is optimal in livestock production terms and, on the other hand, it allows the control of the degradation (recent invasion by Chromolaena odorata) and the preservation of forage resources of an industrial cattle ranch for sustainable livestock production.

In the framework of a partnership between a private partner the Compagnie Jules VAN LANCKER and a research institution the Station de Haute Belgique (CRAGX), the project envisages to undertake the pilot study of a combined exploitation of satellite imagery data and a geographical information system for the typical case of the KOLO ranch, property of the Company and settled from a very long date in the region of Bas Congo (Congo - ex Zaire). A large ranch for which considering the current situation and the management difficulties it implies, such a step is of particular need.

To the solicitation of the Cie JVL, specifically researched goals are:

- To research satellite data exploitation models allowing to enhance the placement and the extent of the degraded zones, particularly the invasion by the Chromolaena odorata.

- To evaluate at the three fire key periods (February, June, September), the location and the effective extend of herbage post fire regrowth zones based on data issued from (SPOT-Landsat) satellite observations.

- To describe the exact paddock areas, the infrastructure and the existent vegetation types in a Geographic Information System.

- To describe the distribution of cattle across the territory and animal stocking rate of each paddock.

- To adapt existent climatic models predicting the daily grass regrowth to the vegetation types actually in place.

- To combine the different levels of information in the view to establish maps of stocking potential actualised according to the real state of the paddock.

- To deduce from this example a methodological approach of fire control and pastoral resources preservation that could be extrapolated to other Guinean savannahs exploited in the view of sustainable livestock production notably in traditional livestock farming systems.

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