Region: Sétif (high plain area) / Stif, Algeria
Climate, geography, and demographics:
• 6 504 km2
• Dry Mediterranean climate (hot, dry summer / cool, wet winter)
• 400 mm yearly rainfall, frost and snow in January
• Average monthly temperatures exceed 40 °C in July and August while in winter, monthly average temperatures can drop to 4 ºC.
• 900–2000 m a.s.l.
• Rangelands are annual fallow (stubble), permanent grasslands in wet areas (restricted), collective semi-mountainous or forest pastures
• Population ~1.5 million (2008). Farm size typically < 10 ha
• 80% of farms private / 20% public (public owns “better” lands)
• Three geomorphological zones in Sétif:
– North, a mountainous zone including the Babors (2000 m) and Bibans mountains (1600 m)
– High plains, a huge, relatively flat expanse with altitude of 900–1000 m
– South, with altitude varying between 500–1000 m
Pastoral activities, products and services: Main products of APS systems are cereals and fallow (mostly sheep). Sheep are kept indoors in housing systems only Jan – Feb, graze outdoors for 10-12 months. Dairy production is mainly supported by forage and a high level of concentrate.
Typical pastoral communities are in mountain areas and on fallow. Prominent services include food (milk, meat), manure, traditional knowledge, and tourism (landscape preservation).
History and context of current challenges: The current trend is moving toward small-size livestock-polyculture farms with more cultivated fodder and less access to collective rangelands. Livestock dairy systems are developing in favorable zones, while sheep herds are less developed and are being pushed increasingly into unfavorable (arid) zones; this is due to public subsidies for the dairy sector. Grazing has been very important but is now very restricted under crop pressure, and as a result APS are in a very unstable phase.
In this CS, the livestock research team is addressing issues of mutations of farming systems under pressures of population growth, changes to food requirements, decreasing structure of farm economics, and policy/governance issues. Further, ecosystem services are not typically promoted in Algeria. This project will test a methodological approach to measure and improve the provision of ES