open access

Abstract

In Benin, goat farming is a key livelihood for farm households and is mainly practiced by smallholders. This study was conducted to characterize the production system of goat farms. A total of 496 farmers from the three climatic zones of the country were interviewed using a questionnaire. Descriptive statistics, chi-square test, Kendall's concordance test, factorial analysis of mixed data, and hierarchical cluster analysis on principal components were used for data analysis. Results show that income from the sale of livestock products is the primary objective of the farmers. The herd is dominated by adult females and future breeding does and bucks are selected based on their body conformation and the performance of their parents. The multivariate analyses revealed three distinct clusters. The two first is oriented towards meat production while the last one is oriented milk production. Such results can be used as a basis for programs to improve the productivity of goats and the living conditions of farmers.

Keywords: production system, typology, goat, Benin