The study area La commune rurale de Gouroual is found on the extreme South West of Niger, bordering Burkina Faso to the West and Mali on the North. The main socio-economic activities in the zone are crop farming, livestock rearing, trade and handicrafts. It is extensively used for pastoral livestock rearing with 3 main systems i.e. nomadic, transhumant & agro-pastoralist. Crop farming is in 2 forms i.e. rainfed cropping with millet, sorghum and cowpea as the main cash crops; and market gardening which generally produces irrigated or recession crops around surface water courses. There has been an increase in the diversity & herds in livestock rearing systems i.e. cattle, sheep, goat and camel breeds, etc, over the past few decades, but livestock productivity is below the potential level due to the persistent epizootic diseases, shrinking or even encroached grasslands for crop farming, difficult access/insufficient to water points and grasslands due to the lack of passage corridors; and low access to zoo-technical inputs such as cattle feed banks
The study area covers the communes of Mogtedo (25 villages) and Boudri (more than 69 villages) located in the Sudanian zone in the Central Plateau Region of Burkina Faso with pastoral zones Gadghin & Mankarga found among the 2 respective communes. The main activities are agriculture and animal husbandry. Other activities such as handicraft and gold panning.
Area: 3,462 Km2.
Climate: Climate zone is arid tropical with an approximate 406mm of rainfall per year with peak rains in July & August.