The aim of this study is to characterize the perception of farmers, sheep farming practices and fluorosis mitigation strategies in three rural communes in Khouribga province, Morocco (M’Fassis, El Foqra and Oulad Azouz). Individual surveys and workshops were carried out in the three communes from June to August 2018. Farmers agree that the three communes were affected by fluorosis, but with variable degrees. Fluorosis had a negative impact on the sale price of animals which is depreciated by 20 to 40%. The most involved factors in fluorosis were the richness of the soil in phosphate, the dust released into the air and contaminated plants. Whereas, the drinking water and the camp site (El mergued) were not involved in this intoxication. Flock’s rearing practices are traditional and consist of raising all categories in a single herd without any prophylactic program whatever the category or a physiological stage was. The unique adopted strategy by farmers to cope with the harmful effects of fluorosis was the sale of young animals at 6-12 months and the purchase of rams and ewes (older than 24months) from fluoride free areas. In conclusion, even if the farmers in the south of Khouribga consider that fluorosis does not represent a problem for their flocks, it remained a real handicap to sheep farming. The animal trade was the only strategy adopted by breeders to cope with fluorosis.
*Original abstract online at http://www.afrimed.ma/index.php/AFRIMED/article/view/132
** Full article in French at http://www.afrimed.ma/index.php/AFRIMED/article/view/132/74