In sub-Saharan Africa (SSA), the association of crops and livestock in mixed farming systems generally benefits both enterprises. This paper focuses on the main contributions of livestock to crop production: the use of manure and animal draught power to produce crops and the investment of income from livestock into technologies that benefit crop production. In low-input, grazing-based feeding operations, manure is a vital soil fertility amendment. In these systems, penning livestock overnight on fields, fallow between cropping periods, returns both manure and urine to the soil and results in much higher crop yields than if manure only is gathered from stalls and spread onto fields. However, most farmers have insufficient manure to sustain food production. Nutrient harvests often exceed nutrient inputs, requiring a much greater use of fertilizers to arrest soil nutrient depletion. The opposite may be true for mixed farming where livestock are given food in confinement. In these emerging systems, the continuous importation of food (and fertilizer) can result in nutrient surpluses with subsequent soil nutrient build-up and loss. The contribution of animal power to crop production is relatively new in Africa. Animal power affects the amount of land cultivated by farmers, crop selection, the yield per farm and per ha, and on the participation and work load of people (family members and outside labour) involved in crop production and its associated activities. In addition to the impacts of manure and draught power on crop production, income derived from livestock is often invested in inputs that enhance crop production. At the ‘micro’ level, livestock income influences crop production (1) directly by allowing households to invest in productive inputs such as fertilizer, hired labour, and carts and (2) indirectly by allowing poor households to improve their nutritional status and, therefore, the productivity of their most important resource, their own labour. At the ‘macro’ level, increased livestock exports have a large stimulating effect on the demand for locally produced goods and services, particularly basic food crops. Thus, increasing the productivity of the livestock sector, including an emphasis on the policy and institutional environment influencing marketing and trade, is an important element of a development strategy focused on stimulating economic growth and alleviating poverty.