Contributions of livestock-derived foods to nutrient supply under changing demand in low- and middle-income countries
This paper (PDF) in the Global Food Security Journal assesses the contribution of livestock to the food and nutrient supply of low- and middle-income countries (LMICs) by presenting a case study of eight countries. The potential to use large-scale dietary transformations to meet nutritional needs of the world’s poorest populations may have been largely overlooked. For almost all the countries and under a range of scenarios of economic and climatic change in 2050, it is found that per capita protein supply from livestock-derived food (LDF) will increase relative to that from plant sources. Survey data indicate higher LDF consumption, up to 22%, among children in households that keep livestock compared to others. However, projections that four of the selected countries will import at least 40% of their LDF protein highlight the opportunity to increase livestock sector production and the potential to develop smallholder inclusive policies. Household level data reviewed alongside the scenario analyses revealed incentives for promoting smallholder involvement in future production of livestock, showing that countries in the study may find it useful to boost investments in local production to meet future demand for LDF and nutrients, take advantage of livelihood opportunities for smallholder producers of livestock, and improve the nutrition of poorer populations. Dairy and poultry production offered the highest potential for channelling livelihood benefits and key food nutrient supplies to the poor, but specific interventions, including possibly, those that go beyond the sector (e.g., education, sanitation), will need to be more rigorously assessed to better quantify livestock’s future role in the food security of LMICs.