Contributions of livestock-derived foods to nutrient supply under changing demand in low- and middle-income countries
This article (PDF) in the Global Food Security journal presents a case study of food nutrient supplies in eight selected countries within the context of their growing demand for livestock-derived food (LDF). Results show that supply of LDF grows substantially and relative to other food groups in at least four of the countries. Under alternative scenarios of economic or environmental change, up to four of the study countries are found to be heavily dependent on LDF imports in 2050, underscoring motivation to improve the current productivity and production of LDF in these countries, or improve cross-border livestock markets and food distribution networks. Projections of the future demand for LDFs in countries such as Burkina Faso and Tanzania, are however highly variable, with implications for policy. These countries may need to approach market-based programs and policies for livestock sector development more cautiously. Household level data reviewed revealed incentives for promoting smallholder involvement in future production of livestock, showing that countries 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. This study picked up on effects of a large-scale intervention to improve poultry ownership in Uganda, and by extension improvements in the diets of children in poor households. However, more robust data and analysis is needed to better establish these links, and to contribute to current debate on how livestock asset endowments match up against other interventions, including cash transfers to the poor.Dairy and poultry production offered the highest potential for channeling livelihood benefits and key food nutrient supplies to the poor, but specific interventions, including 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.