Small-scale poultry and food security in resource-poor settings
This article (PDF) in the Global Food Security Journal reviews how small-scale poultry contributes to improved household food and nutrition security. Small-scale poultry production systems are mostly found in rural, resource-poor areas that also experience food insecurity. Poultry systems are accessible to vulnerable groups of society, and provide households with income and nutritionally-rich food sources. It also improves food security in indirect ways, through enhancing nutrient utilization and recycling in the environment, contributing to women’s empowerment, and enabling access to healthcare and education. In extensive small-scale poultry production systems, significant impediments to achieving these contributions are disease and predation. Additionally, feed price fluctuations and inadequate bio-security are major constraints. To successfully address these barriers, management practices need to be assessed for local sustainability, cost-effectiveness and the greater involvement of women. The barriers can be reduced through improved agricultural and livestock extension and community animal health networks. Finally, small-scale poultry may contribute to several of the Sustainable Development Goals, and to future food security through maintaining bio-diverse genomes. According to the authors, small-scale poultry’s value as a rich source of genetic biodiversity, and its potential to contribute to sustainable development should stimulate investments in the protection and conservation of local breeds kept in small-scale poultry systems.