Family poultry, food security and the impact of HPAI
World's Poultry Science Journal
Department of Animal Science, Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife 220005, Osun State, Nigeria
Most rural households have poultry cared for by women, children and vulnerable people - the aged and physically challenged. Family poultry generate 19-50% of rural family income, make up about 77% of the national flock and contribute about 98% of poultry products consumed in the villages of developing countries. Households that accept innovation for semi-scavenging poultry production usually increase weekly consumption of eggs and meat. The importance of family poultry in assisting the landless poor and the destitute is reflected in many national poverty reduction strategy programmes which identify family poultry as one of the keys to accomplishing the millennium development goal of reducing the number of poor by half before 2015. There are few other alternatives in the livestock sector that can be used to reach so many poor people in rural areas. Wherever HPAI occurs in family poultry, it will wipe out the contribution of family poultry to family food security and to family income. While compensation and restocking are important, the greatest need of smallholder poultry producers faced with the challenge of HPAI is for information, knowledge and training for HPAI-safe family poultry production.