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Rural Poultry Essential for Resource-poor Farmers

06 January 2014

GLOBAL - The Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) has compiled a new report, which focuses on the socio-economic benefits of poultry farming in developing countries and issues such as breeding, feeding, health, housing and welfare.

The new FAO report, entitled Poultry Development Review, states that the poultry sector is possibly the fastest growing and most flexible of all livestock sectors. Driven primarily by very strong demand it has expanded, consolidated and globalised over the past 15 years in countries of all income levels.

Livestock are fundamental to the livelihoods of about one billion of the world’s poorest people.

Rural poultry, in particular, are essential for the livelihood of many resource-poor farmers, often being the only asset they possess. It makes up about 80 per cent of poultry stocks in low-income food-deficit countries and significantly contributes to:

  1. improving human nutrition, providing food (eggs and meat) with high quality nutrients and micronutrients
  2. generating a small income and savings, especially for women, thus enhancing the capacity to cope with shocks and reducing economic vulnerability
  3. providing manure for vegetable garden and crop production.

The importance of the socio-cultural and religious functions of village poultry production for smallholder livelihoods, beyond its economic or nutritional importance, is also widely recognised.

FAO says the publication is a collection of short articles that give an overview of the benefits of poultry products and information about different aspects of their production. The articles are primarily written to provide information for a general audience rather than for technical experts in the concerned fields of specialisation.

Originally prepared as separate articles in 2011 for the FAO poultry production web site, they are compiled in this document for easy access and reference.

The report includes the following sections:

  • Role of poultry in human nutrition
  • Poultry and poultry products - risks for human health
  • Poultry housing and management in developing countries
  • Poultry waste management in developing countries
  • Poultry feed availability and nutrition in developing countries
  • Poultry genetics and breeding in developing countries
  • Poultry health and disease control in developing countries
  • Poultry welfare in developing countries

Original source: FAO report -

Jackie Linden

Jackie Linden

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