Contribution of small ruminants to food security for Ethiopian smallholder farmers
Volume 184, March 2020, 106064
Hiwot Desta Wodajo, Biruk Alemu Gemeda, Wole Kinati, Annet Abenakyo Mulem, Anouka van Eerdewijk, Barbara Wieland
This study investigates how and to what extent arguments related to food security influence preference of livestock species for women and men. Data was collected in four regions of Ethiopia through 92 focus group discussions (FGD) in communities where small ruminant production is common, Using a gender sensitive study designs, 23 FGDs were held separately with men, women and youth (male and female), and through a household survey involving 217 male and 212 women. Qualitative analysis was conducted to extract reasons given to explain the importance of livestock. Reasons related to food security were mapped to the four dimensions underpinning food security—accessibility, availability, nutritional value and stability. All FGDs considered sheep the most important livestock species, followed by cattle, with women allocating higher scores to sheep than men. All four dimensions of food security came up in statements explaining the importance of species but with variations across species. Interestingly, food security related arguments were most prevalent for goats followed by poultry. Of reasons given by women concerning the importance of goats, 78 % were related to food security with all four dimensions represented, and 52 % for poultry with two dimensions (availability and nutritional value). Answers from men especially had a stronger focus on economic reasons directly linked to income generation. Nevertheless, 64 % of men’s arguments for goats were related to food security. For sheep however, women only scored higher for arguments related to availability. When investigating purpose of small ruminant production at household level through a household survey, the importance of small ruminants for food security were confirmed; however, gender differences were less apparent. Being able to sell animals at short notice was the main reason for keeping small ruminants for both women and men followed by meat and milk for home consumption. Women’s argument for prioritizing selling were accessibility. For men, key arguments for selling were related to availability. For meat and milk their nutritional value was an important argument. Comparing agroecologies, accessibility (selling) was ranked top in highland areas and nutritional value (milk) was most important in lowland areas. In conclusion, this study provides much needed evidence on how small ruminants contribute to different dimensions of food security and are promising entry points targeting women to improve food and nutritional security by providing adequate animal source foods in a household.
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George F W Haenlein
Nutrition & Food Science International Journal, Volume 2, Issue 4, February 2017
The worldwide distribution of goats was discussed leading to the justifiable assumption that more people drink goat milk or eat their products than any other milk after weaning from human nursing. Goats have had a superior growth rate in numbers compared to other milk producing domestic animals, especially in the developing countries with large population increases and high rates of undernutrition and malnutrition. Goat farming, especially with milking goats can be quite profitable regardless of country, if intensive types of management are practiced, leading to the prospect that for the increasing people populations there are increasing numbers of milk producing goats available to fight undernutrition and malnutrition. The choice for goat milk has at least three reasons,
Keywords: Dairy goats; Cow milk allergy; Alpha-s-2 casein; Medium chain fatty acids; Conjugated linoleic acid (CLA)
The International Goat Association promotes goat research and development for the benefit of humankind, to alleviate poverty, to promote prosperity and to improve the quality of life.