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CAB Reviews

A reviews journal covering agriculture, global health, nutrition, natural resources and veterinary science

CAB Review

Family poultry and food and nutrition security.


Family poultry production, which encompasses both extensive and small-scale intensive management systems, is practiced by many households in low-income food-deficit countries. Despite low production levels and potentially high losses due to disease, predation and theft, scavenging systems offer the advantage of requiring minimal land, labour and capital inputs. Human undernutrition remains a major public health challenge globally, contributing to over 3 million preventable maternal and child deaths each year. Animal source foods, including poultry (meat and organs) and eggs, can provide high-quality protein and micronutrients in bioavailable forms which, even in small quantities, substantially increase the nutrient adequacy of traditional diets based on staple crops. Women are recognized as key players in family poultry production systems and successful engagement with this sector should incorporate gender-sensitive approaches. It has been shown that agricultural interventions which target women are more likely to lead to positive nutritional outcomes. A multi-disciplinary research approach, multi-sectoral involvement within government institutions and the implementation of policies which target smallholder farmers is needed in order to maximize the potential impact of improvements to family poultry systems on food and nutritional security.

CAB Review details

  • History
  • Published: 17 June 2015
  • ISSN
  • 1749-8848
  • Publisher information
  • CABI Wallingford UK
  • Record Number
  • 20153183145