Livelihood, Food and Nutrition Security in Southern Africa: What Role Do Indigenous Cattle Genetic Resources Play?
Mapiye et al.
Of the 345 million people in the Southern African Development Community (SADC), 30.6% are severely food insecure, 8% malnourished and 50% live with less than US $1 per day, respectively. Livelihood, food and nutrition security have, therefore, become key priorities for the SADC region in response to these complex challenges. Given that 70% of the SADC population directly rely on agriculture for food, nutrition and income, sustained agricultural productivity may play an important role in achieving livelihood, food and nutrition security in the region. Being an important part of the agri-food system of marginalised communities in the region, cattle have great potential to contribute to the goal of reducing food and nutrition insecurity. The region has a population size of about 64 million cattle of which 75% of the population is kept under the smallholder farming systems, and primarily composed of indigenous tropical breeds. Most indigenous cattle breeds are, however, either undergoing rapid genetic dilution or at risk of extinction. At the same time, their environments, production and marketing systems are experiencing high rates of change in time and space. More importantly, indigenous cattle breeds in the region are undervalued. This makes it uncertain that future systems will have the adapted cattle breeds required for optimal livelihoods, food and nutrition security. To this end, the promotion of sustainable use of indigenous cattle for livelihood, food and nutrition security in the SADC region is strongly recommended.
Animal source foods: Sustainability problem or malnutrition and sustainability solution? Perspective matters
Adesogan et al.
Global food security, 2019
Globally, two billion people suffer from micronutrient deficiencies, 151 million children under five suffer from stunting, and millions more have impaired cognitive development related to poor nutrition. This is partly due to insufficient consumption of animal-sourced foods (ASF), which supply multiple bioavailable nutrients that are lacking in the cereal-based diets of the poor. Yet, reports like the one recently published by the EAT-Lancet Commission, solely focus on the threat of ASF consumption on sustainability and human health, overestimate and ignore the tremendous variability in the environmental impact of livestock production, and fail to adequately include the experience of marginalized women and children in low- and middle-income countries whose diets regularly lack the necessary nutrients. Yet animal-source foods have been described by the World Health Organization as the best source of high-quality nutrient-rich food for children aged 6–23 months. Livestock and ASF are vital to sustainability as they play a critical role in improving nutrition, reducing poverty, improving gender equity, improving livelihoods, increasing food security, and improving health. The nutritional needs of the world’s poor, particularly women and children, must be considered in sustainability debates
Leveraging human nutrition through livestock interventions: Perceptions, knowledge, barriers and opportunities in the Sahel
Dominguez-Salas et al.
ISI journal, 2019
There was agreement among stakeholders on the importance of livestock and ASF to improve human nutrition, and on the prominent disconnect whereby livestock interventions often neglect human nutritional goals, due to the complexity of impact pathways and the multiple roles of livestock in livelihoods.
Eggs in early complementary feeding and child growth: A randomized controlled trial
Ianotti et al.
RESULTS: Mothers or other caregivers reported no allergic reactions to the eggs. Generalized linear regression modeling showed the egg intervention increased length-for-age z score by 0.63 (95% confidence interval [CI], 0.38–0.88) and weight-for-age z score by 0.61 (95% CI, 0.45–0.77). Log-binomial models with robust Poisson indicated a reduced prevalence ofby 0.63 (95% confidence interval [CI], 0.38–0.88) and weight-for-age z score by 0.61 (95% CI, 0.45–0.77). Log-binomial models with robust Poisson indicated a reduced prevalence of stunting by 47% (prevalence ratio [PR], 0.53; 95% CI, 0.37–0.77) and underweight by 74% (PR, 0.26; 95% CI, 0.10–0.70). Children in the treatment group had higher dietary intakes of eggs (PR, 1.57; 95% CI, 1.28–1.92) and reduced intake of sugar-sweetened foods (PR, 0.71; 95% CI, 0.51–0.97) compared with control.
CONCLUSIONS: The findings supported our hypothesis that early introduction of eggs significantly improved growth in young children. Generally accessible to vulnerable groups, eggs have the potential to contribute to global targets to reduce stunting.
Baum et al.
Food and nutrition research, 2017
Methods: Children (ages 6–9; n = 241) were recruited from three different schools located throughout the Kitgum District of Uganda. All participants in the same school received the same dietary intervention: control (no eggs (0 eggs); n = 56), one egg five days per week (1 egg; n = 89), or two eggs five days per week (2 eggs; n = 96). Height, weight, tricep skinfold thickness (TSF), and mid-upper arm circumference (MUAC) were measured monthly over 6 months.Results: Following six months of egg supplementation, participants receiving 2 eggs had a greater increase in height and weight compared to the 0 eggs and 1 egg groups (P < 0.05). In addition, participants receiving 1 egg and 2 eggs had a significantly higher (P < 0.05) increase in MUAC at six months compared to 0 eggs.Conclusion: These results suggest that supplementation with eggs can improve parameters of growth in school-aged children participating in school feeding programs in rural Uganda.
The consequences of replacing wildlife with livestock in Africa
Hempson et al.
Nature scientific reports, 2017
Our analyses reveal pronounced herbivore biomass losses in wetter areas and substantial biomass increases and functional type turnover in arid regions. Fire prevalence is likely to have been altered over vast areas where grazer biomass has transitioned to above or below the threshold at which grass fuel reduction can suppress fire. Overall, shifts in the functional composition of herbivore communities promote an expansion of woody cover. Total herbivore methane emissions have more than doubled, but lateral nutrient diffusion capacity is below 5% of past levels. The release of fundamental ecological constraints on herbivore communities in arid regions appears to pose greater threats to ecosystem function than do biomass losses in mesic regions, where fire remains the major consumer.
Importance of Animals in Agricultural Sustainability and Food Security
Reynolds et al.
The Journal of Nutrition, 2015
A conservative projection shows the world’s population growing by 32% (to 9.5 billion) by 2050 and 53% (to 11 billion) by 2100 compared with its current level of 7.2 billion. Because most arable land worldwide is already in use, and water and energy also are limiting, increased production of food will require a substantial increase in efficiency. In this article, we highlight the importance of animals to achieving food security in terms of their valuable contributions to agricultural sustainability, especially in developing countries, and the high nutritional value of animal products in the diet.
Meat supplementation increases arm muscle area in Kenyan schoolchildren
Neumann et al.
British journal of nutrition, 2012
This randomised, controlled feeding intervention study was designed with three isoenergetic feeding interventions of meat, milk, and plain traditional vegetable stew (githeri), and a control group receiving no snack. A total of twelve elementary schools were randomly assigned to interventions, with three schools per group, and two cohorts of 518 and 392 schoolchildren were enrolled 1 year apart. Children in each cohort were given feedings at school and studied for three school terms per year over 2 years, a total of 9 months per year: cohort I from 1998 to 2000 and cohort II from 1999 to 2001. Food intake was assessed by 24 h recall every 1–2 months and biochemical analysis for micronutrient status conducted annually (in cohort I only). Anthropometric measurements included height, weight, triceps skinfold (TSF) and mid-upper-arm circumference (MUAC). Mid-upper-arm muscle area (MAMA) and mid-upper-arm fat area (MAFA) were calculated. The two cohorts were combined for analyses. The meat group showed the steepest rates of gain in MUAC and MAMA over time, and the milk group showed the next largest significant MUAC and MAMA gain compared with the plain githeri and control groups (P< 0·05). The meat group showed the least increase in TSF and MAFA of all groups. These findings have implications for increasing micronutrient intake and lean body mass in primary schoolchildren consuming vegetarian diets.
Milk Matters. A Literature Review of Pastoralist Nutrition and Programming Responses
Sadler et al, 2009
This review highlights the ongoing problem of child malnutrition in pastoral areas of sub-Saharan Africa, particularly during drought years when access to milk is significantly reduced. It discusses the importance of milk and milk products in the diets of pastoralists and the critical contribution it makes to improving dietary quality for women and young children. There are many challenges however to ensuring a sufficient and constant supply of milk in pastoral communities. These include the impact that more frequent drought and animal disease has on milk supply and the increasing trend of settlement and commercialization in some areas.
Meat Supplementation Improves Growth, Cognitive, and Behavioral Outcomes in Kenyan Children
Neumann et al.
The journal of nutrition, 2007
Findings from the 3-country Nutrition Collaborative Research Support Program (NCRSP) study in Egypt, Kenya, and Mexico during the mid 1980s stimulated the study reported here. The NCRSP longitudinal observational study of “energy intake and human function” found positive associations between meat intake and physical growth, cognitive function, school performance, physical activity, and social behaviors, particularly in the Kenya study.
[…]This is the first randomized, controlled feeding intervention study with meat supplementation to show a causal set of positive relationships between meat and milk intake and important functional outcomes in children: improved cognitive performance; increased high levels of PA; increased initiative and leadership behaviors; and increased MAMA. Milk supplementation resulted in improved linear growth in younger and already stunted children. Compared with the Control group, all supplemented groups improved overall weight gain, suggesting a chronic energy deficit and inadequate energy intake for any catch-up growth.
Livestock – a driving force for food security and sustainable development
« Development will bring food security only if it is people-centred, if it is environmentally sound, if it is participatory, and if it builds local and national capacity for self-reliance. These are the basic characteristics of sustainable human development. »- James Gustave Speltz (UNDP, 1994)