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Forum global sur la sécurité alimentaire et la nutrition • Forum FSN

Re: Eggs: harnessing their power for the fight against hunger and malnutrition

Akhila Vasan
Akhila VasanGMA Science and Education FoundationUnited States of America

Eggs (similar to milk) are nutritionally dense and can be affordable, thus supporting the goal of reducing food security.

1. Food Safety is a fundamental basis for ensuring access to safe eggs, so having proper procedures in place to prevent avian diseases as well as bacterial contamination should be addressed.

From the perspective of increasing access:

1. Both small holder farms/household farms as well as large scale in country producers can support access to eggs. With small scale and household farms, this can be a means of women's empowerment, and thus lead to a continuous resource. For large scale production, the government working together with private sector can produce subsidized eggs for those in need. Furthermore, children can gain access to eggs as a nutritionally dense food at mid-day meals or similar programs. This could also be an added benefit where children are more likely to attend school due to access to food (most likely their only meal for the day). In terms of trade, the political environment in the region will also need to be considered before developing the egg supply chain. An example of how the balance between large and small scale production can work, can be borrowed from the dairy industry. Small holders continue to produce milk but supply the milk to bulk tanks, and a similar model can also be used for eggs to support both small holder and larger scale operations. That would also ensure sustainability of the larger operations thus ensuring continued interest. If the model is not self-sustaining, it will fail.

2. To increase demand for eggs, incorporating cultural and flavor preferences and using the community (elders/leaders/religious heads) to support the initiative will help. Let's face it, eggs while nutritionally dense, can also be a blank slate for flavors.

3. Having different players at the table (PPP), and involving government, academia/NGOs/religious institutions, and industry (egg producers, chicken feed, etc.) to build the solution together will help ensure buy in. Initial seed funding, along with support from different stakeholders helps to ensure that the solution works for everyone AND is addressing the problem.