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Eggs indeed are relatively cheaper and ready-to-use high quality food for all ages. Consumption of eggs in rural population however, has decreased over last 3-4 decades, implying that 3/4th of world population has now limited access to this high quality food 'Capsule'. This decrease in consumption of egg can be attributed to:
i. Significant drop in backyard poultry farming- many of the rural poultry breeds have become extinct over time.
ii. Displacement of rural poultry by commercial farming.
iii. Lack of aesthetic taste in commercial eggs viz a viz backyard poultry eggs
iv. Cost of commercial eggs, as compared to 'home-grown' eggs- backyard farming produce
On the other hand, consumption of eggs has increased in urban settings, because of inter alia:
i. Readily available commercial eggs at relatively cheaper price, compared to backyard farming produce, which fetch higher price because of its aesthetic values (both taste and color).
ii. Use of eggs in multiple dishes and baking products.
Given that 3/4th of world population resides in rural areas, and that egg consumption has dropped in these areas, it could be one of the contributory factors towards growing malnutrition and consequent upon increased stunting among developing regions of the world.
'An egg a day' campaign in Schools and egg-based daily food supplementation for pregnant and lactating mothers can help improve the nutritional health especially of women and children.
Promotion of Good Poultry Husbandry Practices and value chain & SPS management can help contain the health risks associated with egg consumption.
Value chain development in egg sector can help reduce the cost of egg products, and increase in its consumption.
Manipulation of poultry feeding- through informed nutrition can help in mitigation of GHGs emission from factory poultry farming.
We can always help alleviate poverty, but its complete eradication is perhaps difficult, especially through agriculture alone, if not impossible, for many counts including inter alia:
i. Lack of distributive justice: People across the globe have unequal access to resources, including natural resources and access to opportunities that impact negatively on efforts to develop even societies.
ii. The inequities and inequalities in ranks of societies lead to unsustainable production & consumption that in turn set in a vicious circle of poverty, food insecurity, hunger & disease.
iii. One Size fit, exotic solutions offered by international players including the World Bank, IMF, WTO and others have led to lopsided development.
iv. Climate Change (CC) is further precipitating inequalities, as the poor are the one to bear the brunt of CC, being on front line.
We need to focus sharply at first instance to sustainable production and consumption, contain post-harvest losses, encouraging value added agriculture and promoting green technologies. Needless to mention that policy-deficit at global & national levels needs to be addressed and informed, evidence-based home-grown solutions need to be offered for poverty alleviation.
Impact of import surges on regional/national food secuity needs to be closely monitored and evidence-based informed policy choices be explored, to avail policy spaces including iner alia safeguards unde WTO Ageements.At the same time, poficiency in competitiveness needs to be developed, by investing/specialization in areas of comparative advantage, diversification of production & trade base, and standards' economy. Alongside these, value chain development & management and Sanitary & Phytosanitary (SPS) compliance can help leverage both tading opportunities alongside attainment of food security and thus SDGs.