Chad: Livestock diversification helps to combat food insecurity
A successful pilot project
10 May 2004, Rome -- In Chad, a successful FAO pilot project has demonstrated the potential of livestock diversification as a means of improving household food security and increasing poor farmers' income.
Food security is both sufficient food intake at the individual level, and food availability at the national level. It can be achieved when poor and vulnerable people have physical and economic access to food, and when households have a sustainable livelihood basis.
The livestock diversification project in the N'Djamena area, associated with the FAO Special Programme for Food Security (SPFS), will be presented by FAO expert Emmanuelle Guerne Bleich at the World Poultry Congress (8-13 June 2004, Istanbul/Turkey).
Diversification of production systems in the SPFS includes aquaculture, small animal husbandry (poultry, sheep, goats, pigs, etc.) and tree crops. In the case of Chad it is related to small animal husbandry utilizing indigenous breeds.
The SPFS was launched by FAO in 1994 with the aim of helping Low-Income and Food-Deficit Countries (LIFDCs) improve their food security both at national and at household level.
A model for SPFS programmes
"Since being launched in November 2000, the FAO project in Chad has improved household food security by offering to poor farmers access to credit, goods and services and markets. It has become a model for SPFS programmes elsewhere in sub-Saharan Africa," Ms Guerne Bleich said.
"High rates of mortality due to Newcastle disease, especially with chickens, were identified as a major cause of low productivity.
To overcome this constraint, in consultation with the beneficiaries, the project included vaccination training for animal health workers at village level to prevent the spread of the disease," the FAO expert also said.
Newcastle Disease is caused by a highly pathogenic virus that can kill up to 80 per cent of flocks in rural areas in Africa and Asia.
The pilot project in Chad helped the households involved in its implementation to improve their living conditions through access to poultry (chickens, ducks and guinea fowl), credit and animal health care, staff and farmer training, and improved animal husbandry practices.
Household food security in the N'Djamena area has greatly improved due to the contribution of poultry
Women and young people
Income generation for women and young people in the selected villages was also a major achievement of the project.
Solutions still need to be found for producers from more remote rural areas who lack resources and have poorer access to goods and services and, importantly, a market.
The project was positively received by a number of donors. In Chad, a large UNDP project is now being implemented using the model developed by FAO.
In Mali, Burkina Faso, Niger, Togo and Cameroon, similar approaches are being developed that take account of each country's circumstances and include other species, such as pigs, rabbits and guinea pigs.
Information Officer, FAO
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