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Investigation of the relationship between livestock value chains and nutritional status of women and children: a pilot study in Kenya


Barbara Haesler, Elaine Ferguson, Jonathan Rushton, Laura Cornelsen, Paula Dominguez-Salas




The livestock sector is rapidly growing in low and middle-income countries, providing opportunities for poverty alleviation and amelioration of nutrition. In poor urban areas, distribution and accessibility of good quality foods can be a challenge.

Project details

Animal source foods provide essential nutrients for health, but little is known about the impact of obtaining these livestock products from different value chains on nutritional status.

This one-year seed project aims to investigate the relationship between consumers’ access to and use of different food sources and their nutritional status, specifically in low-income households in Nairobi, Kenya.

It makes use of synergies with an ongoing interdisciplinary MRC-ESEI funded project called “Epidemiology, Ecology and Socio-Economics of Disease Emergence in Nairobi”, which investigates how new diseases develop and spread in an urban environment.

This project adds a nutrition component to the existing work thus broadening the scope of the research already being conducted.

The proposal was awarded a grant from the CGIAR Agriculture for Nutrition and Health (A4NH) Research Program (“Enhancing nutrition in value chains activities” component), and has received complementary funding from LCIRAH, the International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI) and MRC-ESEI. The nutrition data collected from consumers will be combined with descriptions of livestock value chains data collected in parallel.

This will help to understand whether people who consume certain livestock products as parts of their diets have a better nutritional status than others. These initial data will inform the development of a major research proposal on leveraging animal source foods for nutrition. Further, LCIRAH has provided support to collect data during the field work to investigate price elasticities for various poultry products, both from commercial and indigenous breeds. These data will be used to model future demand and consumption in relation to price changes for poultry. Results for this project are not available yet.

Collaborators: International Livestock Research Institute, University of Liverpool and University of Edinburgh