Thursday, January 12, 2017

Do livestock keepers consume animal products?

There is an ongoing debate among us on whether a poor livestock keeper is more likely to consume animal sourced products. We always have the hypothesis that if the denomination of the animal product is small, for example an egg, or is separable, such as milk, poor livestock keeper will have an improved nutrition. But they will sell the whole animal and therefore not consume meat.

livestock keeper representing the livestock union

So on the last trip to Burkina Faso, we have asked the livestock keepers from the livestock union in Bama, about their consumption of milk and some breed experts.

We came up with the following rules rules :
  • sheep give milk but it is not consumed by human for cultural reason
  • goat breeds that give milk, milk is first given to the goat baby, if there is enough there there might be some home consumption
  • some goat breed, especially the smaller ones, do not give sufficient milk for home consumption
  • in traditional cattle breeding system, a cow that gives birth will produce milk, which is first given to the calf. If there is enough, the milk is consumed within the family and if there is even more then the milk is sold. 
  • there are also dairy farms. We could not figure out what is more important to them : home consumption for improved nutrition or milk sale for cash. Literature suggests that the more a livestock keeper is connected to market, the less there is a home consumption for his/her own production.

So we got interesting insights on how to link livestock ownership to nutritional benefits through animal sourced food. A linkage worth investigating more.

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