New bird flu project focuses on world's poor farmers
A Â£3.9 million (US$7.8 million, €5.7 million) project has been launched to
help poor farmers in developing countries safeguard their livelihoods in the
event of future outbreaks of avian influenza.
The International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) and the
International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI) are jointly spearheading this
research in Ethiopia, Indonesia, Kenya, Mali and Nigeria. Experts will identify
strategies (such as farmer compensation schemes) that can control the disease
and protect poor households from losing critical sources of income. Funded by
the UK Department for International Development, the project will also involve
research in Cambodia, Thailand and Vietnam, where research will be led by the
Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations, the Royal Veterinary
College and the University of California at Berkeley.
"In both Asia and Africa, meat and eggs from poultry are important sources
of essential micronutrients for vulnerable groups, and poultry production is a
central source of income for billions of poor people," explained Dr Clare
Narrod, IFPRI research. "Our goal is to help developing-country governments,
civil society, and aid agencies make informed decisions so that the costs of
controlling avian flu do not fall disproportionately on the rural poor, who
consume their own poultry and rely on it for their livelihoods."
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