Rapid assessment of potential benefits to human health and nutrition from research on livestock and fish market chains in Asia and Africa


In developing countries, animal source foods support the nutrition and livelihoods of millions of rural and urban poor for whom livestock and fish value chains are also promising pathways out of poverty. Less attention has been given to the relation between animal source foods value chains and human health and nutrition, especially impacts of food-borne disease and nutritional security.

The CGIAR Research Program on Agriculture for Improved Nutrition and Health is developing an impact pathway by which agriculture can enhance nutrition and mitigate health risks through value chain research. This requires new tools and approaches to prioritize which can be applied to informal markets in which quality and safety are diverse and where there can be trade-offs between income, employment, nutritional benefits and disease risks.

For these informal and emerging value chains, market access and income are as much an objective as the quality and safety of foods produced and consumed. Key questions to be answered include:

  • Among the wide range of potential hazards associated with animal source foods products in informal systems, which are likely to have the greatest risks to human health?
  • Which have the most impact in terms of limiting the availability of food critical to the nutritional security of the poor and constraining development of the value chain, particularly livelihood opportunities of the poor who produce or handle those products?
  • What are the key constraints to supply and demand of safe and nutritious foods?
  • What are the potential health and nutrition benefits of research that seeks to overcome these risks and constraints?
Research objectives
  1. Development of tools and approaches for assessing value chains in relation to nutrition and health
  2. Assessment of food quality and safety research priorities in value chains with high potential for pro-poor transformation and of interest to the CGIAR and the Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research (ACIAR).

The value chains have been chosen for their ability to generate information to inform research and development. They are pig meat in Vietnam, dairy in Tanzania and fish in Egypt, together comprising one third of the value chains targeted by the CGIAR Research Program on Livestock and Fish.

Research partners

  • Central Laboratory for Aquaculture Research, Egypt
  • Sokoine University of Agriculture, Tanzania
  • Vietnam School of Public Health