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Cecchi G.,the United Nations FAO | Wint W.,Environmental Research Group Oxford ERGO | Shaw A.,A P Consultants | Marletta A.,the United Nations FAO | And 3 more authors.
Agriculture, Ecosystems and Environment | Year: 2010

The central role played by livestock in the livelihoods of rural households in the developing world is seldom fully appreciated by policy makers, development agencies and donors. Knowledge gaps in the geographic distribution and environmental determinants of farming systems, especially if viewed through the livestock lens, compound this problem. We have produced a map of pastoral, agro-pastoral and mixed farming systems across Eastern Africa, by analysing datasets collected in the framework of livelihood analysis. Input data were gathered between 2000 and 2007 by various emergency and development agencies for Djibouti, Eritrea, Kenya, Somalia, Uganda and parts of Ethiopia and Sudan. A quantitative definition of the production systems is adopted, based on the ratio of livestock- to crop-derived income. The resulting livelihood-based map of livestock production systems was compared through correspondence analysis to an alternative livestock production systems map, produced independently from environmental data. Convergence between the two mapping approaches was evident. The geographic distribution of the livestock production systems was also modelled using multivariate analysis of remotely sensed and other geospatial datasets. Models show high statistical accuracy, and were thus used to fill the gaps in the observed distribution of livestock production systems. Finally, selected environmental factors underpinning the systems (agro-climatology, human and livestock populations and land cover) were analysed in detail, enabling the livestock production systems to be characterized in terms of them. The regional scope of the map, as well as its direct link with a vast amount of livelihood information, render it a valuable tool for a range of development and research applications, including those related to global change. © 2009 Giuliano Cecchi.

Nurhasan M.,University of Tromsø | Maehre H.K.,University of Tromsø | Malde M.K.,National Institute of Nutrition And Seafood Research | Stormo S.K.,University of Tromsø | And 3 more authors.
Journal of Food Composition and Analysis | Year: 2010

The population of Laos PDR has increased rapidly in recent years, reaching 2.5% per annum. This growth threatens food security, which in Asia is often equated with rice production. The country has to feed almost 50% more people now than 16 years ago. The role of aquatic rice field species in rural Laotian diets has been underestimated, as almost 200 species are consumed, supplying a range of nutrients needed by the villagers. Nevertheless, national and regional food composition databases contain limited information on the nutritional composition of these species. Field sampling was undertaken in Champasak and Savannakhet provinces for nine species of aquatic animals, including fish, amphibians, crustaceans, molluscs and insects. Four samples of fermented fish products were included. The objective was to gain knowledge on the nutritional composition of the aquatic species included in Laotian diets. The aquatic animals consumed on a daily basis contained high amounts of protein (11.6-19.7% for fish, crustaceans, molluscs, amphibians and insects and 3.3-7.8% for fermented fish), and a generally acceptable essential amino acid profile. They were also excellent sources of calcium, iron and zinc. However, they had low contents of fat (0.1-4.6%), fatty acids and vitamin A. Essential amino acids, iron and zinc are nutrients that are scarce in rural Laotian diets. As the food supply of rural households in rice farming areas of Laos is critically dependent on the environment, the sustainable existence of the rice field aquatic animals is a crucial factor for the nutritional status of the Laotians. © 2010.

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