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Scale, skill and sustainable livelihoods – participatory approaches to improving poultry production in periurban communities: evidence from South Africa

Authors:

M. Alderson ,

Tessedik Samuel College, HU
About M.
Tessedik Samuel College, Szarvas, H-5541
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J. W. Jordaan

Mandela Metropolitan University, ZA
About J. W.
Mandela Metropolitan University, Saasveld Campus, Private Bag X 6531, George, 6530
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Abstract

Poverty and food insecurity are widespread in developing countries around the world. Sub-Saharan Africa which accounts for approximately one quarter of the world’s poor has acute food insecurity in Central, East and Southern Africa. Poverty has multiple dimensions characterised by the inability of individuals, households or entire communities to access sufficient assets to sustain a socially acceptable standard of living. By improving their asset status households can become more resilient to external shocks through increased options for livelihoods. This paper examines the scaling-up of traditional family poultry systems as a possible livelihood strategy to reduce poverty and food insecurity in peri-urban communities in South Africa. Participative action research methodologies revealed small-scale broiler enterprises as the preferred poultry system. Through business incubation, trainee entrepreneurs from the community demonstrated abilities to manage scaled-up broiler systems profitably over four successive cycles of production and marketing. Participation in the broiler enterprise enabled entrepreneurs to accumulate a range of assets which contributed to improving their income and food security status. Improvements in household food security were achieved directly through the increased availability of poultry meat and indirectly through increased cash incomes to acquire other foodstuffs. At the community level, localised benefits included the increased availability of fresh poultry meat and the income effects derived from more competitive retail pricing. The paper concludes that further research is required to determine the viability of different scales of production that could be managed within the framework of local culture and access to resources.
How to Cite: Alderson, M. & Jordaan, J.W., (2007). Scale, skill and sustainable livelihoods – participatory approaches to improving poultry production in periurban communities: evidence from South Africa. Journal of Agricultural Sciences. 3(1), pp.13–23. DOI: http://doi.org/10.4038/jas.v3i1.8140
Published on 05 Jan 2007.
Peer Reviewed

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