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Community Contribution

From Goats to Poultry: How Transitioning to New Value Chains Enhances Livelihoods

Beatrice Scheuermann
Finalist RibbonNiger is one of the poorest countries in the world; life expectancies are low, and families often struggle to meet basic household food needs especially during the lean season. They are often forced to sell off assets during this time to be able to buy food for their families.  
The USAID/Food for Peace-funded Livelihoods, Agriculture and Health Interventions in Action (LAHIA) program in the Maradi Region of Niger used adaptive management, external collaboration and openness to tailor its value-chain approach to project beneficiaries to improve their ability to respond to stressors.
Project staff were working on the goat value chain when certain staff noticed that women were selling project-provided goats during the lean season to get cash to cover family expenses. They decided to investigate other value chains to help families meet their daily needs and reduce the risk of them resorting to negative coping strategies.
Poultry raising is a popular activity in Niger but can be risky because of the chance for death by disease. Staff analyzed the risk and decided to introduce poultry raising to beneficiary villages because of the enormous potential it held. 
LAHIA works with local government agents and another USAID-funded resilience project, Resilience and Economic Growth in the Sahel – Accelerated Growth (REGIS-AG), that is working in the same zone, to minimize risk and maximize impact and success for project participants.

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