Agriculture Reference
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developing world. Rural food insecure populations have been shown to rely far more on
protein and nutrients from wild meat hunted for consumption than previously thought.
Golden et al . (2011) found that children in Madagascar would experience a 30 percent higher
risk of iron deficiency anemia if they did not have access to meat from wild animals. This
study is a hallmark of the detailed, long-term, focused research needed to demonstrate the
precarious situation in many communities. Anemia increases the risk for sickness and death
from infectious disease, reduces intelligence and learning, and reduces lifelong tolerance for
physical activity (Lozoff et al ., 2006). Long-term monitoring of hemoglobin levels and wild-
life consumption in children showed that those from the poorest income levels would be
three times more likely to become anemic if access to wildlife was restricted. These poor
households are also most likely to be affected by broader nutrition effects of weather-related
food production declines. The expansion of these human populations has resulted in the
decline of animal species diversity and population levels in these regions.
Golden et al . (2011) describe the difficulty of supplying alternative sources of protein for
these communities. Balancing the need for economic development, biodiversity conserva-
tion, human health and local rights are enormously difficult in a remote and undeveloped
region such as northeastern Madagascar. These goals are incongruent with each other, requir-
ing either out-migration by portions of the human population or degradation of the natural
resources upon which the human communities rely. There are unfortunately few examples of
successful management of natural resources in such resource-limited areas. Site specific and
community specific solutions must be developed that are tailored to the problems seen in the
region, although solutions that meet all the objectives above are unlikely to be cost effective
(Golden et al ., 2011).
Anemia is not the only nutritional issue that results in poor outcomes. Alderman et al .
(2006) showed that when nutritional shocks were experienced before the age of three, long-
term consequences on educational attainment and on height were observed. The study, con-
ducted in Zimbabwe, showed that individuals who experienced nutritional shocks as children
had a loss of 14 percent of earnings over their lifetime due to their smaller physical stature and
vitality (Alderman et al ., 2006). This link between stunting and reduction in the ability to
fight off disease and poverty has long underpinned the perceived need to reduce or eliminate
food insecurity and hunger ( Figure 8.2 ).
Chronic hunger leads to malnutrition that causes damage to human development in the
first two years of life. This damage is irreversible and, according to Atinmo et al . (2009), β€œis
linked to lower intelligence and reduced physical capacity, which in turn diminishes produc-
tivity, slows economic growth, and perpetuates poverty.” Thus the communities who experi-
.” Thus the communities who experi-
ence hunger and food security crises are also the most likely to have them reoccur because of
poor economic development, reduced productivity and lower physical capacity in regions
where physical labor is how most work is done. The United Nations estimates that one out
of every six preschoolers in developing countries, 100 million children under the age of five,
are under weight (WFP, 2013). The problem is large and complications such as conflict, lack
of job opportunities, poor health, inequitable trade policies, unsustainable management of
natural resources, gender discrimination, and recurrent natural and man-made emergencies
contribute to the lack of progress on the issue (Atinmo et al ., 2009).
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