Working Livestock Contribute To Food Security

As well as providing transportation for people and materials, working animals across the world have a vital role in providing food, both directly by transporting goods to and from the market, and indirectly by earning money to buy food.

There are around 100 million working livestock (horses, donkeys and mules) in low- and middle-income countries. These animals help 600 million people globally feed themselves and their families.

However, their important contribution to food security is often overlooked in policy and programmes.

In parts of Senegal, families produce 78% more groundnuts, 46% more maize and 45% more millet if they have a donkey.

In some regions of Pakistan, working animals support up to 100% of the annual income of households who rely on crop and milk sales.

The contribution of working livestock to food security and nutrition has been recognised by the United Nations Committee on World Food Security.

Brooke works with communities across the world to improve the welfare of working horses, donkeys and mules that contribute to food security of millions of families.

We use donkeys to carry water to the farms during dry season for watering crops like carrots and beans.

Resident of Kirinyaga County, Kenya


Working livestock and food security. The contribution of working livestock to the food security agenda for policy and programming: the urgent case for recognition. 

This report highlights the contribution of working livestock to food security, calls for a wider recognition of their contribution, and investment in interventions to quantify their numbers. It recommends areas where the health and welfare of these animals should be integrated into policy and international development agendas.

How working livestock contribute to food security


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