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Animal-source foods are commonly lacking in the diets of the poor and vulnerable in developing countries, particularly children and women who need them most. Due to their high content of quality protein and bioavailable micronutrients, increased consumption of animal-source foods can improve the nutritional status as well as the growth, psychomotor functions, cognitive development, and health of children--especially infants under the age of two.

Important causes of low animal-source food consumption include low productivity and profitability of smallholder livestock systems, resulting from low quality and availability of feeds, poor genetics, limited culling rates, high disease incidence (including food-borne and zoonotic diseases), and limited market access or engagement, among others. By generating new innovations and adapting existing ones, our research-for-development and capacity-building activities will help spur sustainable intensification of livestock systems, which will improve household nutrition, food security, and incomes, in addition to the competitiveness of smallholder livestock systems.