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The author discusses the importance of rural family poultry (RFP) in Africa as an income generating and/or subsistence asset for families, particularly highlighting the gender dimension of RFP, since women are often the main owners of, and carers for, chickens. RFP development programmes must take account of other demands on women’s time, but should aim to keep profits in the hands of women, increase production (for nutritional and financial gains), facilitate setting up co-operatives and, through these, the provision of training and supplies (making use of economies of scale).

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