Egg production must grow where needed

Egg production remains stubbornly low in some countries, but in most output is increasing.

liza1979 |
liza1979 |

While egg production around the world continues to grow, there are many countries where consumption remains significantly below the world average. 

With India, Djibouti, the Solomon Islands and Viet Nam graduating from the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO)’s list of low-income food-deficit countries (LIFDCs), more than 1.4 billion people are now more food secure and less susceptible to domestic and external shocks in terms of nutrition. 

However, this still leaves 1.15 billion people, or 15% of the global population, living in 47 countries that neither have the resources to import food nor the capacity to produce enough domestically.  

The combined egg production of these 47 countries accounts for 2.15 million metric tons, 2.6% of the global egg production, while the population of these countries accounts for 15% of the global total.

Production increase is high, but not high enough

Egg production in the LIFDCs increased by 44.3% between 2010 and 2019, above the global increase of 30% over the period, yet the average egg availability in these countries still equates to only 31 eggs per person per year. 

That is the equivalent of about one egg every 12 days, or 149 fewer than the global average of 180. To make matters worse, between 2010 and 2019, egg production in 15 of the LIFDCs fell. In some cases this decrease was dramatic. In Chad, egg production contracted by over 44%, while in Mali it dropped by almost 38%. 

However, there have been some particularly bright spots within the LIFDCs. Although growing from a low base, between 2010 and 2019, egg production increased in Rwanda by 169%, in Togo by 161.3% and by 143.7% in Nepal. 

Among those LIFDCs producing over 100,000 metric tons of eggs – equivalent to a world ranking above 59 – Bangladesh stands out with a 103% increase over the period. Uzbekistan also recorded phenomenal growth – an additional 262,925 metric tons of production, an increase of 155% - but much of this additional output was exported. In 2019, Uzbekistan exported 31.8% of the eggs it produced which aided food security in neighboring countries, some of which are on the LIFDC list. 

The next time you buy a tray of 30 eggs at the grocery store, remember that this, for 1.15 billion people, represents their entire egg consumption in a year. 

We have the knowledge, skills and tools to help most of these countries increase their egg production – so let’s do it! 

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