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THE TRADITIONAL AND SOCIAL IMPORTANCE OF POULTRY PRODUCTION IN RURAL AND URBAN SOCIETIES
Poultry rearing has always been an integral component of social systems around the world. It is also the fastest and most flexible among the livestock sectors. It has expanded and globalized over a period of 15 years in countries of all income levels owing to its ever-growing demand. Rural poultry is estimated to be the livelihood of about one billion poor farmers of the world in areas experiencing food insecurity. It contributes to about 80% of poultry stocks in under-developing and developing countries; improving human nutrition by providing meat and eggs, acts as a source of income especially for women, and providing manure for vegetable and crop production. The importance of the socio-cultural and religious functions of village poultry production for smallholder livelihoods, besides its economic or nutritional importance, is also widely recognized.