On World Egg Day 2019, GAIN highlights the value and benefits of eggs for all. Providing a high-quality source of protein, eggs are among the most nutritious foods on earth. Their nutritional value is undeniable to people of all ages.
For infant and children, eggs are among the best food sources as they contain nutrients which help brain development and physical growth. For pregnant and lactating women, eggs are particularly important because they provide a range of nutrients required to help the baby grow and develop in the womb. Eating eggs during pregnancy and breastfeeding has the potential to improve birth outcomes, breast-milk composition and enhance the child’s brain development.
But eggs represent a great source of nutrition at any age. Studies demonstrate that eating eggs can lower the risk of heart disease in healthy people. Despite containing cholesterol, eggs contain high density level (HDL) or "good" cholesterol. Research shows that people with higher levels of HDL generally have reduced risks of heart disease.
Although eggs are highly nutritious, they remain scarce and expensive in many low-income settings, especially in Africa. In addition, they are not widely consumed by children.
Boosting egg production and consumption in Africa
GAIN works on increasing consumer demand, as well as availability and affordability, of nutritious and safe food. In addition, we work on changing incentives, rules and regulations to encourage production and consumption of nutritious and safe foods for all. We seek to understand and tackle barriers faced by small enterprises working to boost availability, affordability, desirability, and convenience of nutritious foods like eggs, especially for people on low-incomes. Across Africa we are are piloting news ways to boost egg availability and consumption.
In Ethiopia, GAIN seeks to contribute to efforts to create demand for eggs, especially targeting children. GAIN’s programmes develop and implement innovative last mile distribution, retail activation, and communication strategies to improve child nutrition, particularly by encouraging parents to feed eggs to children as part of a balanced diet.
In Nigeria, we are currently piloting the "Eggs Make Kids" campaign, which aims to increase awareness about the importance of consuming eggs amongst children 6-59 months of age in the Kaduna State.
In Mozambique, GAIN helped egg farms affected by the Cyclone Idai rebuild infrastructure and resume production and distribution of eggs in the Beira region.
In Rwanda, we provide grants and technical assistance to egg farms to improve production, financial management, packaging and distribution of eggs, through GAIN’s Marketplace for Nutritious Foods programme.
Eggs are a great part of a healthy and nutritious diet, and we celebrate the humble egg on World Egg Day.