Côte d’Ivoire/Toumodi: Ban of bushmeat consumption due to Ebola crisis requires alternative protein sources

31 March 2017

Toumodi, a rural region located in south–central Côte d’Ivoire, is the largest bushmeat hub in the country with a supply of 100 tons of animal carcasses each year from surrounding villages. The existence of an official public market for bushmeat and the presence of many restaurants specializing in this niche of the food market made this region the ‘capital of bushmeat’ in Côte d’Ivoire.

According to a study led by Arlette Dindé, an Afrique One-ASPIRE fellow, the 2014 West Africa Ebola Virus Disease (EVD) outbreak and the decision of the Ivorian authorities to ban hunt, trade and consumption of bushmeat changed the eating habits. Bushmeat consumption become secretive and limited to the family circle. The repression by government has been driving a reduction in consumption rather than the fear of EVD.

Some alternatives to bushmeat like fish and edible mushrooms seem to have filled any potentially arising protein deficiencies; however, they build an inconsistent basis to fulfill the nutritional needs owing to constraints in availability and utilization. To ensure a sufficiently high protein intake among the population, recommendations are suggested, in order to improve access to protein sources other than bushmeat.

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