The poultry sub-sector in Kenya accounts for about fifty five percent of the livestock sector and thirty percent of the agricultural Gross Domestic Product. However, gains from the Indigenous Chicken (IC) enterprises have been challenged by market inefficiencies characterised by high transaction costs and poor accessibility of market information. In response to this, the Kenyan government private sector partnership has in the recent times, been promoting the formation and development of farmer marketing groups to promote the efficiency in marketing of indigenous chicken. The assumption was that when acting collectively, Indigenous Chicken farmers are able to easily access market information, reduce transaction cost and better able to coordinate their marketing activities and ultimately improved incomes. However, Indigenous Chicken markets have remained poor even though the demand for Indigenous Chicken products has tremendously improved. This study used a random sample of 196 farmers in Navakholo and Lurambi divisions in Kakamega County to establish the influence of collective action in marketing of Indigenous chicken. It specifically evaluated the determinants of smallholder farmer‟s participation in Indigenous Chicken Producer Marketing Groups and the intensity of participation in markets, the effect of farmer marketing groups on market channel choice decision and on farm household incomes from the indigenous chicken enterprise. Data was analysed using descriptive statistics, multinomial logit, heckman two stage and regression models. Heckman two stage model results indicated that the decision by smallholder farmers to participate in collective marketing through farmer marketing groups was significantly influenced by a variety of factors including years of formal education of the household head, accesibility of credit, distance to the extension service and average price per bird. The extent of farmers participation was influenced by age of the household head, size of the farm, decision making in groups, off-farm engagement and years of formal education of the household head. Multinomial logit model results indicate that age of the household head, group membership, farm size, credit access, education, cost of information, attributes of the flock, transport cost and distance to the market influenced the choice of different market channels. A regression model result showed that education, off- farm engagement, distance to the livestock market and extension service significantly influenced income from the indigenous chicken enterprise.

Background information 
Kenya, like other developing countries, has over the years been experiencing a rise in demand and preference for foods of animal origin (Delgado et al., 2001). Poultry was projected to meet much of this demand on condition that production would be intensified (Delgado et al., 2001). As of the year 2000, an estimated 90% of rural families kept indigenous chicken, which accounted for between 40 to 60% of the domestic marketed poultry eggs and meat and over 80% of the poultry population (Upton, 2000). According to KAPP (2006), markets for Indigenous chicken were observed as potential good instruments for poverty reduction and sustainable development (Nyaga, 2007). 

There have been challenges with regard to commercial exploitation which mainly stem from poor market efficiency and information where farmers have continuously faced high transaction costs resulting from long market supply chains and ultimately low incomes (Upton, 2000; Mathuva, 2005). Again, farmers have failed to match products with market preferences and standards and therefore missing out on an opportunity in the regional and international markets (Upton, 2000). Other challenges include low inputs and outputs due to the increased management costs i.e cost of feeds and disease management (Okitoi et al., 2007). 

The Kenyan government and the private sector initiatives have supported farmer marketing organizations as market-support institutions to enhance Indigenous Chicken market linkages and as an attempt to overcome the above mentioned challenges. They are regarded as effective in performing various functions such as advocacy, collective action and as an effective tool for dissemination of production and market related information (Rondot et al., 1999). 

However, Farmers market imperfections coupled with high transaction costs and inaccessibility of market information has hampered gains from the enterprise (Owuor 2009). This study therefore aims at assessing the contribution of farmer production and marketing organizations in marketing of indigenous chicken focusing on the determinants of collective action and market channel choice decision, extent of market participation and the 
contribution of collective marketing on household incomes in Kakamega County. Previous studies on indigenous chicken in Western Kenya have focused on description of the local chicken production systems (Olwande et al., 2010) and characterization of the indigenous chicken production systems (Okeno et al., 2011). Though characterization is the first step to be taken if any genetic improvement is to be realised, there has been limited focus on the IC markets.

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Item Type: Kenyan Topic  |  Size: 80 pages  |  Chapters: 1-5
Format: MS Word  |  Delivery: Within 30Mins.


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