Analysis of the indigenous chicken value chain in Uganda

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Donald Kugonza

Abstract

The estimated chicken population of Uganda is 37 million with over 80% being indigenous chickens. However, the potential of indigenous chickens as a source of income and food remains poorly exploited. Additionally, while the sector has several actors, it is not clear where value is lost or gained, and how the value share and risks are distributed along the various nodes of the value chain. This knowledge gap masks exploitation points of the poor smallholder households at the production end. It is therefore critical to generate information on the structure and functioning of the indigenous chicken value chain in Uganda. Based on production potential and contribution to poverty reduction of indigenous chickens, site selection generated two agro-ecological zones. Data collection was through a structured survey administered to households in 25 villages while analysis applied the procedure of Bjorndal (2010) for value chain analysis. The results showed that most farmers (63.3%) practiced the free-range system of which 35.4% provided supplements to the chickens. Very few households (1.2%) fed their chickens entirely on commercial diet. About 68.3% of farmers acquired initial knowledge on indigenous chicken rearing from their parents,
20.4% by own initiative, 5.4% from fellow farmers and 5.4% through formal training. Most of the poultry farmers accessed extension services through Non-Government Organizations (NGOs) and fellow farmers. Income generation was the major reason why farmers reared indigenous chickens. Parasites and diseases (58.4%) and feed shortage (18.1%) were the main challenges faced by the farmers. 

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