Extent of commercialization of indigenous chicken production in Northern Uganda
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Indigenous chicken production has been recognized as an avenue to improve livelihoods of the rural households in Northern Uganda, where they provide meat, eggs and income. Venturing into commercial indigenous chickens is a pathway to meeting the current unmet market demand for indigenous chickens and their products. Although commercial indigenous chicken production is promising, little information exists on the degree to which the indigenous chicken farmers have taken it up. Thus, a household survey was conducted to determine the level of indigenous chicken commercialization in Northern Uganda. Using a multi-stage sampling procedure, a total of 180 indigenous chicken farming households were purposively and randomly selected to participate in the study. Data were analyzed using Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS). Descriptive statistics was used to characterize farmers; market participation index was used to measure the level of commercialization. Results showed that overall mean household size was seven and that all households reared and sold indigenous chicken. Mean experience in local chicken production was 17 years although it was significantly different between the two districts (p<0.1) with Omoro farmers having more experience than Oyam farmers. Average household flock size was 31 chickens consisting of 14 chicks, 5 cockerels, 6 pullets, 4 hens and 2 cocks. Although all households sold indigenous chickens, the level of commercialization varied from household to household. The overall proportion of chicken sales per household was 42%. Of the household flock structure, cocks and cockerels were more sold than hens and pullets. The level of commercialization (42%) reported shows that farmers in Northern Uganda are yet to become fully commercialized. The threshold for full commercialisation is 50%. Thus, efforts should be directed towards increasing commercialization of indigenous chickens. Additionally, there is need to train farmers on proper chicken management, record keeping and encourage group formation.