Rural poultry marketing systems and associated marketing constraints in two agro-ecological zones of central Tigray, Northern Ethiopia
Keywords:Chicken, Plumage, Marketing, Demand, Supply
A study on rural poultry marketing was conducted in lowland and midland agro-ecological zones of central Tigray, in northern Ethiopia with the objective of characterization of rural poultry marketing system under rural household management. A total of 160 rural households, 80 from each district, were randomly selected and 50% of them were female headed households. Data were collected using semi structured questionnaire and group discussion with key informants and traders. Twenty seven chicken and egg traders and 60 consumers were also randomly selected and interviewed to collect market information. All age group of chickens except chicks (< 2 months) were sold at market but cocks and cockerels take the largest proportion. The total number of live birds and eggs sold per households per year was significantly greater (P<0.0001) in midland than in lowland. Chicken and egg selling was also significantly greater (P<0.01) in female headed households than in male headed households. Chickens with red plumage color were dominant in the market covers 56.2% of the total chickens. Average numbers of birds and eggs sold per household per year were 4.3 and 48.75 in lowland and 6.2 and 81.25 in midland, respectively. Mean price of matured and grower chickens was 49.96 birr and 35.3 birr in lowland and 51.3 birr and 39.7 birr in midland, respectively, and average price of eggs was 1.3 birr in lowland and 1.4 birr in midland agro-ecology. Average price of chickens and eggs in lowland areas was significantly (P<0.0001) lower than average price in midland agro-ecological zone of the study area. There was also a significant difference (P<0.0001) in price of chicken products between ordinary market days and festival market days. Price of double comb cocks was significantly greater (P<0.0001) than price of single comb cocks. Chicken and egg traders collect chickens and eggs from producers at farm gets, road sides and different local or urban markets. In turn 87.8% of the collected chickens and 74.9% of the collected eggs were sold to direct consumers. Lack of extension service for indigenous ecotypes, lack of appropriate market place and seasonality of market prices in both agro-ecologies were the main constraints of rural poultry marketing in the study area. Therefore, separate market place and appropriate poultry extension and credit packages should be designed to improve rural poultry marketing in both agro-ecologies.
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