Impact of improved poultry production technologies among smallholder indigenous chicken farmers in Kakamega And Makueni– Kenya
Kamau, Christopher Njuguna
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Indigenous chicken (IC) farming contributes to the livelihoods of many smallholder farmers in Kenya. It constitutes 80% of the poultry population in Kenya. Kakamega and Makueni are Counties where most of smallholder farmers rear IC. However, IC production has been constrained by several bottlenecks including; unimproved genotype, diseases and increased mortalities resulting in low productivity. A strategy by scientists and stakeholders, production technologies such as; improved indigenous chicken (IIC) genotypes and fabricated chick brooders have been developed and disseminated to the farmers with an aim of increasing productivity. However, the status of adoption and the impacts of the IIC technologies on productivity remained scanty. Therefore, the general objective of this study was to determine the level and intensity of adoption and impact of poultry production technologies among smallholder farmers in Kakamega and Makueni. Data were collected through interviews with a sample of 384 household’s selected using multi-stage sampling. Results revealed that majority (60%) of the households practised semi-intensive production system. A double hurdle approach was used to analyze the level and intensity of use of IIC and fabricated brooders. Results showed that farm size, gender of the household head, group membership, distance to the training centre, off-farm activities and IIC awareness significantly affected the adoption decisions. Household size, group membership, age of the household head, access to credit, off-farm activities and flock size were major determinants of intensities of adoption. Propensity score matching approach was used to analyze the impact of IIC on egg productivity. Results showed significant impact of IIC on egg productivity/hen/year. Gender of the head negatively affected egg production while level of education, group membership, distance to the training point and other off-farm activities positively affected egg production. Gross margin analysis was used to determine the profitability of IC. Rearing of unimproved IC was a profitable enterprise. However, rearing IIC proved to be even more profitable with annual gross margins of Ksh. 14,238 and Ksh. 9,824 per 100 birds with IIC and IC production system systems, respectively. Based on the findings, it is recommended that policies should target strengthening the IIC farmer’s network, in order to access information on IIC production. Second, access to markets for farmers requires improvement to improve profits. Additionally, there is a great need to encourage enterprise diversification among IC farmers. Further, policies should target on developing programs that support more women in poultry production.