The influence of prices on market participation decisions of indigenous poultry farmers in four districts of Eastern Province, Kenya
Over 70% of the domesticated birds in Kenya are indigenous chicken (IC) providing meat and table eggs. They are frequently raised through the free range, backyard production system. Small flock sizes are characteristic of this production system and often, sales are mainly at the farmgate. Although IC production possesses enormous potential at livelihood improvement, marketing systems are undefined and variable. The influence of prices on market engagement has frequently been assumed. A study of 68 farmers conducted in Machakos, Kibwezi, Nzaui and Mwala District in 2008 revealed that 70% of all IC sales were conducted at the farmgate while only 19% of the sales were at the local market. This study also investigates the probability of market participation by employing a binary logistic regression model. The results suggests that while farmers complain of poor farm gate prices for indigenous chicken offered by middlemen, low volumes are an important drawback to market participation.
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