Determinants of participation in the indigenous chicken market by smallholder farmers in Busia District, Eastern Uganda
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Indigenous chickens play a very big role in the livelihoods of rural dwellers by providing the much needed protein in form of meat and eggs as well as being a source of income. However, there is limited information to explain market participation by smallholder farmers in the indigenous chicken market. This study was conducted to identify factors affecting participation in local chicken market among smallholder farmers in Busia district. The study covered 200 chicken farming households selected through a multi-stage sampling procedure and interviewed with the help of a survey questionnaire. Aware of the fact that a farmer has to first decide on whether to sell or not before deciding on quantity to sell, the Heckman two-step procedure was employed in the empirical analysis of data. Descriptive statistics showed that 85% of respondents participated in the chicken market as sellers with a commercialization index of 35%. The majority respondents were male, owned mobile phone and reported disease outbreaks as their main challenge to production and marketing. 93% of the households had access to off-farm income. The average farmer was 50 years old, had attained secondary education and owned 26 indigenous chickens. Empirical data revealed that participation in indigenous chicken market was constrained by sex of household head, household size, distance to market and distance to public veterinary office. On the other hand, access to non-farm income, education level of household head, ownership of mobile phone, membership to farmer group, demand price, flock size and investment in control of chicken parasites and diseases significantly increased market participation and level of sales. Policy options aimed at improving access to extension services as well as promotion of group marketing would increase participation in indigenous chicken market.