People, poultry and poverty : Assessing economic value of poultry health service and genetic resources in rural Ethiopia

Terfa, Zelalem
People, poultry and poverty : Assessing economic value of poultry health service and genetic resources in rural Ethiopia. PhD thesis, University of Liverpool.

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Demand for animal protein is growing with growing human population and urbanization. In developing countries where food security is still a challenge and access to animal protein is limited, village poultry could be a viable livelihood option for smallholder farmers and it could improve peoples’ access to animal protein. Research and development in village poultry is minimal and farmers keep poultry under unfavourable production environments. Lack of genetic improvement in poultry that are suitable to the prevailing production system and impact of infectious diseases are among major bottlenecks to village poultry. Farmers’ capacity and perception to use village poultry as a potential livelihood could also be influenced by a number of factors that need to be identified for village poultry development and to target interventions to promote poultry based livelihood. This research aims to evaluate the role of poultry in rural livelihoods and to assess farmers’ preference and willingness to pay for poultry breed and vaccine technology in Ethiopia. Survey data are used and a number of statistical and econometric tools are employed for data analysis. Findings of the study show that village poultry plays important economic and social roles, though the degree to which households utilize and benefit from poultry production varies between areas and across households’ wealth status. Poultry are used as a gift to relatives, which is more common among poorer households, and poultry are consumed during festive periods in areas where the socio-cultural role of poultry is significant. Infectious diseases also had an impact, leading to unutilized potential of benefit from village poultry. Contingent valuation method (CVM) and discrete choice experiment (DCE) surveys were used to elicit farmers’ preference and willingness to pay for poultry vaccine service and traits of chicken. The results from CVM study show that farmers recognise the benefits of the vaccine programmes and are largely willing to pay for it. The result from exponential probit reveals that farmers’ willingness to pay for village poultry vaccine service is influenced by age, education level and region of respondents. Our results suggest that younger and better-educated farmers and farmers from Horro are more likely to pay for village poultry vaccine services. The result from the CVM study was further substantiated by conducting DCE survey to understand farmers’ preferences for attributes of possible Newcastle disease (NCD) vaccine programme. Results from this study show that famers prefer a vaccine programme that has better capacity to reduce the severity of NCD, a vaccine service that would be delivered by an animal health development agent and that could be given with water. Results from DCE study in village poultry show that important traits of chicken to farmers are mothering ability, disease resistance and meat and egg taste. These findings question the appropriateness, at least, in the prevailing production system, of the Ethiopian national government’s effort to improve productivity in village poultry by targeting specialized egg layer improved chicken. The findings also suggest that poultry breeding programmes aiming to provide readily acceptable breed technology by farmers need to prioritize traits of adaptive and socio-cultural importance instead of focusing on egg productivity only. This suggests the unique qualities of the indigenous poultry breeds that are important to farmers need to be carefully considered, instead of resorting to those that proved to be successful in different production systems.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Additional Information: Date: 2015-02 (completed)
Depositing User: Symplectic Admin
Date Deposited: 05 Aug 2015 09:03
Last Modified: 16 Dec 2022 04:43
DOI: 10.17638/02007420