Factors Affecting Commercialisation of Indigenous Chickens in Swaziland
About 90% of rural households in Swaziland keep indigenous chickens and the government of Swaziland, through the Ministry of Agriculture, implemented a commercialisation programme for indigenous chickens between 2008 and 2009 as a move towards ensuring food security and income generation. The purpose of the study was to conduct an analysis of the factors affecting the commercialising indigenous chickens in Swaziland. Specifically the study sought to; estimate sales rate, identify factors affecting sales rate and further identify constraints to commercialisation of indigenous chickens. The study used a descriptive quantitative design. Using a stratified random sample 147 indigenous poultry farmers were sampled from a population 729 farmers who trained on commercialisation of indigenous chickens in the four regions of Swaziland. Data were collected by the use of personal interviews with the aid of a structured questionnaire. Descriptive statistics such as means, mode and frequencies were used to estimate sales rate and analyse constraints to commercialisation, whilst a Tobit regression analysis was used to analyse factors affecting commercialisation of indigenous chickens. The results indicated a Pseudo–R2 of 0.88 implying that 88% of the variation in the model was due to the explanatory variables. Prices of alternative products, quantity of chickens sold, quantity of chickens consumed significantly (p< 0.01) affected sales rate. Supplementary feed also significantly (p< 0.10) affected the rate to commercialise. The results further indicate that farmers were constrained by: high disease outbreak; lack of fencing and housing; high feed costs; lack of markets; low productivity; lack of credit access; poor growth and maturity and low market prices. It is recommended that farmers organize themselves into cooperatives or associations to take advantage of discounts when purchasing feed.
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