PROBLEMS MILITATING AGAINST COMMERCIAL POULTRY PRODUCTION IN EDO STATE: A CASE STUDY OF OVIA NORTH EAST LOCAL GOVERNMENT AREA CHAPTER ONE INTRODUCTION 1.1 BACKGROUND TO THE STUDY Poultry embraces all domesticated birds for the purpose of meat and egg production intended for human consumption. It includes domestic fowl, turkey, duck, geese, pheasant, guinea fowl e.t.c the need to provide sufficient animal protein for the human race is the paramount concern to animal scientists and vegetarians. Agriculturists and nutritionists are generally agreed that developing the poultry industry in Nigeria is the fastest means of bringing the protein deficiency gap presently prevailing in the country (FAO, 1965). Poultry production is one of the best available systems for the production of high biological value animal protein for human consumption and thus has emerged as a good substitute of beef and mutton, especially in underdeveloped countries. Therefore, poultry farming particularly, is playing a pivotal role in bridging the gap between supply and requirement of animal protein and it also stabilizing the prices of theses commodities. No doubt poultry industry has developed tremendously in the last four decades but still it is far behind the advanced countries while fulfilling the nutritional requirements of the Nation (Ayelea, G., Abdul Jabbar, M., Teklewold , H., Mulugeta, E. and Getahun Kebedec, 2003). There does, exist a huge potential for the growth of domestic poultry in order to meet the domestic requirements and also to generate exportable surpluses. Whereas, poultry farmers are still using the conventional methods of farming while advanced countries are using latest techniques and technologies in this sector. At present students and farmers don’t know how to use these techniques and technologies in a precise way. On the other hand some farmers are importing the modern equipments which are not applicable in our climatic conditions and are also difficult to handle. Therefore, it can be envisaged that there is a dire need to motivate the poultry farmers toward the adaptation of modern equipments through development of locally designed technologies. In the modern commercial poultry industry, there are challenges in the production of poultry product ranging from increases in disease and infections by enteric pathogens, problem of marketing poultry product. The major problem of the poultry production in Nigeria is that of low productivity and inefficiency in resource allocation and utilization (Onyenweaku and Effiong, 2006). The poultry industry in Nigeria is characterized by high production costs, low profit margins, and high feed bills. Andargachew (2006), showed that increase in livestock production in Nigeria derives mainly from average expansion rather than higher intensification and productivity of resources. This implies that the present production and supply chain is inadequate (Olaofe, 2004), hence the need to provide present and intending broiler farmers with useful information that will assist and sustain poultry industry in Nigeria. The concept of efficiency in the use of farm resources is concerned with the relative performance of the processes used in transforming given inputs into outputs. There are basically three major types of efficiency, viz, technical, allocative and economic efficiency. Technical efficiency refers to the ability of firms to employ the best practice in the production process so that not more than the necessary amount of a given set of inputs is used in producing the “best” level of output (Carlson, 2002). Allocative efficiency refers to the choice of optimum combination of inputs consistent with the relative factor prices (Nwaru, 2003). On the other hand, Economic efficiency is the ability of a farm to maximize profit (Onyenweaku et al, 2004). Poultry refers to all domesticated birds kept for meat and eggs production. Eggs and poultry meat are produced primarily for food consumption. Eggs are also used in various food industries like the manufacturing of confectionary (i.e. sweet chocolate cakes etc.). They are also used for the manufacturing of cosmetics of infection diseases while the feathers may be used for making pillows and mattresses. Some species of poultry are suitable for genetic nutritional and physiological studies because of their relatively low cost of maintenance, proliferation (a rapid growth or increase in numbers) and short generation intervals. In the earlier time, the keeping of poultry were not being considered as a major occupation; that is birds were kept to obtain some money and in most cases for pleasure and pastime cock figliting. In some areas or communities, fowls are still used in the past as a means of knowing what times of day, most especially the cock (i.e. male fowl). Poultry farming started those days when our local farmers used the old and extensive method in keeping fowls, goats, sheep, pig and other related domestic animals proved that the poultry section was a profitable venture too. Gradually, poultry keeping developed into a commercial enterprise involving thousands of birds, large poultry units, replace small ones while more efficient strains of birds, balanced feeds, intensive housing and better poultry equipment come into use. All these industrialized system of keeping poultry birds in a recent development in Edo state as in most humid tropical countries. The effect of some environmental factors like the industries are less capitalized consists of smaller units and depend more on manual labour. These lead to less production of the birds or the birds perform at a lower level. Due to this account, the cost of poultry production is higher. All these factors contribute to the lower consumption of poultry production in the tropical areas like Edo state. For example, the recent estimate of eggs consumption in Nigeria was far low when compared with the European countries and the United States. Moreover, the industries in the tropical areas are not as diversified as in the temperate. In the tropics, the emphasis is on egg production and only one species of poultry is used. Whereas economic and nutritional benefits can be derived from keeping other species, for example some strains of ducks are fast growing, resistance to many diseases of the domestic fowl and can produce as many as 300 eggs per annum. These can be used to increase the consumption of poultry products in the tropics. However, throughout the world, the domestic birds are unique for its popularity in producing both poultry meat and eggs while the other species are kept primarily for meat. In order for poultry birds to produce efficiently, there is need to raise them under a conducive environment. We have various ways of rearing birds like the industrialized system of rearing birds. During the past decades, the production of poultry table meat and eggs have changed from small backyard flocks to fewer and larger commercial operations. Before the advent of the poultry industry in Nigeria husbandry was of the free range system. The feeding of the birds is generally not controlled. They are left to scavenge on what is available from insects, earthworm waste grains to food left over. The only additional source of food is the scattering of guinenea corn or millet, especially during the growing phase in order to build up home attachment. In the 1960s, there was a giant stride in the poultry industry. Most of the poultry establishment that stated as backyard ventures or hobbies designed to expand after getting visible financial rewards from scale of eggs and birds, small scale poultry farms mostly of the deep litter system, sprang up sporadically through government encouragement. This led to further development of the poultry industry to a commercial status. The eastern and western region of the country experienced a vast production of poultry products. The problems in this decade were those of management and disease control. Despite all these problems the poultry production has a promising future in this country. 1.2 STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM Poultry products are good source of protein to every individual and a viable avenue of revenue to both the nation and the citizens of that country. But fortunately the production of these products are facing a lot of problems ranging from poor marketing strategy, outbreak of disease, poor technological knowhow, inadequate funding of the poultry industry in the country among others. If the situation is not ratified on time it may degenerate into a more serious problem. 1.3 RESEARCH QUESTIONS Does disease outbreak affect the production of poultry products in the country? Is inadequate finance a problem to the production of poultry products in the country? Does poor marketing strategy affect the production of poultry product in the country? Does lack of equipment/technology affect the commercial production of poultry product in the country? Does poor allocation of resources by the government to the poultry industry affect the commercial production of poultry product in the country? 1.4 OBJECTIVE OF THE STUDY This research therefore examines the problems militating against commercial poultry production in Edo State using Ovia North East Local Government Area as a case study. The specific objective of the study includes; To identify the problems militating against commercial production of poultry product in Edo State. To find out if lack of resource allocation by the government affect commercial production of poultry products. To find out how best the problems of commercial poultry production can be solved. 1.5 SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY The need for this study is to know the problems militating against commercial poultry production in Ovia North East Local Government Area of Edo State. This research is important because in the end both the farmers and the consumers in Edo State will benefit from the findings of the study. Therefore, this study will help farmers within Ovia North East in particular and Edo State in general to know the problems of commercial poultry production and also be acquainted with how to solve the problems identified. This study is significant because it will give a background knowledge of commercial poultry production. It will recommend to the people, the benefits, of commercial poultry production. It will reveal the prospects of commercial poultry production, thereby encouraging prospective farmers 1.6 SCOPE OF THE STUDY In this study, commercial poultry production in Ovia North East Local Government Area of Edo State will be carefully examined. This study will pay particular attention to the problems militating against the commercial poultry production in Edo State. 1.8 DEFINITION OF TERM POULTRY: Consist monthly of local reared under free range conclusion. It is the different categories of birds, duck, chicken e.t.c. POULTRY INDUSTRY: Is a farm yard where birds are reared for the production of eggs, and where feeds are purchased for the birds. DOMESTICATED: Rearing of birds in the poultry farm. FINANCE: It is concerned with the raising and management of funds by poultry farmers. SHORT TERM CREDIT: This is a loan that is supposed to be paid back later or a short period of time. LONG TERM CREDIT: Repayment of loans made over several years profit. CREDIT: Credit is the borrowing of money by the farmers from credit institution in other to increase production. INPUTS: These resources which are used in production process. OUTPUTS: The total item produce such as eggs on birds at a given period of time. FINANCIAL HOUSE: These are government private institution that assists investors financially in carrying out their business effectively. Cock: This is a male fowl Fowl: This is referring to as poultry birds.
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