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Abstract A survey was carried out to determine provision of extension support services in Katulani District, Kenya. Data was collected through observations and structured questionnaires administered to 110 poultry rearing households in rural and peri urban areas to allow for comparison. Over 75% of households practiced mixed farming with indigenous chicken being kept by all households. Extension support services were accessible to less than 50% of households with rural areas having higher accessibility. Public sector workers were the main source of extension services. About 50% of respondents requested for training on chicken rearing. The average flock size in the study area was forty chickens with chicks and pullets dominating. The cock to hen ratio was 1:2 while inbreeding rate per generation was 4.5%. The recommendation is a review of extension approaches and capacity building grassroots institutions in order to diversify extension service agents and reduce distances to source of services.
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International Journal of Livestock Research ISSN 2277-1964 ONLINE
Vol 6(03) Mar’16
GIF 2015 0.667 Hosted@www.ijlr.org DOI 10.5455/ijlr.20160313125928
Page8
Extension Support Services Among Poultry Farmers, a Case of Katulani
District, Kitui County, Kenya
Mwobobia Royford Murangiri*, Dorothy Akinyi Amwata, Titus Ikusya Kanui
School of Agriculture and Veterinary Sciences, South Eastern Kenya University, P .O. Box 170- 90200,
Kitui, KENYA
*Corresponding author: mmurangiri@gmail.com
Rec. Date:
Feb 14, 2016 07:47
Accept Date:
Mar 13, 2016 00:59
Published Online:
March 15, 2016
DOI
10.5455/ijlr.20160313125928
Abstract
A survey was carried out to determine provision of extension support services in Katulani District, Kenya.
Data was collected through observations and structured questionnaires administered to 110 poultry
rearing households in rural and peri urban areas to allow for comparison. Over 75% of households
practiced mixed farming with indigenous chicken being kept by all households. Extension support
services were accessible to less than 50% of households with rural areas having higher accessibility.
Public sector workers were the main source of extension services. About 50% of respondents requested
for training on chicken rearing. The average flock size in the study area was forty chickens with chicks
and pullets dominating. The cock to hen ratio was 1:2 while inbreeding rate per generation was 4.5%.
The recommendation is a review of extension approaches and capacity building grassroots institutions in
order to diversify extension service agents and reduce distances to source of services.
Key words: Chicken, Extension, Katulani, Livelihood, Peri Urban, Rural, Support Services
How to cite: Murangiri, M. R., Amwata, D. A. & Kanui, T. I. (0) Extension Support Services among
Poultry Farmers, a Case of Katulani District, Kitui County. International Journal of Livestock Research,
Online First: 15 Mar, 2016. doi:10.5455/ijlr.20160313125928
Introduction
Majority of the rural populations in the developing world keep a flock of poultry either in free range or
confined system (FAO, 2009; IFPRI, 2010). Chicken (Gallus domesticus) dominates most of the rural
areas in the developing world (FAO, 2009), with 80% and 20% of chickens in Kenya being of indigenous
and exotic types respectively (GOK, 2009). Therefore, since poultry are an integral part of a number of
households, a well functioning system to deliver extension support services is a matter of concern. This is
because extension support services have been found to increase productivity, transform subsistence
farming into modern and commercial farming, helps attain food security, improve incomes and reduce
poverty (ROK, 2009). Historically, Kenya has used various extension management systems with varying
International Journal of Livestock Research ISSN 2277-1964 ONLINE
Vol 6(03) Mar’16
GIF 2015 0.667 Hosted@www.ijlr.org DOI 10.5455/ijlr.20160313125928
Page9
degrees of success. These included whole farm extension approach, integrated agricultural development
approach, and training and visit approach. These approaches had weaknesses: they were top-down and
prescriptive with high demand on human, capital and financial resources (ROK, 2012).
Noting the importance of extension support services and importance of poultry to households, it was
important to determine their interaction and current status.
Literature Review
Institutional support services include extension and veterinary services, credit facilities, training, access to
market, market information and group membership. Membership to farmer groups facilitate easier access
to inputs like feed supplements, improved chicks, drugs and vaccines, technical advice, credit, training,
transportation and marketing of chicken products (Branckaert et al., 2000). Veterinary care especially to
chicks is one of the most important factors affecting poultry production; it helps in detecting and
treatment of any kind of disease at an early stage (Grepay, 2009). Lack of credit affects technology choice
by limiting the number of alternative technologies and innovations considered for adoption, it forces
farmers to rely on self-financing or borrowing from friends or relatives. Besides lack of access to long
term credit also forces farmers to rely on high cost short term finance (Munyaka, 2010).
Training is an important event in functioning any type of business enterprise and therefore poultry
farmers should be trained in the following areas; disease and predator control, proper housing, use of
equipments, entrepreneurship, feeding, value addition, record keeping, budgeting, genetic improvement,
marketing and the basic understanding of the poultry anatomy and physiology (Branckaert et al., 2000).
Access to market and market information is important to avoid exploitation. Market prices are sometimes
demand driven with local purchases and middlemen being the main outlets (Danda et al., 2010).
Middlemen use hand weighing combined with assessment of bird size (big, medium or small) to estimate
live weights, this is the main method of determining market prices but exploits producers (Danda et al.,
2010). Lack of sufficient market information has been a setback to poultry farmers with most farmers
relying on private or even physical contacts for market related information. This is mostly attributed to
poor telecommunication infrastructure in rural areas (Munyaka, 2010).
Methodology
The study area had 14 sub locations, of which 4 were in peri urban while 10 were in a rural setup. Out of
the total 9593 households in the area, 3465 and 6128 households were located in peri urban and rural
areas respectively; this represented 36% and 64% of the households. A sample of 110 respondents was
obtained according to Israel (1992). The sampling design was multi stage, two sub locations were
randomly selected in both rural and peri urban areas. Then two villages were randomly selected from each
International Journal of Livestock Research ISSN 2277-1964 ONLINE
Vol 6(03) Mar’16
GIF 2015 0.667 Hosted@www.ijlr.org DOI 10.5455/ijlr.20160313125928
Page10
sub location. The final stage was a simple random sampling from each village to proportionately select
the respondents according to population distribution in the villages which were the final sampling units.
Overall, 40 and 70 questionnaires were administered to peri urban and rural areas respectively. Data was
collected through observations and using structured questionnaires. These were then analyzed accordingly
using Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS). Simple descriptive statistics mainly means and
percentages were used to present data. A cross-sectional survey research design was used for the study.
Results and Discussion
Livelihood Sources
Table 1 show that over 75% of households in rural and peri urban areas relied on mixed farming as
opposed to crop and livestock farming or employment alone.
Table 1: Livelihood Sources and Types
Livelihood Options
Rural (n=70)
Mixed farming
78.6%
Crops
20%
Employment
1.4%
Livestock
1.4%
Source: Field data, 2014
An integrated crop/livestock system was the most preferred because livestock offered security against
crop failure and vice versa. Besides, it allowed for diversification of livelihoods and efficient utilisation of
resources where crops could benefit from animal manure and livestock could benefit from crop residues
as source of feed. This finding supports the GOK (2013) that the study area is located in mixed farming
livelihood zone.
Livestock Reared
Table 2 shows that all households in rural and peri urban areas reared poultry compared to other livestock.
The study also found that 99% of poultry reared were indigenous chicken. Indigenous chicken were
common since they are a dual enterprise; they serve both subsistence and commercial purposes, in
addition to low cost of inputs. This agrees with other studies by Danda et al., (2010) in the costal
lowlands of Kenya; Mailu et al., (2012) in Eastern Kenya and Bwalya and Kalinda (2014) in Lusaka,
Zambia. From these studies, indigenous chicken were favored by farmers because they are more
resistance to diseases, cheaper to buy, free ranging ability, ability to tolerate harsh climate, easy to
dispose/sell and need less labour. Other important livestock were goats, cattle, donkey and sheep in
decreasing order of importance. Donkeys were particularly common in rural areas for water transportation
purposes.
International Journal of Livestock Research ISSN 2277-1964 ONLINE
Vol 6(03) Mar’16
GIF 2015 0.667 Hosted@www.ijlr.org DOI 10.5455/ijlr.20160313125928
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Table 2: Livestock Types Kept
Livestock Type
Rural (n=70)
Peri Urban (n=40)
Poultry
100%
100%
Goats
88.6%
45%
Cattle
81.4%
22.5%
Donkey
77.1%
2.5%
Sheep
41.4%
0%
Other
4.3%
0%
Source: Field data, 2014
Access to Extension Support Services
Table 3 shows that extension support services were accessible to less than 50% of households in both
rural and peri urban areas, this indicates poor accessibility. Rural households had higher accessibility to
extension services, veterinary services, trainings and market information than peri urban households.
Table 3: Accessibility to Extension Support Services
Variable
Rural (n=70)
Peri Urban (n=40)
Extension services
44.3%
10%
Veterinary services
44.3%
30%
Credit
8.5%
10%
Trainings
2.8%
2.5%
Markets or information
10%
5%
Membership to poultry group
1.4%
7.5%
Source: Field data, 2014
Veterinary services are important in animal production and ensuring safe trade (FAO, 2002), they should
at all times be provided in an objective, transparent and non discriminatory manner (OIE, 2011). Access
to trainings was below 3% despite its importance in giving farmers information in areas like breeding,
feeding, disease control and quality poultry products for marketing (Kinambuga, 2010). There was poor
membership to chicken rearing groups; this is similar to a finding by Ayieko et al., (2014) in Makueni
County, Kenya. Group membership has been shown to have benefits like easier access to trainings,
collective purchasing of inputs hence reduce costs, easy access to credit services since they could
guarantee each other, collective marketing with the aim of reducing transaction costs and bargaining
power (Ayieko et al., 2014; Kinambuga, 2010 and Danda et al., 2010).
Sources of Extension Support Services
Table 4 shows that government extension staff offered most of extension services in the study area, this
agrees with ROK (2012) that the public sector (Central and Local governments, parastatals, research and
training institutions) are key extension service providers. NGO were only accessible in rural areas to 1.4%
of respondents. This indicates poor accessibility of extension services in the study area.
International Journal of Livestock Research ISSN 2277-1964 ONLINE
Vol 6(03) Mar’16
GIF 2015 0.667 Hosted@www.ijlr.org DOI 10.5455/ijlr.20160313125928
Page12
Table 4: Sources of Extension Support Services
Variable
Source
Rural
(n=70)
Peri Urban
(n=40)
Extension Services
Providers
NGO
1.4%
0%
Government
42.9%
2.5%
None
55.7%
97.5%
Credit Sources
Formal
1.4%
0%
Informal
7.1%
10%
None
91.4%
90%
Source: Field data, 2014
The National Agricultural Sector Extension Policy (NASEP) proposes a sector-wide approach to
providing extension services, this will allow the Kenyan agricultural extension clientele to demand and
access appropriate quality extension services from the best providers in order to attain higher
productivity, increase incomes and improve standards of living (ROK, 2012). The Kenya Agricultural
Sector Development Strategy 2009-2020 recognizes the vital role of extension services in sharing of
knowledge, technologies, agricultural information and linking farmer to other actors in the economy. It is
also one of the critical change agents required in the transformation of subsistence farming to modern and
commercial agriculture (ROK, 2009). Credit facilities were mostly accessible from informal market to
7.1% and 10% of households in rural and periurban areas respectively.
Chicken Flocks Composition
Table 5 shows that there was a big variation in means of flock sizes between periurban (22 chickens) and
rural areas (51 chickens).
Table 5: Chicken Flock Composition in the Study Area
Number
Rural (n=70)
Peri Urban (n=40)
Overall (n=110)
Number of chicks
14.8±1.9
12.2±1.7
15.4±1.4
Number of pullets
14.2±2.0
1.73±0.8
15.6±2.0
Number of hens
9.31±1.0
5.63±0.5
7.97±0.7
Number of cockerels
8.46±1.2
1.15±0.5
9.97±1.2
Number of cocks
4.59±5.6
1.88±0.5
4.26±0.4
Mean flock size
51.3±0.6
22.2±3.0
40.7±4.0
Source: Field data, 2014
The average flock size for the study area was 40 chickens; this is higher than that reported by Kingori et
al., (2010). He indicates that Kenyan farmers keep an average of 30 indigenous chickens while Gueye
(1998) reports a flock size of 5-20 chickens in most African villages. Chicks and pullets were found to
dominate the flock structure. In support Ochieng et al., (2013) established that in western Kenya, 80% of
International Journal of Livestock Research ISSN 2277-1964 ONLINE
Vol 6(03) Mar’16
GIF 2015 0.667 Hosted@www.ijlr.org DOI 10.5455/ijlr.20160313125928
Page13
the flock structure was dominated by chicks, hens and pullets. These flock types were mainly retained for
production purposes through hatching of own chicks.
The average cock to hen ratio in the study area was 1:2; this slightly differs with the national average as
reported by Okeno et al., (2010) where the ratio was 1:3. However, the recommended cock to hen ratio is
1; 10-15 (Anders, 2008). The mean effective flock size per household in the study area was estimated to
be 11 chickens, ranging from 12 chickens in rural areas to 6 chickens in peri urban areas. Inbreeding rate
was calculated using Wrights equation (Falconer and Mackay, 1996). It was estimated at 4.5% in
comparison to acceptable levels of 1-2% per generation (Henson, 1992). This means that during
scavenging different flocks mix and cocks mate hens from other flocks.
Chicken Farmers Support Needs
Table 6 shows suggestions of farmers on how they would like to be supported. Trainings and seminars on
general chicken rearing especially on disease control and housing design were suggested by 50% of
respondents.
Table 6: Chicken Farmers Support Needs
Variable
Rural
(n=70)
Peri Urban
(n=40)
Overall
(n=110)
Trainings and seminars
32(45.7)
23 (57.5)
55 (50)*
Subsidized input provision
15(21.4)
19 (47.5)
34 (30.9)
Markets and market information
5(7.1)
7 (17.5)
12 (10.9)
Improved indigenous breeds or exotic
breeds
3(4.3)
8 (20)
11 (10)
Credit
8(11.4)
1 (2.5)
9 (8.3)
Technical staff
6(8.6)
2 (5)
8 (7.3)
Grants
3(4.3)
1 (2.5)
4 (3.6)
Vaccinations
2(2.9)
0 (0)
2 (1.8)
Source: Field data, 2014 *Figures in brackets are in percentage
Subsidized inputs like chicken feeds, feed supplements and drugs/vaccines were also suggested in
addition to providing regular market information to prevent exploitation by middlemen.
Conclusion and Recommendations
It can be concluded that poultry, especially indigenous chicken are a key livelihood asset in the study
area. Both rural and peri urban households had poor accessibility to extension support services resulting
into poor poultry husbandry as demonstrated by inbreeding and overstocking. The study therefore
recommends a review of extension approaches and methods and capacity building grassroots institutions
in order to diversify extension service agents while reducing distances to source of services.
International Journal of Livestock Research ISSN 2277-1964 ONLINE
Vol 6(03) Mar’16
GIF 2015 0.667 Hosted@www.ijlr.org DOI 10.5455/ijlr.20160313125928
Page14
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Good practices in small scale poultry production: A manual for trainers and producers in east Africa
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Transfer of Technology in Poultry Production for Developing Countries
  • R D S Branckaert
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  • R W Seiders
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