Contribution of small scale poultry farming to poverty reduction in Nigeria

Contribution of small scale poultry farming to poverty reduction in Nigeria

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1.1      Background of the study

Poultry is by far the largest livestock group and is estimated to be about 14 000 million, consisting mainly of chickens, ducks and turkeys (FAO 1999). In total, poultry products (egg and meat) constitute 30% of all animal protein consumed worldwide. Within the last 10 years, this proportion has increased from 20% to 30% of all animal protein and is predicted to increase to 40% before the year 2015 (IFPRI 2000). Poultry production in most developing countries is based mainly on scavenging backyard systems. For example, it has been estimated that 80% of the poultry population in Africa is found in traditional production systems (Gueye 1998) called low input/low output systems. Little attention is given to this means of production even though 30% to 100% of the animal protein consumed in some villages is from this source. This low input/output practice has been a traditional component of small farms all over the developing world for centuries and is thought to continue as such in the future The low output is primarily caused by diseases, lack of supplementary feed and sub-optimal management (Pandey 1992; Bagust 1994 and 1999; Permin and Bisgaard 1999). Poultry production still accounts for the major part of all meat produced in many developing countries, and is an integral component of nearly all rural, peri-urban and urban households. It is of considerable significance to the rural as well as the national economy and is also an important source of animal protein (FAO 1999). Women and children are generally in charge of poultry husbandry. Generally, poultry scavenge in the vicinity of the house during daytime where they may be given sorghum, broken grains, maize bran or other waste products as additional feed. In many circumstances, they are not given anything at all, but have to walk long distances (up to four kilometers per day) to find feed and water (Gueye 1998). Additional feed is then occasionally given at night where the animals are kept inside the houses or in simple shelters. The level of productivity is very low compared to high-input systems; for example, a scavenging hen lays only 30 eggs per year, while an industrialized battery hen lays 280 eggs annually. Disease prevention measures are rare and high mortality rates are common (Pandey 1992)

Many poor women in developing countries are involved (and skilled) in poultry keeping. Thus, the link between poultry interventions and improvement of women’s status along with the associated improvements in terms of nutrition and other benefits for the entire family (Quisumbing and McClafferty, 2006) – seems to be direct. The scavenging poultry production system is the most common animal production system among poor households in rural areas of developing countries. It is a system in which the birds collect most of their feed free of cost, but it is not a system that generates a huge income. Interventions to improve these modest levels of production may be justified, as they can help women and their families to generate social capital (see below) and enter a positive spiral of events that may move them out of poverty (Jensen and Dolberg, 2003)


The importance of small scale poultry farming is enormous in the quest for food production and poverty reduction in Nigeria, this is because statistics shows that 60% of poultry farming is carried out by low income earners or by those living in the rural area. However the teaming population and the need for poultry meat has become more demanding. It is on this backdrop that the researcher intends to investigate the contribution of small scale poultry farming to poverty reduction in Nigeria.


The main objective of this study is on the contribution of small scale poultry farming to poverty reduction in Nigeria. But for the successful completion of the researcher sets the following sub-objectives to be achieved:

i)             To investigate the role of small scale poultry farming in poverty reduction

ii)           To ascertain the relationship between poultry farming and poverty reduction in Nigeria.

iii)          To investigate the impact of small scale poultry farming in poverty 

iv)         To evaluate the contribution of small scale poultry farming in poverty reduction.



For the successful completion of the study, the following hypotheses were formulated;

H0: small scale poultry farming does not play any role in poverty reduction in Nigeria.

H1: small scale poultry farming plays a vital role in poverty reduction in Nigeria.

H0: there is no significant relationship between small scale poultry farming and poverty reduction in Nigeria.

H2: there is a significant relationship between small scale poultry farming and poverty reduction in Nigeria.


It is conceived that at the completion of the study, the findings will be of great importance to the ministry of agriculture to ensure that adequate fund is made available to these small scale farmer so as to aid the to increase their scale of farming. The findings will also be of great importance to the poultry farmers themselves as the findings will aid their farming skills and encourage them to farm more for commercial purposes with available resources. The findings will also be of great importance to importance to researchers who intend to embark on a study in similar topic. Finally the study will be of great importance to academias as the findings will add to the pool of knowledge.


The scope of the study covers the the contribution of small scale poultry farming to poverty reduction in Nigeria. However, in the cause of the study, the researcher encounters some constrain to the scope of the study, which limited the scope of the study

(a)Availability of research material: The research material available to the researcher is insufficient, thereby limiting the study.      

(b)Time: The time frame allocated to the study does not enhance wider coverage as the researcher has to combine other academic activities and examinations with the study.

(c)Finance: The finance available for the research work does not allow for wider coverage as resources are very limited as the researcher has other academic bills to cover.




Poultry are domesticated birds kept by humans for the eggs they produce, their meat, or their feathers. These birds are most typically members of the super order Galloanserae (fowl), especially the order Galliformes (which includes chickensquails and turkeys). If there are ducks and or geese that are kept as pets they shall not be considered poultry unlike domesticated chickens. Poultry also includes other birds that are killed for their meat, such as the young of pigeons (known as squabs) but does not include similar wild birds hunted for sport or food and known as game. The word "poultry" comes from the French/Norman word poule, itself derived from the Latin word pullus, which means small animal.


Poverty is general scarcity or the state of one who lacks a certain amount of material possessions or money.[1] It is a multifaceted concept, which includes social, economic, and political elements. Absolute poverty or destitution refers to the lack of means necessary to meet basic needs such as food, clothing and shelter. Absolute poverty is meant to be about the same independent of location. Relative poverty occurs when people in a country do not enjoy a certain minimum level of living standards as compared to the rest of the population and so would vary from country to country, sometimes within the same country


Food is any substance consumed to provide nutritional support for the body. It is usually of plant or animal origin, and contains essential nutrients, such as carbohydratesfatsproteinsvitamins, or minerals. The substance is ingested by an organism and assimilated by the organism's cells to provide energy, maintain life, or stimulate growth.

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