Assessing the status of chicken vendors in western Uganda. A case study of chicken markets in the districts of Bushenyi, Mbarara and Sheema
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This study aimed at assessing the status of poultry vendors in western Uganda. The study was conducted from three districts in western Uganda; Bushenyi, Mbarara and Sheema districts. The study majorly focused on the social-demographic, enterprise characteristics and marketing characteristics of poultry vendors in chicken markets. To attain the objectives, a descriptive research design was used. The vendors were sampled by both transect walk and snowball sampling procedures. In total, 60 vendors were interviewed by use of pre-tested structured questionnaire. The data obtained was coded, entered into the computer spread sheet and analyzed using statistical package for social sciences (SPSS) to obtain statistics, graphs and figures as summaries. The results revealed that majority of the poultry vendors involved in poultry business were between 18-35 years old in the youthful age (81.7%). This is not surprising because the activity requires a lot of energy moving from one place to another which may be tiresome for old people. Many had spent less than 2 years (48.3%) in poultry business. This is because the vendors after earning profits run to start up some other businesses. In addition, local chickens were the most preferred chicken breed (26.7) for eating by the consumers. This is because of the taste of their meat. The highest demand was reported in the months of March and December. It is worth not surprising that the most period cores to Easter and Christmas festival seasons respectively. The vendors revealed that the returns from the sales of the chicken was saved (15%), reinvested in the business (15%) or used to provide basic needs (10%) of the vendors’ family. The major determinants of prices of birds in the market were breed of birds (13.3%), size of the bird, season of the year (13.3%), age (10%) , weight of birds (13.3%), price of inputs (7.0%) and health of Birds (14%).Despite many challenges like pests and diseases (20%), meager market (15%) and price fluctuations (13.3%).Vendors benefited from the business because it is their source of employment and income level thus improving on their standards of living. Hence the development agencies should focus on sensitizing the vendors on ways of controlling poultry diseases to prevent loss of quantity in terms of weight loss.