Commercial poultry feed analysis and value chain mapping in northern Ethiopia
Keywords:Compound feed, Coping mechanism, Feeding practice, Nonconventional feed, Poultry feed price
Investment by the private sector in the commercial feed sector shows an improvement; however, the value chain of the poultry feed sector has not yet been mapped. This study was conducted in northern Ethiopia to assess poultry feed sources and feed value chain mapping. A multistage sampling technique and a proportionate sample determination method were used to fix the sample size. Accordingly, 147, 109, and 64 poultry producers were selected from semi-intensive, small-scale, and medium-scale farms. Nine focus group discussions comprising relevant stakeholders were conducted to verify the information gathered from households. The collected data were analysed using chi-square and descriptive statistics. The results revealed that the feeding practices, feed sources, feeding intervals and feed shortage coping mechanisms of the poultry producers were significantly different (P ≤ 0.05). Commercial feeds were reported as the major feed sources, with a slight use of homemade feeds from locally available grains and non-conventional feed sources. As a food shortage coping mechanism the majority of semi-intensive (n = 83) and small-scale (n = 85) farms, use locally available grain feeds, whereas medium-scale farms use flock size reduction. The price of major feed ingredients and poultry compound feeds substantially increased from 2015/2016 to 2019/2020. The price increase was from 50 - 213% in raw materials, whereas it was from 63 - 84% in different poultry compound feeds. Value chain profiles were drawn, and the relationship among the chain actors was found to be weak and informal. Therefore, training should be given on proper feed formulation, and comprehensive and systematic studies should be conducted using alternative feed ingredients available in various geographic locations.