Regionalisation in poultry development in Eastern Africa
The Netherlands is very active in poultry development in Africa. Private companies, educational and research institutes, NGO’s and the Dutch government are all involved in various aspects of developing the poultry sector. To harmonize the country-oriented Dutch investments and development with increasing regional influences in poultry value chain developments, better insight is needed in the interdependency of the poultry sectors of different countries. This study (PDF) and learning trajectory by Wageningen Livestock Research and the Netherlands Africa Business Council (NABC) analyses the way in which national poultry value chains in Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania and Rwanda are influenced by the dependency on inputs from and market outlets in other countries in East Africa (EA). The growth of the poultry sector in the various countries has not been equal. This has inevitably led to a situation whereby the poultry sector in some countries depends on the poultry sector in other countries, e.g. for inputs (day old chicks, vaccines) or for market outlets of eggs and poultry meat. This inter dependency is not necessarily always conducive for a more sustainable development of poultry sectors. Of the four Eastern African countries included in the study, Kenya’s poultry sector is the most mature. Still, all the other three economies have made significant strides towards developing and growing their own poultry sector in the past five years. In order to justify the case for regional approach to poultry development in Eastern Africa, three key issues were addressed. First the availability and production of good quality feed at competitive prices. Secondly the availability of Day Old Chicks (DOCs) across Eastern Africa is a challenge. Lastly access to markets; the East African Community (EAC) is both an economic and political block. Complimentary to these three issues is knowledge and training at vocational and tertiary levels in Eastern Africa. There is need for better and more specific training and education in the poultry sector. In the context of this study it is observed that in Eastern Africa a majority of poultry farmers are either small or medium scale farmers. Collective investments in feed, DOCs, animal health, knowledge transfer, capacity building, training and access to markets will greatly assist them become better farmers. In recognition of the increased significance of the poultry sector, various financing and financial institutions have become interested in poultry farmers and other poultry sector value chain actors. These developments coupled with increasing demand for animal protein make the sector very attractive not only for local actors but also for the Dutch private sector.