Enhancing backyard poultry enterprise performance in the techiman area: A value chain analysis
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AbstractBackyard Poultry (BP) production is widespread among rural households in Ghana and provides an opportunity for small scale enterprise development to contribute to poverty alleviation. Traditionally, efforts to improve poultry production activities have emphasized the technical aspects of production while neglecting the social and organizational processes that underlie BP enterprises. A value chain framework was used to qualitatively assess BP enterprises in two communities in the Techiman Municipality of the Brong Ahafo Region in Ghana. The main purpose of the study was to understand how the activities and relationships among actors along the BP value chain influence BP enterprise performance and its implications for development of the industry. Community key informants defined a BP enterprise as ownership of at least ten post vulnerability age chickens (defined as ability to roost on trees to escape predators and disease). All identified BP farmers in the communities were classified as &lsquo;high&rsquo; and &lsquo;low&rsquo; enterprise performers based on flock size of &lsquo;post- vulnerability age chickens&rsquo;. The study participants included a purposive sample of &lsquo;low&rsquo; (n=10) and &lsquo;high&rsquo; (n=10) performing BP farmers from each community as well as service providers and support institutions in the BP value chain identified through snowball sampling. Qualitative data were collected using focus group discussions and key informant interviews. Content analysis was used to summarize themes and patterns from the interview transcripts and to compare high and low performing BP enterprises based on the identified activities and relationships. Higher BP enterprise performance was associated with stronger inter- and intra-actor integration of activities in the various functions of the value chain and higher investment of resources in the activities of the value chain. Additionally, opportunities for import substitution to meet the high national demand for chicken meat were identified. Sustainable improvements in the BP sector must involve social, relational, organizational, as well as technical innovation.