A demand for the livestock products in addition to the poultry is now increasing in all regions of Africa. But the region where the demand is much more in comparison to the other areas is West Africa. The reason for this can be linked to the rise in the population of the area and to increase in levels of urbanization. Moreover, the trade liberalization has also effectuated the poultry sector in a dramatic manner. In lines to this pattern, some of the countries have seen a large inflow of imports while others have been subject to some low imports. Most of the imports coming into the continent are from the European countries. The two components of the poultry sector that are of prime focus here are the family and rural sectors.
Family poultry Production in Africa
Now here with the exception in terms of the urban areas in the northern and South African regions, the maximum levels of production in the continent are coming from the extensive family poultry production in rural Africa. Almost every other house in the village and other rural area prefer to keep the chickens and birds in their home based settings. On an average each home makes use of about 5 to 20 chickens. Overall, 80 % of the population of the fowls and birds in Africa used to be in the rural and family based settings till the year 1995.
Problems faced by Family Production
The family production is indeed a major contributor towards the consumption needs of the people, but now it faces a number of constraints and disabilities linked to the diseases and poor farming settings. Moreover, the government is also reluctant in offering the people with some form of compensation for the growth of the sector. Together all these factors combine to mark the low levels of productivity coming from the rural and family settings, which is indeed a major drawback of the poultry production in Africa. It is clear that if some of these constraints might be removed, then an increase in the profits of the families and the country can be expected.
In order to create an increase in the production, a coordinated and well researched system needs to be introduced that is going to make use of the data from other countries in order to make comparison of the input and outputs of the sector. The primary disease in the region that has limited to the overall poultry production in Africa is The New Castle Disease. It can easily eliminate nearly 80 % of the birds in any village poultry in a matter of a few days and those bird that survive come to have various antibodies and harmful germs in their bodies. In short, some serious measures and actions should be taken for the betterment of family and village chicken production in Africa.
Women and the Family Poultry Production in Africa
The principal caretakers in terms of the rural and family production houses in Africa are the women. They spend most of their time in making feeding and safety arrangements for the poultry animals and products. It is all because that the poultry comes to offer them good and efficient source of protein and meat which they cannot afford to buy from the markets. So it is evident from this, that the women are the ones who need to have some benefits. Moreover, the poultry production is what that restrains the people to migrate to the urban regions of the continent. It is important to ponder here that China has taken an efficient strategy for the betterment of the rural people and has also made arrangements for them, so that they might not feel the need of moving to the urban sectors.
All of these problems need to be addressed subsequently by making use of the funding and various medications. Moreover, improved housing and the best supplementary feeding protocols are also going to come in handy here. Furthermore, the international organizations and agencies should also look into this issue for the betterment of the people and poultry in Africa, most of which are living below the line of poverty. Although the National Agricultural Research Systems in Africa are offering their services for the solution to this problem, still a lot more needs to be done.
This is very informative as the author x-rayed this topic in its holistic approach.
The livestock husbandry practices in Africa seemed to be primitive, obsolete and archaic but this practice is now a new bride which is being embraced and encouraged in the name of organic farming.
There is a great work to be done by educating farmers not to forgo this practice as most are jettison this practise for modern methods that is fast fading in the developed world. There is also an urgent needs to support these rural farmers in order to overcome the limitations to effective growth of this practice.
With the help and support of all, Africa will go a long way to provide quality protein providing sources for all and sundry.