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Gateway to poultry production and products

The poultry chain

Poultry value chains link the actors and activities involved in delivering poultry and poultry products to the final consumer, with products increasing in value at every stage. A poultry chain can involve production, transport, processing, packaging and storage, and retailing. Activities require inputs – such as financing and raw materials – which are used to add value and to bring poultry and poultry products to consumers. Understanding how poultry value chains work is essential in order to develop them sustainably.

Larger-scale meat or egg production units are often vertically integrated, with breeding farms for grandparent and parent birds, hatcheries, feed mills, and egg or meat processing facilities. Production is generally located in, or near, cities and close to processing facilities and input providers. Such systems mainly supply urban and peri-urban populations. Small-scale commercial farmers often produce similar products, but less efficiently and with greater difficulty in securing quality inputs such as chicks and feed.

Demand from urban consumers for indigenous meat and eggs is increasing, and this could prove a major opportunity for small-scale family poultry producers, processors and retailers. However, they face a number of challenges, including: difficulties in establishing a viable marketing system because of their limited production; the remoteness of production sites; poor transport infrastructure; and problems in setting up refrigerated supply chains.