Challenges and Opportunities of Small-holder Pig Production and Marketing in Western Kenya
In Western Kenya pigs are important for the livelihood of smallholder farmers and create income opportunities for pig butchers and their employees. Improvements to marketing systems can contribute to poverty alleviation, increase consumer and producer benefit, and stabilize food supplies. The objective of this thesis was to evaluate the organization and efficiency of local pork marketing and the challenges of butchers and farmers in rural and peri-urban settings of Western Kenya. A cross-sectional, observational study was conducted on fifty pig butchers to collect their demographic information, challenges, operating practices, and costs. Factors associated with pig prices, pork prices, marketing and operating costs, profit, and marketing margins were determined using mixed and generalized linear models. A unique algorithm that emulates least-cost pig feeding was developed to assess the impact of season, average daily gain, opportunity cost of farm grown feed, pig weight, and butcher price variation on farmers’ maximum revenue and profit potential when pigs are sold to butchers. Butchers were 36.5 years (SD=10.71) of age, had been in business for 8.5 years (SD = 7.41); 31% had less than 2 years experience. Butchers were central in coordinating activities required to connect pig farmers to pork consumers. Capital constraint, government license fees, and pig prices were common challenges to butchers. Yearly licenses and fees are double the cost of a 30 kg pig (2346 KES). Slaughter plus inspection fees are 247 KES per pig. The butcher business was competitive and profit margins were moderate, ranging from 5% to 10%. Marketing margins ranged from 27% to 41% for 45 and 22 kg pigs respectively. Butcher education was positively associated with pork prices charged to consumers and butcher profit. Butchers in larger markets had higher pork prices, pig prices paid to farmers, marketing and operating costs, profit, and marketing margins. Variation in average daily gain of pigs, opportunity costs of feed, and weaning season resulted in feed cost differences of 982 KES, 947 KES, and 379 KES respectively for 30 kg market pigs. Variation in revenues attributable to butcher and season for a 30 kg pig were 744 KES and 225 KES respectively.