Poultry producers’ perceptions of changing market conditions : a field study of the poultry production in Khartoum state of Sudan

University essay from SLU/Dept. of Economics

Abstract: Sudan has always showed great potential in the poultry industry, but it has not been until now that this potential has blossomed and is growing quickly. As large agribusinesses1are taking over the market shares within the urban areas, smallholders2 have been put out of business. They are not able to compete with mass production and lack financial assets to improve their production techniques. Contract farming is defined as initiatives from agro industrial companies to secure access to smallholder produce and has in developing countries become a way of allowing the poor to participate in a larger market (Farrington, 1999). The aim with this study was to investigate the suitability of implementing the contract farming concept within the poultry industry in Sudan today. The study is a qualitative field study and the authors have conducted qualitative interviews with respondents involved in the poultry industry in Sudan. For an overall perspective the respondents represented different parts of the poultry industry. The empirical results were later analysed in relation to the assumptions of agency theory. The results found imply that it would be difficult to introduce contract farming in Sudan’s poultry industry today. This is mainly explained by the agribusinesses unwillingness to take on more responsibility as they already are under stress because of government interference. Other findings are that the agribusinesses see no benefits from entering a contract agreement with a smallholder. The study also found that nor the smallholders did see much benefits other than financial from cooperation with the agribusinesses. Political issues cause problems for agribusinesses as well as smallholders, and have created a nervous society where independence seems to be the goal of each party. 1 Agribusiness refers to the various businesses that are connected with producing, preparing and selling farm product (www.dictionary.cambridge.org, 2012). 2 Smallholder refers to farmers operating a farm of 2 ha or less (www.ifpri.org , 2007).

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