The poultry industry serves as employment and a source of income to many people but for a long time, marketing has not been critically considered by most industry players as important aspect of the poultry business. All attention is focused on the production aspect whilst marketing is relegated to the background. The main objective of the study was to find the problem and prospect of poultry meat marketing and production the study sought to find answers to issues like the major constrains of poultry production and marketing in Benin metropolis, the causes of the constraints, how it can be alleviated and the prospects of the poultry market. The data for the study were collected through sets of questionnaires administered to respondents, as well as interviews, personal observations, focus group discussion with key stakeholders and telephone conversation with actors in the industry.
1.1 Background of the study
The poultry industry serves as a source of employment and a source of income to many people. It provides quick turn over on capital to investors. This has led to the setting up of commercial and many backyard poultry farms in Kumasi metropolis to contribute to the total amount of meat and egg production in the country. Brannius (1997), however, reports that the interest of people in the industry and the effort of the government are gradually being killed, due to prevalence of diseases and poor marketing strategies which are regarded major constraints in the industry. Worldwide consumption of poultry produced over the years could increase if there were effective marketing strategies in place with respect to production and sales, the industry could continue to attract a lot more investments. The benefits which the nation derives from the poultry industry cannot be overemphasized. It provides employment, source of income and foreign exchange, which in turn contributes to the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP). It provides food security and protein sufficiency for poor countries (Lathan, 1997). Unfortunately, the industry in the Benin metropolis faces a lot of challenges and its prospects are dwindling. Despite the challenges confronting the poultry business and for that matter its marketing, there is still light at the end of the tunnel if the players in the industry like Ehis farm will be focused, work hard and develop better production and marketing strategies. In some areas or communities, fowls are still used in the past as a means of knowing what times of day, most especially the cock (i.e. male fowl).
Poultry farming started those days when our local farmers used the old and extensive method in keeping fowls, goats, sheep, pig and other related domestic animals proved that the poultry section was a profitable venture too. Gradually, poultry keeping developed into a commercial enterprise involving thousands of birds, large poultry units, replace small ones while more efficient strains of birds, balanced feeds, intensive housing and better poultry equipment come into use. All these industrialized system of keeping poultry birds in a recent development in Edo state as in most humid tropical countries. The effect of some environmental factors like the industries are less capitalized, consists of smaller units and depend more on manual labour. These lead to less production of the birds or the birds perform at a lower level. Due to this account, the cost of poultry production is higher. All these factors contribute to the lower consumption of poultry production in the tropical areas like Edo state. For example, the recent estimate of eggs consumption in Nigeria was far low when compared with the European countries and the United States. Moreover, the industries in the tropical areas are not as diversified as in the temperate. In the tropics, the emphasis is on egg production and only one species of poultry (the domestic fowl) is used. Whereas economic and nutritional benefits can be derived from keeping other species, for example some strains of ducks are fast growing, resistance to many diseases of the domestic fowl and can produce as many as 300 eggs per annum.
2.1 Statement of the Problem
In every business enterprise, it is always said that the production is not ended until the goods have reached the final consumer. This clearly underscores the fact that merely producing poultry birds and the other products is simply not enough because marketing is needed to make the cycle complete. Marketing here simply means finding out what customers want and supplying it effectively at a profit. For a long time, marketing has not been critically considered by most industry players as important aspect of the poultry business. All attention is focused on the production aspect whilst marketing is relegated to the background. Customers and consumers however expect poultry to be a constant product, not changing with season, time of day or severity of rains. Marketing of poultry and poultry products is subject to the laws of demand and supply. An oversupply will lead to a fall in price and profitability whereas an undersupply will lead to a high price and high profit to the disadvantage of valued customers. However, in a situation of competition the customer may purchase other products rather than the traditional product. This means consumers cannot be loyal forever. There is a standard of quality which the poultry market demands. Customers and consumers will not return to buy more if the product is unwholesome. At the point of purchase, quality relates to presentation much more than anything else. An assessment of product quality by customers and consumers may be fairly subjective if not almost unreasonable. In the poultry marketing practice, customers and consumers may be attracted by the color of the meat. They may even look at the color of the wrapper before they buy the product. Marketing of eggs for example becomes a problem when transporting them from one town to another in vehicles. Breakages as well as cracks appear on the eggs as a result of driving errors on rough roads. If this happens consumers and customers will refuse to buy the product. This is a marketing problem which poultry farmers should address. Ehis Farms has taken consumers and marketing of poultry products for granted simply because it is one of the market leaders in the Kumasi metropolis .The problem is, without taking marketing and marketing research seriously, it is doubtful if Ehis Farms can continue to maintain its market share and be a market leader in the Benin metropolis.
1.3 OBJECTIVE OF THE STUDY
To be able to critically examine the challenges and prospects of marketing poultry meat and poultry products in Benin, this study seeks to achieve the following specific objectives;
- To identify the main marketing challenges that Ehis Farms faces in its attempt to maintain its market share in the metropolis.
- To find out how Ehis Farms can address the marketing challenges it faces.
- To determine the marketing prospects of Ehis farms
- To ascertain ways of preserving poultry meat
1.4 RESEARCH QUESTION
The following are the questions the study seeks to answer in order to achieve the research objectives;
- What is the market share of Ehis Farms in the Benin metropolis?
- What are the major marketing constraints and challenges that face Ehis Farms in its effort to be a market leader in the Benin metropolis?
- Can Ehis farms continue to maintain its market share in the Benin metropolis
- How can Ehis Farms overcome its marketing constraints and challenges to maintain or even build upon its market share and become a market leader in the metropolis?
- What will be the future prospects of Ehis Farm if it’s able to address its marketing challenges and problems?
1.5 SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY
The poultry industry is plagued with several challenges which should be seriously looked at. This study has tried to look at the challenges and prospects of marketing poultry and poultry products so as to provide some ways of overcoming them. The Study is intended secondly, to add to existing knowledge on the poultry industry and to serve as a secondary source of data for further studies. Indeed, Ehis Farms stands to benefit immensely from this study since it is bringing out the numerous challenges that confront it as an industrial player, and also suggest ways of overcoming these identified challenges. Up and coming poultry farmers can also use the results of the study as a guide to avoid likely pitfalls in the poultry business. To the country as a whole, as the challenges are overcome and poultry production and marketing are enhanced, the industry has the potential of employing more people and thereby helping to reduce the problem of unemployment in the country. It will reduce the cost of marketing poultry and poultry products in Edo state and customers and consumers will benefit from it.
1.6 SCOPE AND LIMITATION OF THE STUDY
The research does not cover everything about the poultry industry. It focuses mainly on marketing of poultry meat and poultry products especially the challenges associated with marketing of the products to customers and consumers. Since the emphasis is on the marketing of the products, the study will examine the relevance of marketing in the poultry industry and in particular it will identify what goes into product quality as well as how to meet consumer and customer needs and wants in the product. It will identify the marketing challenges and constraints, how to make the industry profitable and how to ensure that it contributes its fair share to the country’s GDP and the economy as a whole.
However the study has some limitation which include:
Time constraint was another problem encountered by the researcher due to other academic assignments as well as the fact that the researcher is a full-time worker pursuing academic laurels. Other constraints were the difficulties associated with data collection since some respondents were not prepared to give out some vital information due to reasons best known to them. The study was limited to poultry marketing because industry players think that marketing relates to only buying and selling. They do not concern themselves about how to improve quality of products, how to use consumer satisfaction and care packages to attract, recruit and retain consumers.
1.7 ORGANIZATION OF THE STUDY
This research work is organized in five chapters, for easy understanding, as follows
Chapter one is concern with the introduction, which consist of the (overview, of the study), statement of problem, objectives of the study, research question, significance or the study, research methodology, definition of terms and historical background of the study. Chapter two highlight the theoretical framework on which the study its based, thus the review of related literature. Chapter three deals on the research design and methodology adopted in the study. Chapter four concentrate on the data collection and analysis and presentation of finding. Chapter five gives summary, conclusion, and recommendations made of the study.
1.8 DEFINITION OF TERMS
Production: The processes and methods employed to transform tangible input into goods.
Marketing: The action or business of promoting and selling products.
Prospect: The like hood of success.
Problem: A matter or situation regarded as unwelcome or harmful and needing to be death with and overcome.
Poultry are domesticated birds kept by humans for the eggs they produce, their meat, their feathers, or sometimes as pets. These birds are most typically members of the superorder Galloanserae (fowl), especially the order Galliformes (which includes chickens, quails and turkeys) and the family Anatidae, in order Anseriformes, commonly known as “waterfowl” and including domestic ducks and domestic geese. Poultry also includes other birds that are killed for their meat, such as the young of pigeons (known as squabs) but does not include similar wild birds hunted for sport or food and known as game. The word “poultry” comes from the French or Norman word poule, itself derived from the Latin word pullus, which means small animal.