Post-Avian Flu Profitability and Resource Use Efficiency of Broiler Farmers in Akwa Ibom State, South-South, Nigeria
The profitability, determinants of the viability and resource use efficiency of broiler farmers in Akwa Ibom state, South-South, Nigeria were evaluated in this study after the incidence of Avian-flu pandemic in parts of Nigeria. Multi-stage, random sampling technique was employed in selecting 72 broiler farmers comprising backyard poultry, semi-commercial and commercial broiler farmers. Cost route approach was used in data collection. The data were analyzed using cost and return analysis, financial and efficiency ratios; as well as descriptive and inferential statistics. The result of the analysis indicated that the broiler enterprise was profitable although production was at low capacity. The variable cost constituted about 83% of the total cost and feed alone made up about 60% of this cost. Fixed cost constituted about 17% of total cost. The returns on gross and net profits were about 30 and 15%, respectively. For every bird sold, the farmer made a profit of N435 and the breakeven point (volume) was 348 broilers. A striking difference of over 35% profitability was observed between this study and a previous study in the same state before the Avian-flu attack in Nigeria, thus raising grave concerns of any direct attack for the industry in the area. Further, the regression analysis showed that feed, equipment and labour were statistically significant at 5% level, thus enhancing the usage of these inputs would increase profitability. The farmers, who were mainly of middle age group and school certificate holders, were found to be allocatively inefficient and operated at an increasing return to scale. This implied that they were operating in Zone 1 or Irrational Zone of the production function. To be efficient, the broiler farmers need to re-adjust downwards the over-utilized inputs, namely feed, labour, equipment and drugs by 35, 79, 99.8 and 99.9%, respectively. In addition, the under-utilized input, namely, size of stock, need to be re-adjusted upwards by 56%. Allied to this, is the need to enhance the farmers educational status (formal and informal) and encourage young graduates to take to farming. All stakeholders including the government, consumers and producers should synergize in the monitor and control of the Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza (HPAI) strain H5NI, which rampaged parts of the country to stem possible morbidity of the disease.