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The gross margin analysis and determination of who benefits in the marketing chain of chickens were established. Also, price competitiveness of local chickens with other alternative sources of protein is also reported. More cocks than hens were supplied in the markets. Prominent quantities were in the months of July and September, and lowest in the month of January. The profit margins realised by farmers and middlemen were significantly influenced by the months in which both parties sold chickens and the sex of the chickens.
Local chickens competed better than other alternative protein sources implying that the marketing of local chickens was still unsaturated. Despite the higher prices of local chickens they are higher demanded than any other alternative protein sources such as beef, broiler, fish and beans.
Middlemen play a major role in the local chickens marketing chain. For example, farmers consider FRLC as an insignificant secondary occupation when compared with other agricultural activities. Despite the small flocks reared by rural families, the contribution of this traditional poultry sector to most African countries national egg and meat production is substantial. In most African urban areas, FRLC eggs and meat are more expensive than the intensively reared poultry because the former are considered free of antibiotics, hormones and other harmful chemicals.
Urban consumers talk about the meat of FRLC chicken being more delicious than that of broilers. FRLC numbers in Africa are increasing annually despite the menace of diseases such as Newcastle, Fowl typhoid and other problems such as poor management, endo-parasites and vermin attack. Boki estimated the FRLC numbers in at 26 million, while for Kenya, Nyange estimated them to be 22 million for Of the 27 million chicken populations in Tanzania, free range local chickens FRLC accounts for about Elsewhere in Africa, scavenging local chickens contribute a significant portion of the rural as well as national economy Sonaiya In Tanzania, rural and urban marketing of FRLC and its contribution to the national economy is not known.
The intention of this study was threefold: first, to determine the quantity of FRLC supplied and sold in four urban markets in Morogoro and Kilosa; second, to identify the main beneficiaries in the marketing chain; third, to examine the price competitiveness of FRLC with other alternative protein sources in the urban markets.