One of the major challenges facing most developing countries is the satisfaction of the ever-increasing demand for calories and protein. Most African diets [Nigeria inclusive] are deficient in animal protein which result in poor and stunted growth as well as increase in spread of diseases and consequently death (Yusuf and Malomo 2007)
Animal protein sources include fish, egg, poultry meat, beef, milk, beacon, pork and mutton. They are delicious but not readily affordable. The common sources accessible to Nigeria populace are frozen fish, beef and poultry products [egg and meet]. Most farmers produce poultry especially in Kwara state Nigeria, however, the level of the productivity still remain local and small- scale.
Poultry is a sub-sector in the livestock industry constituting a major component of the agricultural economy. The sector provides animal protein to the populace as well as employment for a considerable percentage of the population. According to FAO Report (2010) poultry comes fourth among sources of animal proteins for human consumption in Nigeria and contributes about 10% of the national meat production. Poultry business is attractive because birds are able to adapt easily, have – high economic value – rapid generation time and – a high rate of productivity that can result in the production of meat within eight weeks and first egg within eighteen weeks of the first chick being hatched.
Okoli et al., (2004) revealed that 85% of rural families keep small ruminants and local fowls primarily as an investment and sources of manure or meat at home or for use during festivals. In spite of this, livestock production is still not keeping pace with the protein requirements of the rapidly increasing Nigeria population. Demand is more than supply. Since the responsibility of any civilized government is to provide adequate food and assure an atmosphere free from hunger and malnutrition, the Federal Government of Nigeria placed a ban on importation of frozen chicken and turkey parts to encourage massive poultry production locally [Agricultural Transformation Agenda 2012]. This policy has encouraged many investments in poultry production in Nigeria. It has therefore, becomes a full time job for many and is considered to be a commercially viable enterprise
Considering poultry production as a commercially viable business, the knowledge of farm management demands economic measurement of profitability of such venture with the utmost aim of guiding the farmers in the appropriate use of resources/combination to maximize profit and encourage potential entrants to increase output and bridge the gap between national demand and supply of animal protein. This study is therefore analysing the economics of poultry production in Kwara state