Modern Economy, 2012, 3, 891-906
doi:10.4236/me.2012.37112 Published Online November 2012 (
Agro-Enterprise Development to Support Women Groups
in Poultry Production and Marketing: A Case Study
of Central River Region of the Gambia
Saikou E. Sanyang
Department of Agriculture, Regional Agricultural Directorate of North Bank Region, Kerewan, Gambia
Received August 31, 2012; revised October 8, 2012; accepted October 23, 2012
In the Gambia, the agricultural sector contributes 33% to GDP, and 85% of the labor force are engaged in agricultural
activities including crop and livestock production. The method of data collection for this research was non-probability
using judgmental sampling. A total of nine organized women groups engaged in poultry production as income generat-
ing activity were interviewed face-to-face using structured questionnaire. The target respondents were 150 and out of
the number 85% of the questionnaires were received. For data analysis simple descriptive statistical techniques like
percentages, regression correlation, Chi-square, Kruskal Wallis H and Mann Whitney were used. Basically, the objec-
tives of this research work are assessing the income level, training needs and problems of women poultry producers. In
terms of age distribution result shows that, majority poultry producers were in the age group of 31 - 40 years (44.5%)
and 20 - 30 years (24.2%). However, the result reveals agro-producers were in the age greater than 50 years (7.8%),
meaning that, there are no age restrictions for women groups who want to start business. The research reveals that
Boiram women group scored a total profit of US$ 1417 while the lowest profit of US$ 939 scored by Brikamaba re-
spectively. The research finding proves that, the highest price offered for a broiler is US$ 5.79 while lowest price of-
fered at US$ 3.84. Furthermore, 50% of the women respondents in the study site indicate group management and mar-
keting skills as major training needs. Base on addressing the objectives of this research findings like assessing the in-
come, training needs and problem solving we conclude that poultry production enterprise plays a meaningful role in
poverty reduction, generate income, and create employment opportunities in improving the living standard of women
and enhancing the growth of local economy.
Keywords: Agro-Enterprise; Income Generating; Women Groups; Poultry Production; Gambia
1. Introduction
The agricultural sector of the Gambia plays an important
role as food provider, employer, and foreign exchange
earner. The women farmers engaged in agro-enterprise
activity of fruits and vegetables production has become a
prominent potential in The Gambia farming systems. The
production of fruits and vegetables forms the greatest
share for the provision of additional food, foreign ex-
change earner, and source of income for women engaged
in horticultural production. As women constitute half of
the population can be a great resource in the development
process, if they are properly mobilized and organized.
The government of the Gambia is putting more emphasis
on the economic advancement of women. Notably, the
government is responsible for planning and implement-
ing women’s development programs and formulating
gender-specific policies giving them priority in institu-
tional forum. Moreover, traditional poultry production
system is extensive in nature characterized by rearing of
small flocks, which are owned and managed by women
and children for nutritional requirement. Apart from the
traditional poultry production, small-scale commercial
poultry farms are also located in the Peri-urban areas
producing broilers and table eggs. Livestock production
is important to the economic growth of developing coun-
tries like the Gambia, a contribution that can go beyond
direct food production including multipurpose products
such as feathers and manure. It further serves as good
source of income and barter product in societies where
there is no accumulation of capital.
Further, linked to the religious and socio-cultural lives
of several million resources poor farmers for whom ani-
mal ownership ensures varying degrees of sustainable
farming [1]. The women producers have under taken
poultry production as an agro-enterprise activity for in-
Copyright © 2012 SciRes. ME
come generating activity. Poultry production enterprise is
a potential area for women groups to harness income, job
create opportunities, improve quality life and standard of
living for women residing in rural communities of The
Gambia. According to [2] agro-enterprise refers to a
business activity, typically on a small-scale either on
farm or off-farm. Primarily, this research work focuses
on poultry production and marketing in enhancing the
income generation activity of women’s groups in central
River Region.
The rationale of choosing poultry production as an in-
come generation is because of short generation intervals,
and high turnover rates on investment compare to other
livestock like sheep, goat and cattle. Poultry can also
serve as a protein source from meat and egg for rural
community of The Gambia. Secondly, the women groups
in the study have certain characteristics as organized
groups, diverse ethnicity, different age groups, illiterates
and paucity knowledge in poultry production techniques.
Basing on these reasons actually motivated the author to
research on poultry production and marketing supporting
rural women in The Gambia. This is of great importance,
because the economic development of nations relates to
the advancement of women in the third world countries
[3]. As a result, demand for poultry meat in urban areas,
it is therefore important to promote poultry production
through the support of the governments, NGOs and pri-
vates sectors, to increase income, reduce poverty and be
self-sufficient in house ups engaged in poultry
production from the population tapping extension agents’
experience and knowledge. The target population was
women groups engaged in poultry production under the
pilot project located in the same geographical area. The
judgmental sampling method was based on these charac-
teristics. The data collection process was face-to-face
interview using semi-structured questionnaire. The sur-
vey was done by three extension agents and a supervisor
using prepared survey guidelines as reference materials.
The group members interviewed was the executives and
other group members who possessed certain qualities.
The target sample size was 150 questionnaires and 128
questionnaires were received indicating 85% of the total
3.4. Data Measurement and Analysis
The following data types used for this research work are
Nominal and Interval as non-parametric data. The current
research indicates non-parametric as the most suitable
because the variables are free normal distribution. SPSS
version 17 for data analysis like descriptive statistical
techniques such as percentages, mean, and standard de-
viation to describe and summarize the data, Correlation,
Chi-square, Kruskal Wallis and Man Whitney were used
for analysis.
4. Results and Discussion
The issue of commercial poultry production for income
generation started in Central River Region of The Gam-
bia through the intervention of FAO in 2000. The Figure
1 shows the study areas of women groups engaged in
poultry production in the Central River Central of the
Gambia. The region has lots of potentials for agricultural
production particularly poultry production. The approach
started with individual households who were given 50 -
250 chicks on loan basis as a pilot project. After 5 years
poultry farmers associations were formed targeting
women groups who were re-organized to embark on
poultry production. In terms of age distribution the result
shows that 44.5% of women who are poultry producers
are between the age group of 31 - 40 while 24.2% are
20 - 30 years as productive groups in Figure 2. From this
research we can deduce that age groups between 20 - 30
and 31 - 40 years are the productive age groups for
agro-enterprise development in the rural communities of
The Gambia. In categories of women groups usually the
young groups are assigned with duties or responsibilities
to execute. Moreover, younger age groups possess a
spirit of doing something in life and have strong urge to
start a business. On one hand, old age acquires less mo-
tivation and accordingly may not find stimulus package
to start a new business. We have to keep in mind that old
age has greater experiences, which may be regarded as
one of the positive factors for entry in non-farm entre-
preneurship. Old age can make the best use of their ex-
periences earned from different fields to avoid uncertain-
ties. In this research only 7.8% of the women entrepre-
neurs are >50 years. For older people, earning an income
brings more than financial security and a chance to im-
Copyright © 2012 SciRes. ME
Sinchumadado1&2 women's group
Boiramwomen's group
Fullabantangwomen's group
Sinchualagi women'sgroupPoultry producers
Brikamabawomen's group
Gallehmanda 1&2women's group
Murtabehwomen's group
Figure 1. Map of the Gambia showing the study area.
Figure 2. Age distribution of women groups.
prove their living conditions. It can also raise their self
esteem; improve their status in the family and commu-
nity providing valuable social contact.
A study conducted in United Arab Emirates found that
most of the women entrepreneurs were generally young
and were at their 20s to 30s, and only 1 in 4 was more
than 40 years [49]. Moreover, the best age for entry into
innovative establishment is between 20 and 40 years. The
result from this research clearly reveals that age catego-
ries are between 20 - 30 and 31 - 40 years. [50], most
women producers premise their entrepreneurial careers
between the ages of 22 and 55. Moreover, a career can be
initiated before or after these years. This is not likely to
happen because an entrepreneur requires experience,
financial support, and high level of energy to success-
fully start a small business.
The issue of different age groups has been discussed in
the first part of this research work. From the test result of
Kruskal Wallis analysis the incomes of households were
distributed significantly difference between the age
groups. The square value is 13.725 with the degree of
freedom 3 at significant level of 0.003. In addition, from
the table using Mann Whitney test 1 and 3, 1 and 4, and 2
and 4 were significantly different at 0.05. Therefore, it is
a signal for policy makers to direct their development
projects and programmes to young generation in spite of
productive age group but still have low income. The pol-
icy makers should target income generating programmes
between age group 1 and 3 and/or integrate both the
young and old age entrepreneurs for sharing of knowl-
edge and experiences for sustainability (Table 1).
The educational level of women entrepreneur espe-
cially developing countries received significant research
attention. Some feel that entrepreneurs are less educated
than the general population most particularly women
entrepreneurs residing in the rural communities. In The
Gambia, 73% of women are illiterates. Education whether
formal or informal system is very important in upbring-
ing women entrepreneurs in planning, organizing, di-
recting and controlling of resources that is deem neces-
sary to up keep a business activity [51]. The ability to
deal with women groups to communicate and clearly
demonstrate is important in agro enterprise development.
This research result shows that, most of the women
groups in the study area went through the informal sys-
tem of education which is the Islamic form of education.
Hence they can read and write. This is seen in all the
women groups particularly Galleh Manda where 100% of
women respondents attended Islamic education (Table 2).
According to, [52] from their study in Northern Nigeria
revealed that, 83.3% of the women respondents had
Quaranic form of education.
Importantly, there are other women groups whose
members obtained little form of primary and secondary
education as in the case of Fullabantang and Brikamaba
with 23.1% and 40% respectively. In terms of type and
Table 1. Different age group distribution and household
Age Number Mean rank
20 - 30 30 57.50a
31 - 40 58 60.73ab
41 - 50 24 65.35bc
>50 12 77.83c
Note: Mean ranks having the same letters have no significance different at
0.05 (p > 0.05).
Table 2. Educational level of women groups.
Women groupsPrimary Secondary Arabic None
Sinchumadado- - 53.7% 46.3%
Boiram - 2.9% 85.3% 11.4%
Fullabantang23.1% - - 79.9%
Sinchualagi - - 80% 20%
Brikamaba - 40% - 60%
Gallehmanda- - 100% -
Murtabeh - - 80% 20%
Copyright © 2012 SciRes. ME
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quality of education, female entrepreneurs are less privi-
leged or disadvantaged particularly rural women [53].
Moreover, it is important for different stakeholders like
the government, civil society and the private sector to
create capacity building opportunities to empower women
poultry producers in enhancing their knowledge and
skills. Therefore recommending that Gambia government
should develop workable adult literacy policies by allo-
cating funds, provision of training kits, allowances for
women and recruitment of facilitators. This would have
direct impact on women poultry producers to improve
income, knowledge and skills and quality of life ideal for
rural development.
From 117 valid respondents 39 are poultry and 78
poultry and sheep for household income or <384 US$.
The Chi-Square test result shows business activity and
income level of households. From the results obtained
indicate that there is strong association between the two
variables shown (Table 3). This means that, the income
gain from group activity would go directly into house-
hold spending like food, school fees, medicine and other
miscellaneous expenses. Therefore, to be self sufficient
in household food security and poverty alleviation, pol-
icy makers should formulate policies that would have
direct impact on household income. One important pol-
icy would be to create and promote more small enter-
prises both in urban and rural areas to reduce the problem
of unemployment in the rural communities of the Gam-
In a new development approach, to understand the
dynamics of rural households have emerged in recent
years. The analysis of singe production activities has
been replaced by the study of household as a diversified
enterprise. The rural household can be seen as a centre of
different types of enterprise, including non-farm activi-
ties that will continue to play an important role in rural
livelihood strategies [54]. Rural household enterprises
are not limited to the agricultural sector but can be
non-farm activities. A farm activity plays an important
role in uplifting the income of households in many de-
veloping countries. One example is agro-enterprise de-
velopment through poultry production for income gen-
eration in rural Gambia. From the results of correlation
matrix (Table 4) show differences in correlation between
the variables. The first point of correlation between vari-
ables are saving amount and saving time which shows
875. Secondly, in the study area there are no formal
financial banking systems where these women entrepre-
neurs can save their funds. The best possible way to save
is to travel to eastern part or lower region of the country
where there are financial banks. Moreover, these women
groups also keep their own funds by putting in a village
box or giving it to a renowned business trader within the
community for safe keeping. However, this should not be
encouraged because of high risks such as thefts, fire out-
breaks, and other unforeseen circumstances. Therefore,
building stronger links between the various tiers of Gam-
bia financial system, resources could be deployed more
successfully to accelerate private sector development.
The second point of correlation between variables is
the income of households and saving time. From the ta-
ble as household income increases the time of savings
Table 3. Cross-tabulation betwee n business activity and income of household.
Income level of household
Business activity <384 US$ 430 - 538 US$ 576 - 730 US$ >923 US$ Total
Poultry 39 9 1 1 50
Poultry and sheep 78 0 0 0 78
Total 117 9 1 1 128
Note: 1 US$ = D26.
Table 4. Inter-item correlation matrix.
Production Mortality Group incomeHousehold incomeSaving amount Saving time
Production 1.000 0.999 0.637 0.999 0.611 0.668
Mortality 1.000 0.637 0.999 0.611 0.668
Group income 1.000 0.637 0.232 0.238
Households income 1.000 0.611 0.668
Saving amount 1.000 0.875
Time of saving 1.000
will also increase showing 0.668. In Bangladesh, a pro-
ject was designed for women to undertake poultry pro-
duction as economic activities. Micro-credit loans were
given to women entrepreneurs to start poultry production
and loans were paid by weekly or monthly installments
the repayment rate was 99 percent. With the increase in
income, the households made substantial progress in
savings. Furthermore, as production increases saving
time will also increase because of commitments and
other issues related to poultry production.
The third point of correlation analysis between vari-
ables is production and groups income. This means that
as production increases the income of households will
also increase showing 0.637 (Table 4). Another correla-
tion from the table is group income and households’ in-
come. As income of groups increases the income of
household also increases concurrently at 0.637 showing
high positive correlation. The fourth point worth of men-
tioning is production and savings amount which shows
0.611. Meaning that amount of savings would depend
on the volume of production, and sales amount is not a
direct effect of saving amount. Furthermore, mortality
and savings are correlated the simple reason is that if
mortality rate increases within a period of time, it would
have negative effect on income, which means saving
amount will be reduced showing 0.611. From the result,
income of households and saving amount are also corre-
lated, as household income increases does not mean sav-
ings amount will also increase. This can be associated to
factors like payment of school fees, family expenditure
and other miscellaneous expenses which will affect the
amount of savings indicating 0.611.
The fifth point of correlation matrix is high production
and high mortality rate. The interpretation of results in-
dicates that as production increases the chances of mor-
tality rate will also increase at 0.999. According to lit-
erature it is always advisable for the sellers to cater 10%
mortality rate for the buyer as contingency incase of
mortality. The incidence of diseases and stress due to
long distance would result to high mortality rate in a
given stock. Furthermore, another correlation point is
high production which resulted to high income level of
households showing 0.999, depending on proper and
better management practices. On one hand, there is high
correlation between mortality and income of households
at (0.999). This relationship shows that mortality will
have negative relation with income of households. In this
case, income will decrease as a result of high mortality
rate encountered by women groups during production.
The realities of economic growth were non-farm ac-
tivities play a major role is a prerequisite for business
set-up in rural communities [55]. Facilitating and stimu-
lating profitable non-farm employment should be a con-
cern for policy makers to give maximum support to the
informal sector. Therefore, policy makers need to for-
mulate and designed agricultural policies for small busi-
ness development, extensively managed, and serving as
sources of income. In this case, no high productivity
gains, but a stable supply of food and income are ex-
pected [56].
The long distance between producer and consumer the
more complex is the market ensuring that that broilers
reach the consumers in their form, place and time desired.
Producers may decide to market their produce directly to
consumers or may choose from different markets to sell
their produce. The premise of agro-enterprise develop-
ment into poultry marketing can generate big benefits for
women poultry producers. In view of this, it can provide
better input services to smallholders and help them com-
pete with larger producers. There is great potential for
the women groups to enter the work force as market
agents and employees along the livestock market chains.
From the results (Table 5), 69.6% of women producers
indicate village market and local markets while 15% of
women respondents indicate village markets. Farm gate/
local markets, farm gate and local market scored 8%, 4%,
and 3.2% respectively while none for hotel and restaurant.
Most of the women groups sell broilers to the weekly
market or village markets within their jurisdictions. This
is attributed to long distance from the nearest markets.
Small quantities of chickens offered for sale restrict most
farmers to take advantage of such market opportunities.
Weight is a determinant characteristic for selling live
broilers. This would depend on the type of feed, the
breed type and treatment would determine the weight of
each layer. The research finding proves it very important
to discuss about the price per kg of broilers produced by
different women groups. From the results (Table 6) show
that the price for 1 kilogram package is the best selling
price for the producer. In terms of price per 1 kg is more
rational, even the unit cost of production is the same with
2 kilogram and 1.5 kilogram. Furthermore, at 1 kilogram
the meat of the chicken will be more soft and tender for
consumer preference, thereby reducing the time of cook-
ing. However, for the consumer the best price is 2 kg.
According to [57], the price of imported frozen whole
chicken was D70.83 or US$ 2.72 per kg and from this
research result shows that these women groups can sell at
D77.33 or US$ 2.97 per kg in the local markets. This
means that consumers prefer more of live broilers than
imported frozen chicken meat due to taste and freshness.
The 3 different packages are significantly different from
one another and have been proven statistically from the
research results.
In any business activity setting price is vital for an en-
terprise to flourish. Pricing mechanism is difficult to de-
termine especially if producers are supplying the same
market in the rural communities. It would be rather dif-
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Table 5. Marketing channels.
Different markets No of respondents Percentage (%)
Village/local market 128 69.4
Village market 128 15.2
Farm gate 128 8.0
Local market 128 4.0
Farm gate/local market 128 3.2
Table 6. Price per kilogram of different broiler package.
Package Price per kg (Mean ± SD)
2 kg 67.18 ± 10.74c
1.5 kg 71.58 ± 9.64b
1 kg 77.33 ± 10.69a
Note: Different letters in the same column means significantly different at p
< 0.05.
ficult to have a static price in a commodity market due to
market forces of demand and supply. Hence, these
women groups would have different pricing mechanism
within the same region. From the results (Table 7) show
that Boiram women groups sells their broilers for US$
5.76 while Fullabantang, Gallehmanda, and Murtabeh
women groups sell at US$ 4.80 per broilers with a mar-
gin of US$ 0.96. For the case of Boiram, the women
group are opportune to have extension agent who gives
technical advice by pegging selling price basing on pre-
vailing market conditions. In addition, Boiram serving as
catchment village surrounded by other villages buy
broilers at a price reasonable for the villagers. In
Sinchualagi the selling price for broilers is quite different
from other women groups. The group sells at US$ 4.61
per broiler at village level.
However, a difficulty in transportation due to several
kilometers from the weekly market makes it extremely
hard for the women to visit the market. Hence, the
women would prefer selling at village market. From the
research findings, the lowest price offered for sale is US$
3.84. However, Brikamaba women group faces the prob-
lem of market competition because of the weekly market.
Buyers and sellers from different areas of The Gambia
converge every Saturday to sell their produce at the
weekly market. From his research findings the price of
live broilers from commercial sector was D96.15 or US$
3.69 while the results showed the minimum or lowest
price offered for sale by women groups is D99.84 or US$
3.84. On one hand, with better mechanism of information
dissemination among the groups can realize dandy profit
from poultry production enterprise.
In The Gambia, the minimum price for broilers at rural
communities is US$3.84 an additional price above this
level would depend on weight (kg) of broilers, bargain-
ing power and negotiation skills of the group. In such a
market situation, the most successful agro-entrepreneurs
would be the group that produce quality product, peg
better price and, add value to primary commodities to
maximize profit. An enterprise is “profitable” when it
produces more money or income than it spends. It is ad-
visable prior investing money in agro-enterprise for in-
come generating activity, the group need to calculate
whether the cash they want to spend will cover their
start-up and operating costs, and leave some profit for
re-investment to keep the business growing [58]. More-
over, it can be quiet interesting to research on household
and individual profit numbers, but this particular research
only focuses on group profit. Agro-enterprise develop-
ment advocates for group orientation so that, the profit
gain can be ploughed back into the business or deposit
into the village banks to generate more income. More-
over, the individual members can have certain percentage
from the profit and the income is directly injected into
household to make ends meet. In addition, the rearing
period for the broilers is 8 to 20 weeks which is more
cost effective than rearing of layers which usually takes a
period of 6 months.
In addition, from the livestock officer view point in the
study area indicate that these groups do not buy specific
quantity of broilers from Senegal, but it depends on how
much they can purchase at a time. He further stated that
these women groups or entrepreneurs can buy broilers 2 -
3 times in a year. The result from (Table 7) shows that,
Boiram women group scored a total profit of US$ 1417
followed by Sinchumadado, Fullabantang, Gallehmanda
and Murtabeh of US$ 1179 and the lowest profit is US$
939 scored by Brikamaba respectively. The result from
correlation matrix has proven that as group income in-
creases households’ income will also increase. However,
from the data analysis most of the women entrepreneurs
indicate US$ 769 and US$ 384 for group income and
households’ income per annum. However, results proved
that minimum group income per annum is US$ 937. Ac-
cording to [59] flock size is related to the objectives of
the poultry enterprise. Therefore, innovative business
management and marketing skills, farm accounting, re-
cord keeping, planning, organizing, coordinating and
controlling of resources will enhance the success of agro-
entrepreneurship in the rural communities of Gambia.
This kind of intervention in the rural communities will
serve as a tool for poverty alleviation, create job oppor-
tunities, and increase income to improve new livelihood
for sustainable human development [60].
In agro-enterprise or small and medium enterprise for
income generating activity price prediction is very nec-
essary in a business setup. Women engaged in a business
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Table 7. Production cost and profit margin.
Women groups No. of birdsb Feed intake
for 8 wksa
Total cost
of feed US$a
Total cost of
vaccine US$a
chick US$a
Total sales
US$b Profit US$c
Sinchu-Madado 250 61.87 kg 19.03 2.40 0.96 4.80 1200 1178
Boiram 250 61.87 kg 19.03 2.40 0.96 5.76 1440 1418
Fulla-Bantang 250 61.87 kg 19.03 2.40 0.96 4.80 1200 1178
Sinchu-Alagi 250 61.87 kg 19.03 2.40 0.96 4.61 1152 1130
Brikamaba 250 61.87 kg 19.03 2.40 0.96 3.84 960 938
Galleh Manda 250 61.87 kg 19.03 2.40 0.96 4.80 1200 1178
Murtabeh 250 61.87 kg 19.03 2.40 0.96 4.80 1200 1178
D26 = US$1; Feed cost-D8/1 kg feed-US$ = 0.3; Vaccine cost-25 butut/broiler = US$ 0.010; 20 butut/layer = US$ 0.007; Day-old-chick-D25 = US$ 0.010.
activity need to know price level of raw materials and
finished product at different markets such as whole-
sale and retail, and regarded as business knowledge [61].
Women need to establish marketing links to sell their
products and to buy raw materials to maintain the business
flow. In marketing mix, product, positioning and promo-
tion incur cost except price which brings about profit;
therefore price prediction would be a vital tool to market
feasibility study. The results in Figure 3 show from re-
gression correlation showed price prediction between 3
pairs of 2 kilogram, 1.5 kilogram, and 1 kilogram of broil-
ers. The results show regression correlation of 2 and 1.5
kilogram is the best price prediction ranging from D75 to
D150 with a coefficient of determination R2 = 0.730.
Training is an important instrument for sound eco-
nomic growth and sustainable development both devel-
oped and developing nations. Training needs is the act of
acquiring skills, knowledge and attitude an individual
requires in overcoming problems as well as avoiding or
creating problem situations. From the result in (Table 8)
shows that many of the women groups in the study area
indicate group management and marketing skills as ma-
jor training needs except Fullabantang whose area of
training need is production technologies. The group pre-
fers acquainting themselves with production and man-
agement skills. In terms of production the women farm-
ers are better equipped than business related skills caus-
ing some difficulties for the women entrepreneurs; the
result proves the areas of training needs eluded by the
women groups. The training modules can be on produc-
tion planning, pricing, market planning, negotiation skills
and record keeping, farm accounting and other related
business management skills.
However, the cost of training was not examined, but
for such training programmes is usually funded by the
governments, donor agencies or NGOs and sometimes it
is free of charge. The intervention need from the stake-
holder as indicated by the women includes provision of
credit facilities, financial assistance and link to markets.
For women groups or entrepreneur to be successful in
market place, rural women need to adopt new technolo-
gies, access information, and gain new enterprise skills
so that they are in a position to evaluate and invest in
new opportunities as they arise. Access to training pro-
grams, credit facilities and communication facilities
would improve the knowledge and skills of these women
groups. The idea of farmers’ business school would serve
as a catalyst to bridge the gap in areas where training is
more necessary for business development. Therefore, the
promotion and development of women producer groups
as the basis for self-sufficiency should be supported
through training (technical and business management)
and startup capital in the form of goods and services.
Involvement and support from the private sector in the
provision of goods and services needs to be encouraged
for sustainability.
Primarily, environmental assessment of the poultry
production is challenging for sustainable economic
growth and development. Special focus was given to
health and environmental aspects of poultry rearing, in-
cluding the housing and diseases of both humans and
poultry, the surrounding environment, access to and
sources of water, waste management, common property
resources, and social conflicts related to the poultry pro-
gramme. Poultry rearing can be a promising income-
generating activity for women group. There are generic
problems associated to poultry production and marketing
in The Gambia. From the result (Table 9) many prob-
lems have been encountered by women entrepreneurs,
but the most salient are roofing, lack of vaccine, mortal-
ity, low price and diseases which are 53%, 50%, 33%,
36% and 28% respectively. Moreover, for the case of
diseases, proper sanitary measures and management
would be ideal step to prevent or reduce the outbreak of
diseases at farm level. Furthermore, the most striking
problem in relation to poultry production is high mortal-
ity rate of 80% - 90% of production. Traditionally, New-
castle disease is believed to be the most devastating dis-
Table 8. Training needs by women groups.
Women groups No of respondents Group
management skillsMarketing skills Farm management
Sinchumamado 42 98% 90% 5% 3%
Boiram 34 100% 88% 9% -
Fullabantang 13 54% 8% 23% 92%
Sinchualagi 5 60% 100% 80% 40%
Brikamaba 9 100% 78% 11% 11%
Gallehmanda 7 29% - 43% 29%
Table 9. Problems associated to poultry production.
Housing Vaccine Day-old chicks Marketing Diseases
Roofing (53%) Lack (50%) Cost (27%) Competition (33%) Newcastle (28%)
Building materials (45%) Quality (16%) Sanitary measures (4%)Low price (36%) Gumboro (23%)
Cooling system (2%) Time (16%) Mortality (33%) Bargaining power (16%) Coccidiosis (23%)
High price (18%) Transportation (20%) Market information (14%) Paralysis (25%)
Feeds 15% Control (0%)
Hatchery (0.4%)
Figure 3. Price prediction between 2 kilogram and 1.5 kilo-
gram of broiler.
ease in poultry production and the main course of high
mortality. However, if vaccine against Newcastle disease
[ND] cannot be delivered on time according to agreed
schedules, small-scale poultry production would be dif-
ficult to succeed at rural communities [62].
Furthermore, studies in Nigeria estimated that the
overall flock mortality may be as high as 90% in some
areas. The marketing aspects are important when dealing
with poultry production as an income generating activity.
Fortunately, most studies on marketing aspects show no
saturation for indigenous products on local or even na-
tional level, whereas production of improved meat
(broilers) or eggs needs more attention on national and
even global markets. The low marketable output gener-
ates limitations to explore other distant but rewarding
markets due to high transaction cost arises from soaring
transportation fees and time. Consequently, chicken are
sold within the villages where market outlets tend to be
limited and trader cartels erode their bargaining power.
From the research result the women producers indicate
low price as another major problem. The market price is
a tool through which they can determine what and how
much is produced from the paucity resources used in
production and how products can be distributed. More-
over, access to input and output markets by rural women
need to be improved, so that they can be assured of rea-
sonable prices from wide range of products [63].
Therefore, as business service provider, it is impera-
tive to stress when dealing with women engaged in poul-
try production as means of addressing poverty, the risk
involve in starting up or improving the production has to
be minimal from producer point of view. Introducing
new high yielding breeds should be done in a careful step
wise manner ensuring that producers know how to han-
dle diseases and management problems.
5. Conclusions
In order to accomplish a laudable goals and objectives it
is important to pay attention to the development of agro-
women entrepreneurs for income generating activity in
Central River Region of rural Gambia. With this ap-
proach, they can take their role in family engagements
Copyright © 2012 SciRes. ME
and national economic development. The government
and development change agents must not only be pre-
pared to recognize the economic role of women but de-
sign policies that would directly affect the lives of
women agro-entrepreneurs in rural communities. The
most important relationship with other research findings
is the act of information dissemination and theoretical
understanding of innovations to the end-users. Further-
more, the implication of this research work would be the
transfer of knowledge to the rural communities as bene-
ficiaries of innovation for better understanding, increas-
ing of income and improving standard of living.
In the process of training, extension agents can inter-
act with women producers for learning and sharing of
knowledge, so that women can have opportunities to ac-
quire technical skills and practice business related strate-
gies. This approach would be replicated to other women
groups who want to start poultry production as a business
in other regions of The Gambia. The government, donor
agencies and NGOs can use this information to under-
stand effectiveness of agro-enterprise as income generat-
ing activity. These will help stakeholders in their fight to
reduce poverty, increase income and improve the liveli-
hood of rural women. The information obtained from this
study will further assist the stakeholders to have better
understanding of the obstacles and problems faced by
rural women to increase their productivity. The women
groups can increase productivity, if they have access to
land and recognized beneficiaries of land acquisition.
In addition, access to land is indeed the most empow-
ering step in the right direction to gender equity. The
goal of gender equity will be more ideal and workable by
equal land ownership for agro-enterprise promotion and
development. Success of small income generating activ-
ity such as poultry and livestock should not detract from
demanding equal division of land and inherited property
among women and men. In addressing the objectives of
this research findings like assessing the income, training
needs and problem solving we conclude that poultry
production enterprise can play a meaningful role in pov-
erty reduction, generate income, and create employment
opportunities to improve the living standard in enhancing
the growth of rural economy rural. Therefore, it is rec-
ommended for policy makers to design policies geared
towards adult literacy programmes or establishment of
business school concept. This would help the women
entrepreneurs to acquire knowledge and skills on small
business development in support of their income gener-
ating activities.
6. Acknowledgements
This piece of work is dedicated to my beloved wife
Kumba Jayfang Sanyang and my children Omar Sanyang
and Khadija Sanyang for their kindness while undergoing
this research work. I wish to acknowledge my Professor
Wen-Chi Huang for her valuable and critical contribu-
tions in order to improve the quality of this research
work. Sincere appreciation and dedication to the family
of Sanyang Kunda. Special thanks to my caring mother
for her words of encouragement during my academic
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