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 hold food security. Women in the
central region of the Gambia are facing problems, less
accessible to land, credit facilities, markets, agricultural
inputs, inappropriate technologies, related business man-
agement and group management skills, capacity building,
limited access to finance, and information all affecting
poultry production as agro-enterprise for income gener-
ating activity.
Therefore, for these women groups to be successful in
the future they need managerial skills to enhance their
business potentials. The participation of women groups
can enhance poultry production for income generation in
rural areas of The Gambia. [4], advocates for special at-
tention on the needs of women, who are the predominant
farmers in many developing countries. The responsibili-
ties of rural women are increasing day-by-day for gener-
ating income and assuring maintenance of their families.
International donor agencies and NGOs prefer to work
with organized groups than individual farmers because it
gains considerable dividends in terms of assessing new
information, credit, low-cost inputs, cohesiveness, shar-
ing of ideas, and re-payment of loans [5]. The idea of
integrated rural development includes growth in agricul-
tural production, processing, marketing and creation of
employment opportunities for rural farmers [6]. Women
groups are committed to development programs immedi-
ate changes can come through group participation rather
than individuals. Thirdly, for the issue of training and
dissemination of information would be much easier when
farmers are well organized to engage in poultry produc-
tion. Organizing women into groups is an effective way
of learning new ideas to be become more competitive
and gain economic of scales [7].
Furthermore, development agencies are increasing
their emphasis on assisting women to secure income
through their own efforts. Such approaches are catego-
rized as “income generating activities” and cover initia-
tives as diverse as small business promotion, cooperative
undertakings, job creation schemes, credit and saving
groups and youth training programmes. It is sometimes
argue that education, and health provision, legal and po-
litical changes, and global economic all affect the abili-
ties of women to secure an income. However, group
management are more demanding in terms of resource
mobilization, time consuming, disagreement on issues,
conflicts but the advantages outweigh the disadvantages.
This research work consider income generating activities
as initiatives that can bring rapid changes in the socio-
economic development of women through the use of
tools such as agro-enterprise activities, credit and saving
and business management.
2. Literature Review
There were many studies conducted on agro-entrepre-
neurship, micro, small and medium enterprise in a global
perspective. The success of poultry production enter-
prises would depend on sound business culture, educa-
tion, and dexterity among others. This research work
focuses on agro-enterprise approach that would support
women groups engaged in poultry production. The ra-
tionale of agro-enterprise development as a research
topic is basically to meet up the challenges of food and
nutritional in-security, income security, and poverty alle-
viation. Hence, to meet the challenges of food security,
income security and poverty alleviation, women would
need support in order to participate effectively and effi-
ciently in poultry production through the process of
2.1. Agro-Enterprise Development
This approach is an important tool that can be used to
attain food security, income security, and poverty alle-
viation in developing countries. The role of women in
national or rural development cannot be underestimated
for sustainable economic growth and development. From
literature reviews women are at the core of development
activities. The role of agro-enterprise or small and me-
dium enterprises in poverty alleviation has long been
recognized as vital, and promotion of small and micro-
Copyright © 2012 SciRes. ME
enterprises for women has been realized as a key factor
augmenting family welfare [8]. Investments in agro-en-
terprise for income generating activity are important and
a step in the right direction to uplift the lives of rural
communities. Rising productive base or capacity can
improve rural income and reduce food price and make
food accessible for rural women to make ends meet.
Agro-enterprise for income generating activities focuses
on groups at producer level and individual actors that
provide services within the group, [9]. Aagro-enterprise
development as income generating activity have prob-
lems associated with marketing and setting up of new
organizational structures poses serious challenges to poor
farming communities particularly those accustomed to
produce only basic staple food for household uses. This
approach was developed in response to demand from
partners in agricultural development who want system-
atic method shifting from a food security strategy that
focused on production to a market-oriented approach that
emphasizes profit, income and market demand [10].
Agro- enterprise can be located in rural or urban areas on
micro or small scale, domestic or foreign, public or pri-
vate. These can be corporations, cooperatives, fam-
ily-based entities or single proprietorship hence governed
by set of rules. The agro-enterprise approach is singularly
non-commodity specific and support collective action,
diversification and value addition as pathway for poverty
reduction. This approach can be adapted to support the
specific needs of women groups and address the needs of
vulnerable groups such as youths, old age, and women.
[11] Entrepreneurial activities in rural areas are based on
agricultural and natural resource products, farm families
to broaden their income strategies by including value
chain-operations [12]. Thus market-oriented enterprise
diversification occurs both on farm and off farm, within
the same household and amongst small and medium scale
off farm rural agro-enterprise. In Bangladesh, women in
rural areas were involved in agro-enterprises like poultry
rearing, sale of eggs, broilers, and chicks, goat and sheep
fattening, cattle rearing are common agro-enterprise oc-
cupations [13]. For income-generating activities, like
producing poultry and selling of products would enable
women to improve on their income. An agro-enterprise
not only enhances national productivity, generate em-
ployment but help to develop economic independence,
personal and social capabilities among rural women [14].
The goal of agro-enterprise is to improve management
skills, and competencies, increase profitability, competi-
tiveness and enhance household income.
Therefore, rural agro-enterprise approach will continue
to play a supporting role in improving the household
economy, using profits to meet household basic necessi-
ties and amusements. The creation of small enterprises in
rural communities can contribute to rural economy hav-
ing multiplier effect on the local economy. This means
that, the purchase of goods and services by the local peo-
ple will go directly or indirectly as stimuli to local
economy. In Vietnam, according to literature agro-en-
terprise activity works within remote tribes in hillside
areas, in an attempt to introduce more commercial ap-
proach to development work. The level of commercial
engagement varies considerably across the farming groups
and where projects evaluate the ability of these different
groups to tackle increasing level of risk. Furthermore,
agro-enterprise activity for income generating activities
would be more meaningful when programmes are di-
rected to organized groups working in tandem with ser-
vice provider. Farmer groups and business development
service providers are the basic units of change where
actors will enhance marketing process for delivery of
goods to markets. Moreover, there is growing consensus
that, if smallholder farmers in developing countries to
succeed in a competitive marketplace they need to be
well organized in productive activity [15]. Creating busi-
ness initiatives would be one way of level playing field,
providing an opportunity to achieve economic equality
and generate higher income for women groups. [16],
Earmark the importance of agro-enterprise for rural de-
velopment indicating that success in agro-enterprise de-
velopment will improve socio-economic status of house-
hold. Further went to say that, if correctly managed this
approach can empower rural communities to bring about
changes in living condition of women.
[17] suggests that agro-enterprises do benefits women
groups from broadening their network through informa-
tion dissemination and strengthening their existing rela-
tions with other actors in the supply chain. This will help
women groups in respond to markets by changing or im-
proving what they already produced, cost of production,
and to realize profit more quickly [18]. Importantly agro-
enterprise activity furnishes crucial inputs and services to
the farming sector, improving on cost competitiveness,
quality and safety of its products, to help farmers inte-
grate their activities among other farmers. In addition,
agro-enterprises engaged in value-added products might
also benefit from increased attractiveness of food prod-
ucts grown under eco-friendly management systems
identified with a farm or rural community [19]. Promot-
ing agro-enterprise and small business increasingly seen
as a tool of generating meaningful and sustainable em-
ployment opportunities particularly for those at the mar-
gins of the economy such as women, the poor and people
with disabilities. Micro, small and medium-sized enter-
prise recognized a way to promote women’s economic
empowerment while fighting poverty [20].
Agro-entrepreneurship generally identified as engines
of economic growth by many governments, and their
promotion adopted as a development strategy by many
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institutional and regional players to create new jobs for
developing countries to drive innovation and economic
dynamism. Economic empowerment has shown positive
impact on women’s self-confidence, negotiating position
within the household and involvement of women in deci-
sion-making processes [21]. Agro-enterprise and other
small businesses offer strong benefits for rural develop-
ment approaches. Providing effective support for women
businesses is crucial for promoting women agro-enter-
prises. Cooperative ventures and community based busi-
ness can improve wages, working conditions, fostered
greater participation in management skills [22].
2.2. Women Participation in Poultry Production
Women participation in agro-enterprise activities such as
poultry production is much more than what statistics re-
vealed. This is mainly due to the fact that most of the
work done by women at farm and home is disguised as
daily activities. Women groups having pool of their re-
sources to take up an enterprise need innovative mind
and motivation [23]. Agro-enterprise development re-
lated to poultry production and management is a vital
tool in income generation for women entrepreneurs in
The Gambia. In this form of agro-enterprise, major
shares of the work handle by women performance on
poultry production and management operations. More-
over, livelihood improvement would need the participa-
tion of women groups in the rural communities by de-
signing development projects and programmes that
would serve as a source of income generation such as
poultry production. These are all potential areas that can
support women to bring about positive change to their
On one hand the issue of land is a prerequisite for
agro-enterprise promotion in income generating activities
for women groups in rural areas of most developing
countries. Lack of land for farming is severest constraints
faced by rural communities, and affects more women
than men. The [24] indicate that women generally have
limited access to land, because they are not recognized as
beneficiaries in terms of land acquisition. Notably land is
a critical issue and land crabbing is escalating in many
developing countries where land is purchased or leased
by developed countries. For example International Fund
for Agricultural Development (IFAD) for women groups
with little or no land provides strong support for non-
farming activities, such as marketing, processing and
other micro-enterprises. According to [25] as women are
emerging sector in global business environment, support
from NGOs, governments, and private sectors are poten-
tially important means of raising the level of entrepre-
neurship in a society. In view of this, the support of
women should be centered on encouraging, and assisting
relevant business initiatives, financial assistance, infor-
mation, education, and networking structures. Moreover,
effective networking that aims to inform women groups
for income generating activities about government poli-
cies may have secondary benefits in terms of encourag-
ing business women. Given the potentials of women in
income generating activities, there is a need to introduce
specific measures to enable women groups to communi-
cate with their counterparts in the same locality. In lit-
erature, many NGOs have taken on the task of women
empowerment through agro-enterprise and or micro-
enterprise in recognition of change it can have on women
and their families.
On one hand, donor agencies, and NGOs realized that
organizational networking among women group cannot
be sustainable without economic improvement. Further-
more, economic improvement is only possible by en-
couraging and motivating the women groups through the
provision of inputs, credit facilities, cultivable land, and
access to markets. This will serve as a catalyst in their
income generation. Women equally endowed with moti-
vation and managerial capabilities in starting and running
small enterprises located in their own homes or commu-
nities. Promoting and developing such entrepreneurship
among rural women will require premise, encouragement
and motivation from the development agencies [26].
More awareness, motivation and knowledge about women
groups’ formation as an option to conduct business, are
widely needed by women entrepreneurs mostly to benefit.
Moreover, higher participation of women in family
decision making process helps women to have greater
say in family resource allocation matters. Through this
process, they can exercise their control on use or misuse
of resources within the family. Therefore, any economic
development program targeted for women groups should
have impact on their level of participation in decision
making [27]. The ability of women to generate income
also depends on the extent to which they participate in
the decision-making process at all levels, including the
highest national levels. However, the overall women
groups hold an extremely low number of decision-mak-
ing positions in local communities dealing with agricul-
ture and rural development. The success of any enterprise
serving as income generating activities for women
groups or organizations would entirely depend on train-
ing for sound economic growth and development [28].
Training is the engine of economic growth and devel-
opment for women entrepreneurs engaged in business
activities. Education and training enhances economic and
employment opportunities in the non-farm sector by pro-
viding the rural poor with marketing skills over and
above their labor [29]. To enable rural people to diversify
into non-farm income-generating activities, the govern-
ment of The Gambia needs to provide appropriate tech-
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nologies, managerial service and skills training for
women organizations that would promote income gen-
eration in rural areas. One aspect will be training to im-
petus contributions of agricultural research and devel-
opment institutions. [30] indicate that many African
countries undertake income generating activities in order
to sustain their families and have some extra income for
emergency. Some women would prefer to run their eco-
nomic activities as individual and other organized groups.
The need for income is becoming a pressing need day by
day. There is need to build the capacity of women groups
in entrepreneurship, and management skills. The donor
agencies and NGOs providing support to women groups
are contributing and playing an important role by pro-
viding institutional support through the creation of self
help groups, micro-enterprise at village level, formation
of women cooperatives, and designing training pro-
grammes to build on their capacity [31]. For there to be
efficient productivity, profitability, and sustainability
training programmes should be in tandem with produc-
tion and business management skills.
2.3. Poultry Production for Income Generation
The recognition of women contribution to rural society is
fundamental to agriculture and rural development in de-
veloping countries with particular reference to the Gam-
bia. The economic role of Gambian women entrepre-
neurs in agricultural development would be the promo-
tion of agro-enterprise as a pathway in income generating
activities for productive groups. The idea of income gen-
erating can be farm and non-farm activities to address the
issue of poverty at rural communities. Income generation
through micro credit programmes has been acknowl-
edged as it allowed the poor to be more self reliant and
substantially encouraged women to engage in economi-
cally productive activities [32]. Income generating activ-
ity can empower women by enabling them to make eco-
nomic decision. It has also been experienced by different
researchers that empowerment of women brings signifi-
cant improvement in household decision making process.
Therefore, this research work will examine the salient
factors such as credit and savings, poultry production,
and constraints affecting the women groups in their wake
of income generation. Rural poultry production over the
years attracted some attention due to the enormous po-
tential of increasing the output vis-à-vis the relatively
low output at present. Women assisted in some cases by
children, play a key role in this sector, as they are the
main owners and managers of family poultry. According
to [33] more than 85% of rural families in Sub-Saharan
Africa keep one or more species of poultry, and more
than 70% of chicken owners are women.
According to literature, rural women will continue to
play a very important role in raising livestock. In most
cases, they are solely responsible for goats, sheep and
poultry reduction. It is important to stress that when
dealing with poultry as a means of addressing poverty or
income generating activities, the risks involved in start-
ing up or improving the production need to be minimal
from producer’s point of view. Rural poultry production
(backyard) units require very little hand feeding and pro-
vides handsome returns with minimum investment. Thus
rural poultry farming not only generates income, em-
ployment opportunities to small farmers including women
but also brings about improvement necessary to uplift the
life of rural communities [34]. Many women groups are
already engaged in small-scale income generating activi-
ties, like farming, food-processing, trading, and many
would like to be entrepreneurs but lack capital, business
skills or access to markets [35]. Non-governmental or-
ganizations (NGOs) can help by providing loans, training,
give technical advice and link them to other organiza-
tions. Often, support to income-generating activities is
part of a wider programme aiming at tackling a range of
problems identified by women, such as housing, water
supply, social care, civic education and advocacy. The
participation of women in rural poultry improvement
programs contributes to human development assisting
rural women to acquire knowledge, so as to increase
production efficiency [36]. For women groups engaged
in poultry production to be economically sustainable, an
enabling economic environment needs to be established.
The organization of the poultry production divided into a
production line, supply line and or more service line. The
major challenges facing poultry production at rural
communities rely on cohesive organizational structure,
not technical aspects. On the other hand, creating mar-
ket for poultry products is one of the few opportunities
women groups can generate income. Understanding the
market structure and functions is a prerequisite for de-
veloping market opportunities for rural households. In-
forming policy makers and development workers, con-
sidering the commercial and institutional environment in
which village poultry keepers, mostly women have been
operating [37]. In rural communities, market comprises
of weekly markets where itinerant traders bring birds
collected from villages. In addition, marketing channel
for the commercial poultry sector at village level is pro-
ducer to consumers and/or producer to middlemen. In
addition, for the weekly market the channel is producer
to consumers or producer to middlemen, producer to
middlemen to consumers and producer to retailers to
However, this research work only focuses on produc-
tion and marketing not the whole value chain. The future
research work will examine the whole value chain of
production, processing, and human resource management.
Access to markets is considered as an important factor in
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poultry production. Market accessibility affects the price
of the product and transaction costs influenced by infra-
structure and information. Generally, for poorer house-
holds and distance, market access is low [38]. The role of
women groups is not only in production activity as well
as marketing is important to boost benefits from poultry
keeping for poor female-headed households. If poultry
marketing is well planned and managed to match the
fluctuating market demand, economic benefits will shoot
up. The fact that predictability of the price fluctuation is
high based on socio-cultural events. In most cases,
women are responsible for poultry production and selling,
and spending their income on family matters. Marketing
channel shortened by forming women groups to organize
direct sales for poultry consumers [39]. In addition, di-
versification in income generating activities is also im-
portant for women’s group engaged in poultry production
which means that diversification has several dimensions.
The rural economy is diversified, even if many non-ag-
ricultural activities are indirectly linked to agriculture.
Diversified rural economy large part of the household
income diversification comes from different household
members each specializing in one occupation [40].
The idea of appropriate diversification process of both
on-farm and off-farm can make up fluctuations in com-
modity prices. Diversification can make income variabil-
ity greater if the various activities are affected by similar
seasonal and market forces. Diversification is an impor-
tant tool of increasing productivity of labour, enhancing
assets and reducing risks. Linkages between country side,
towns, and cities can enhance productivity and sustain-
ability of production by generating employment, income
and investment. In future, most rural area will need to
look beyond agriculture and agricultural value-added
production to create new sources of competitive advan-
tage. Farm level diversification involves adding in-
come-generating activities at the farm household level,
including livestock, local non-farm, and off-farm pursuits
undertaken by rural communities [41]. This will help the
groups to earn a greater profit to be re-invested in to the
business for sustainability.
Therefore, service provider should assist the women
groups not to rely on one activity but ramify or diversify
their income generating activities for better living. An-
other important indicator of agro-enterprise promotion
for income generation in the rural communities is credit
and savings. Micro-credit and savings schemes in Sub-
Saharan Africa where Gambia is not exceptional received
support from local and international institutions in recent
years as means of generating income. These schemes
have recognized the importance of women taking up
such activities and in many cases have been successful.
With proper management of credit and savings can help
alleviate poverty; where loans can be used to finance
sound investments with cash flow prospects allowing
profit margins for repayment [42]. Credit is a financial
tool for accessing inputs for production, considering the
risk of being able to re-pay with low interest rate. Gener-
ally speaking, women group knows best the type of
business that can earn maximum profit. Women often
start by investing in livestock and then move on to other
profitable activities [43]. The flow of communication and
sharing of information among women groups engaged in
agro-enterprise as income generating activity is a salient
indicator for sustainability. The issue of information and
communication technology (ICT) can improve the proc-
ess of collection, analysis, and dissemination among po-
tential buyers and sellers of agricultural products. This
may shorten the time period in which purchase, inventory,
and pricing decision [44]. Furthermore, the advent of
mobile phones is rapidly changing the ability of commu-
nities in rural areas to communicate and gain new infor-
In The Gambia, the issue of sharing information through
mobile phones is surmounting between the urban dwell-
ers and rural communities. Another means of communi-
cation or receiving information is the use of radios in
rural communities. [45] indicate that, the mobile phone is
considered to be the most applicable information and
communication instrument and, in the future, as phones
become more widely available will become an essential
trading tool especially for women entrepreneurs. In sup-
porting their ideas, women groups can use mobile tele-
phones to verify market prices for their products and ar-
range transport to the market. Rural radio programmes
may enable rapid sharing and dissemination of informa-
tion for possible adverse effects of weather on crops.
Therefore, the use of communication tools would em-
power the rural women to share and disseminate infor-
mation reducing their transaction cost to capture the
market share. The women groups would also benefit
from new technology and fully participate in today’s
information society. The primary purpose of any enter-
prise is to maximize return on investment on long term
basis. It is therefore; necessary to market poultry, meat
products, and eggs at a price which will allow farmers
especially women to maintain profitability in a competi-
tive market. Cost effective programmes of bio-security
and vaccination are required to prevent or limit the im-
pact of disease [46].
[47], indicate that, not only should agro-enterprise
development can lead to skills in income generation
through building local enterprises, but would also seek to
promote core values of gender equity of benefits. For
community participation women’s group engaged in
agro-enterprise should be involved planning and imple-
mentation phase, as this will facilitate the transfer of
marketing skills [48]. The level of participation should be
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practical where all the group members would have the
chance or the opportunity to express her opinion during
the time of group meetings. The process of holding joint
meetings and planning sessions creates trust and confi-
dence to set a clear code of practice. Therefore, working
with women groups in open environment credibility will
be gained and much better community participation will
be achieved.
3. Methodology
3.1. Study Area
The target women groups are located in the Central River
Region South of The Gambia. The region has a diverse
ethnic composition consisting of Mandinkas, Fulas,
Wollofs, and Sarahules. The production of rice is the
predominant occupation of the inhabitants. In addition,
the region has long been recognized for livestock pro-
duction like cattle, sheep and goat. Moreover, improved
poultry production and management has been a new in-
tervention to women groups for income generation.
This research work aimed to provide information about
women poultry producers in Central Region of The
Gambia. In the planning stage a preliminary pre-test was
conducted to get information from the women groups
engaged in poultry production enterprise. The variable
measurements are in two categories nominal, and interval
suitable for data analysis.
3.2. Data Collection Procedures
Questionnaire was designed serving as a tool for data
collection. The questionnaire consists of 31 questions.
This research used a wide range of question type, which
includes closed ended, opened ended and multiple choice.
The questions were easy and precise for the women re-
spondents to understand in answering the questions, as
they are illiterates. In designing the questions, the re-
searcher’s main goal was to maintain the interview proc-
ess straightforward without ignoring the objectives of the
3.3. Sampling and Sample Size
For this research study the sampling method is non-
probability using judgmental sampling. In this case the
sampling was based on experienced knowledge and pro-
fessional judgment. The sampling process involves pur-
posely identifying the women groups 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
Copyright © 2012 SciRes. ME
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-
Copyright © 2012 SciRes. ME
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
Copyright © 2012 SciRes. ME
Copyright © 2012 SciRes. ME
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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