Using value chain and trade networks in the Eastern Cape Province of South Africa, as a basis for targeted rural chicken surveillance

V Simbizi, R Moerane, G Ramsay, C Mubamba, C Abolnik, B Gummow

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Despite the benefits of rural chickens in the Eastern Cape Province (ECP) of South Africa, this sector is still underdeveloped and poorly surveyed for poultry diseases. The lack of a sustainable poultry disease surveillance system coupled with communities and practices where the interactions between birds are high, emphasize the need for targeted surveillance of chicken diseases in the province. However, to set up such a system requires knowledge of the value chain and trade networks. Consequently, a survey, which involved a rural chicken value chain analysis that also included an assessment of trading practices to identify biosecurity hotspots and an identification of barriers to market entry for rural farmers was conducted. Secondly, a social network analysis of chicken movements in the province was carried out to identify trade hubs that could be targeted for disease surveillance based on their centrality within the network and their size and influence within their ego networks. Traders and their transport vehicles were identified as biosecurity hotspots that could be targeted for disease surveillance within the chain. Social network analysis identified three municipalities viz. Umzimvubu, King Sabata Dalindyebo (KSD) and Enoch Mgijima as trade hubs where interaction between rural chickens occurs and resources can be focused. The movement of spent hens from commercial operations that are transported over long distances and distributed in the rural areas and townships were a major risk for spread of poultry diseases. This is the first study to formally describe chicken trade networks within the province and the surrounding region. Its findings provide a model for cost effective targeted surveillance in the ECP and similar resource poor regions of the world. The study also provides insight into the profitability of rural chickens and a possible contribution to job creation and poverty alleviation once the barriers to market entry are lifted.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)105713
JournalPreventive Veterinary Medicine
Volume207
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 08 Jul 2022

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