By Umar Nsubuga
It is one month away from the festive Christmas season. Many farmers have reared poultry successfully, but still face challenges with getting a market for their birds during the season.
To get a good market, farmers must start to look for those markets now!
Below are insights into where a farmer can look to sell his or her mature birds;
Madina Lunkuse, a famous poultry farmer in Namungogo says these markets are predominantly found in a typical rural setting.
“This type of marketing is driven by the need to get income to settle for a one-off financial need. A farmer can, for example, sell chicken by the roadside”, she explains.
According to Lunkuse, this is where farmers from neighbouring areas gather at a common trading centre to sell their produce.
Often, trading is done in the open on gazetted days of the week.
However, this type of market would not have any meaningful link with a commercial trader, except through out-growers, who may sell their chicken at local markets for quick financial gain.
These markets lack proper weighing and loading facilities. The markets are situated in Kampala where traders often come with truckloads of chicken.
Chicken are sold according to size, age and appearance through negotiation between the sellers and buyers.
Previously, chicken coming from these markets was the traditional source of commercial chicken for urban consumers until the arrival of dressed chicken in the early 1990s.
These markets still serve the largest share of urban consumers although there is now a significant rise in the number of customers who prefer local chicken, especially among the high-income earners segment.
Secondary markets continue to be the main source of chicken for festive seasons like Christmas when bulk purchases are made.
It is also observed that a significant proportion of the chicken meat consumed at functions such as weddings and anniversary celebrations comes from these markets.
In this market, however, dressed chicken has a competitive edge because it is perceived as high quality.
Another advantage is that since shopping habits are shifting towards buying groceries from supermarkets, dressed chicken can be packed in such an appealing way that consumers are enticed to it.
These are in large towns and cities. They are situated in designated areas where make-shift or permanent stalls are erected.
Suppliers to such markets are often traders who buy chicken from the primary and secondary markets and distribute it to urban trading centres, hotels and restaurants.
Before the advent of dressed chicken in the market, consumption of chicken was mainly catered for by the urban market traders, but their chicken lacked consistency with regard to availability, quality and price.
Today, however, dressed chicken is popular among the urban elite.