Some studies on poultry production in Nigeria focused on problems and prospects of poultry production, part time commercial poultry farming, technical efficiency of small scale poultry-egg production and none on the technical efficiency of commercial poultry egg production in Nigeria This study therefore examined the technical efficiency of commercial poultry egg production in Sapele Local Government Area of Delta State, Nigeria. Primary data were collected using a set of well-structured questionnaire and interview schedule. Multi-stage sampling technique was employed in the study. First, five (5) major towns were randomly selected from the nine (9) major towns in the Local Government Area. Secondly, six (6) commercial poultry egg farmers were randomly selected from each of the five (5) major towns to make a total sample size of 30 farmers for the 2011 production cycle. Data collected were presented and analyzed using tables, frequency count, percentages and stochastic frontier production function. The stochastic frontier production function was specified and estimated, using maximum likelihood estimation. The results showed that majority of the respondents were found to be between the age range of 31-50 years old (60%), 56% of them were males, 50% of them had first leaving school certificates and 50% of them had 5-6 family members, 60% had 3-5 years of poultry rearing experience and 53% of them used hired labour for their operations; 60% of the respondents adopted the deep litter system of management. The results also revealed that the coefficients of expenditure on flock size (0.755), expenses on feed intake (0.851), expenses on medication and vaccination (0.220), expenses on labour (0.201), and cost of capital (0.562) were significant determinants of output of commercial egg production at 5% level of significance in the study area. The mean technical efficiency was 58% and ranges between 0.559 and 0.909. The sigma squared (σ2) of 0.65 for the commercial poultry farmers were statistically significant and different from zero at 5% level of significance. The variance ratio (gamma) was estimated as 0.52 for the farmers and were also significant at 5% level which implied that about 52% variations in the output of the farmers were due to the inefficiency of inputs. The study revealed that a national policy and programme to strengthen the commercial poultry production is required in the area of finance and inputs. It can therefore be recommended that capital should be channelled to commercial poultry production through the provision of macro-credits and formulation of policies and programmes by the Government to direct financial institutions to grant a definite and a reasonable proportion of loan-able funds to commercial poultry farmers. Programmes on economic production of major poultry feed ingredients like maize and soya-beans be instituted for least cost poultry feed production. Potent medicine and vaccine should be provided in sufficient quantities, easily accessible and enlightenment programme on mode of administration be embarked upon by the government to commercial poultry farmers in the study area. Exotic poultry parent stocks and fertile eggs imported should be screened and certified to be of good quality at the point of entry into the country by controlling bodies. Poultry equipment manufacturers should be encouraged by the Government with provision of credit facilities and subsidies.
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