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Governance and coordination of poultry egg supply chain in greater Port Harcourt City, Nigeria
The study examined governance and coordination mechanisms of the egg chain in Greater Port Harcourt City to gain insights for strengthening the chain for the good of smallholder farmers. Data was collected using desk study, survey with 47 farmers selected using the snowballing method, in-depth interviews with 22 chain stakeholders and Focus Group Discussion with eight farmers, balanced on gender, to get information on issues not explained by the survey. Three Local Government Areas with the highest number of poultry farmers were used for the survey. The farmers were administered pre-structured questionnaires recording a 97% response rate. Open questions from a checklist differing among stakeholders were used for the one-on-one in-depth interviews. Quantitative data was analyzed using Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS) version 24 while qualitative data was analyzed using content analysis. Results show that farmers’ awareness and membership of egg producers’ cooperative was poor, yet, they informally cooperate with each other and show willingness to become cooperative members if their interest is guaranteed. Vertical linkages are dominated by spot markets while Poultry Association of Nigeria (PAN) with weak cooperative mandate is the only formal horizontal integration platform. Input suppliers and intercity egg traders have more chain power. Without a multi-stakeholder platform to coordinate the chain, private actors were farmers’ major source of production and marketing information. Mobile phones and personal visits were used to exchange knowledge and information. Governance and coordination mechanisms can be enhanced by introducing formal egg producer cooperatives and multistakeholder platforms using PAN as the launching platform and building on existing informal relationships. This will be followed by strengthening linkages among chain actors using mobile telephony opportunities like WhatsApp groups. The activities could be centrally mediated by a multi-stakeholder platform.