Poultry production is an important economic activity for smallholder farmers in Kenya. Commercial poultry farming in Kenyarelies heavily on veterinary inputs, key among them being antibiotics which develop resistance with improper use. Among the many interventions used in the past to curb the risk of antibiotic resistance in livestock in Kenya, there is none that has comprehensively addressed inappropriate use of antibiotics and the incentives driving their demand in the livestock industry. This study, therefore,characterized antibiotic use patterns in poultry production and assessed the responsiveness of antibiotic demand to factor and product price changes in Kiambu County of Kenya. The aim was to generate information which can be used to enrich policy design geared towards reducing the risk of antibiotic resistance in the livestock sector in Kenya. A sample of 238 commercial chicken farmers in Kiambu County was selected using a multistage sampling procedure.Primary data were collected using semi-structured questionnaires. Descriptive statistics were done to characterize the patterns of use for antibiotics. A normalized restricted translog profit function was also used to estimate own-price and cross-price elasticity of antibiotic demand in layer and broiler production systems in Kiambu County.Descriptive statistics done to characterize the pattern of use for antibioticsindicated that: (i) antibiotics were widely used in poultry production in Kiambu County, (ii) they were accessible to farmers, mainly from agro-vet shops and (iii) Farmers administer antibiotics without the assistance of professional veterinary personnel. The implication is that these practises increase the likelihood of drug misuse and therefore the probability of increasing antibiotic resistance in poultry. xi Results from the econometric model showed that the own-price elasticity of antibiotic demand for both layer and broiler production systems were negative, more than unity (-1.7 for broiler and -1.2 for layers) and statistically significant (p<0.05), implying that manipulating antibiotic prices is, potentially, an attractive strategy to control antibiotic use.On the other hand, the cross-price elasticities of antibiotic demand were not statistically significant (p>0.05), implyingthat the cross prices cannot be used as a strategy to regulate antibiotic use.Additionally, antibiotic demand was positive and most sensitive to producer egg and chicken meat prices, which meant that most farmers would use egg boosters and growth promoters with increased egg and chicken meat prices. Theresults indicated that rational use of antibiotics could be strengthened by the policy makers manipulating antibiotic prices. Increasing the prices of antibiotics to reduce the demand through an antibiotic “pigouvian” tax policy can achieve a significant reduction in antibiotic use. Also, given the high and positive output price elasticities, farm output price supportwould be unlikely to reduce antibiotic use in poultry production in Kiambu County.Therefore, supporting the activities of the Pharmacy and Poisons Board and the Department of Veterinary Services in monitoring and regulating the use of antibiotics as egg boosters in layers and growth promoters in broilers is likely to reduce the overall risk of development of antibiotic resistance in poultry in Kenya.

Issue Date:
Jul 01 2014
Publication Type:
Thesis/ Dissertation
Record Identifier:

 Record created 2018-03-12, last modified 2018-03-12

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