Livestock Research for Rural Development 26 (5) 2014 Guide for preparation of papers LRRD Newsletter

Citation of this paper

GIS application in poultry production: identification of layers as the major commercial product of the poultry sector in Nigeria

T Omodele and I A Okere*

Institute of Agricultural Research and Training, Land and Water Resources Management Programme, Obafemi Awolowo University, P.M.B. 5029, Moor Plantation, Ibadan, Nigeria.
* Institute of Agricultural Research and Training, Livestock Improvement Programme, Obafemi Awolowo University, Moor Plantation, Ibadan, Nigeria.


This study aimed to identify the chicken production capacity of Nigeria through an intensive survey of all poultry farms which are the primary sources of any poultry data. In Nigeria, there are two separate poultry production systems: commercial and rural. The commercial system is essentially characterized by small to large-scale production.

Chicken constitutes about 90% of the poultry population in Nigeria. GIS analysis showed chicken production as: Broilers 15.2%, Breeders 6.77%, Layers 75.3% and Cockerels 2.73%. The application of Geographical Information Sys­tem (GIS) revealed that poultry keeping in general and egg production in particular were discovered to be derived by rearing layers which is essential for both dietary and economic reasons.

Key words: breeders, broilers, cockerels, geopolitical zones, GPS


Poultry is by far the largest livestock group, consisting mainly of chickens, ducks and turkey (Udoh and Etim 2007). Ukagha (2003) opined that markets and marketing are a major driving force for the expansion of livestock production. What it does is that whatever is produced must find a market otherwise the level of production cannot be sustained. Poultry production in Nigeria has become one of the most important aspects of farming for many reasons. It creates great business opportunity for Entrepreneurs and provides employment for the job seeking citizens. Poultry also offer short-term investment opportunities and thus helps to increase meat availability thereby, improving the standard of living of the people. The poultry sub-sector is the most commercialized of all the subsectors of Nigeria’s agriculture. The types of poultry that are of commercial or economic importance given the trade in poultry, however, are chickens, guinea fowls and turkeys, amongst which chickens predominate. Consequently, poultry farming is generically used to refer to chicken farming in Nigeria because it provides meat for delicacies and no tribe or religion in Nigeria forbids chicken meat. Apart from the chicken being used as food, poultry farming is equally profitable, when compared to other livestock, poultry has by far the quickest and highest rate of turnover. Chickens comprise: Broilers, Breeders, Layers and Cockerels.

Goubadia (1996) remarked that poultry industry constitutes an important agricultural enterprise in terms of profitability and quick economic returns in Nigeria. Unlike beef or pork, Chicken is the most widely accepted meat in Nigeria because it neither has religious nor health taboo. Estimates from consumption of poultry and demand surveys in Nigeria indicate that the consumption of poultry meat is gradually outstripping most other kinds of meat except beef. Adegeye and Dittoh (1982) reported that the existing acute shortage of protein in Nigeria and the ever increasing demand for livestock products point to poultry meat and eggs as a quick means of bridging the protein deficiency gap. It is therefore not surprising that funds invested in poultry production are recouped faster than other livestock enterprise. These observations indicate a bright future for the poultry industry in Nigeria. The Broilers grow faster and are ready for sale at 6-8 weeks from hatch. Cockerels are reliable in terms of survival and withstanding bad weathers. They are more resilient and can absorb shocks far better than Layers and Broilers. The Layer bird and its products (eggs) are very rich source of protein. Agriculturists and Nutritionists generally agreed that developing the poultry industry of Nigeria is the fastest means of bridging the protein-deficiency gap presently prevailing in the country. It is generally believed that every child needs not less than an egg a day for their normal growth. In communities where food shortages are uncommon, chickens are kept to supplement the meals or to honour a guest (Nwagu 2002).

There is a continual need therefore to generate information on the facts about poultry business enterprises in Nigeria. Such information is needed for proper planning and regulation of the industry in Nigeria. Available data on the current facts about entrepreneurial characteristics and constraints to robust development of poultry business enterprises in southeastern Nigeria are however scanty and fragmented (Okoli et al 2004). This study was designed to investigate the preferred Chicken type among all poultry business enterprises in Nigeria as it is reflected in the national production of the poultry products. The use of GIS in poultry production is needed to collect data, store, manage, analyse and produce useful information about poultry. Unlike any other type of information handling tool, GIS can understand the concept of location and will help poultry producers with optimal and cost-effective poultry management. Thus, GIS capability in poultry management is achievable in land type description, feed cost monitoring, disease spread analysis and monitoring credit facility sources.

Materials and Methods

Farm-Level Survey

The survey was carried out in 2010 across all geopolitical zones and States in Nigeria (Figure 1). It was aimed to create a nationwide spatial dataset of poultry farms with the use of Global Positioning System (GPS) for the identification of positions of poultry farms in Nigeria (Figure 2). The data collected was accompanied by the administration of a set of questionnaire (conducted through an interview session) which was designed to obtain information on socioeconomic characteristics of the farm owners and characteristics of the sampled farms. This is the most important stage as its accuracy determines the poultry production capacity estimate for the study area.

Figure 1. Study area: Nigeria sharing border with Benin, Niger, Chad and Cameroun Figure 2. Spatial distribution of poultry
farms in Nigeria
GIS based State-Level estimate
Figure 3. Poultry mapping procedure in a GIS environment

After the farm survey, spatial and attribute data of both the farm and questionnaire were subjected to logical structuring with a view to integrate them into structured database for the poultry farms within the study area. Using ArcGIS 10.1® capabilities, the obtained data at the farm level were logically analyzed and structured for the purpose of data querying. Based on the position (centroid) of each poultry farm, the State identities of all farms were geographically defined. The framework of the procedure is shown in Figure 3.

Table. 1. Chicken production status per State in 2010 (birds)
State Broilers Breeders Layers Cockerels Total
Abia 137,508 - 291,833 10,400 439,741
Adamawa 11,227 - 35,938 5,965 53,130
Akwa Ibom 71,966 800 151,794 1,535 226,095
Anambra 42,766 300 201,650 150 244,866
Bauchi - - 354,200 - 354,200
Bayelsa 14,700 4,200 34,625 1,500 55,025
Benue 39,793 16,771 42,016 11,231 109,811
Borno 19,135 - 29,818 1,575 50,528
Cross River 36,829 1,700 36,856 13,206 88,591
Delta 32,190 44,150 341,902 4,352 422,594
Ebonyi 30,663 4,595 28,352 2,117 65,727
Edo 32,739 - 20,315 - 53,054
Ekiti 53,178 1,850 84,536 47,687 187,251
Enugu 50,998 60,150 797,647 2,385 911,180
FCT 63,111 2,500 236,281 8,114 310,006
Gombe 54,175 4,200 70,170 4,450 132,995
Imo 16,608 21 101,736 5,268 123,633
Jigawa - 200 172,860 - 173,060
Kaduna 115,572 7,000 264,269 17,614 404,455
Kano - - 567,454 - 567,454
Katsina - 385,321 11,000 1,500 397,821
Kebbi 56,675 1,500 107,760 4,000 169,935
Kogi - - 262,948 - 262,948
kwara 12,605 - 122,009 4,200 138,814
Lagos 255,813 31,600 336,894 5,630 629,937
Nassarawa 2,000 7,350 303,828 5,500 318,678
Niger 15,973 2,000 14,873 8,104 40,950
Ogun 52,548 98,534 1,901,191 97,451 2,149,724
Ondo 25,557 42,950 212,535 19,059 300,101
Osun - 1,500 369,512 - 371,012
Oyo 336,660 88,000 584,197 11,274 1,020,131
Plateau - - 1,087,442 - 1,087,442
Rivers 9,585 - 48,145 1,800 59,530
Sokoto 17,260 713 51,455 4,735 74,163
Taraba 18,450 - 53,661 39,110 111,221
Yobe 70,943 42,440 128,362 3,153 244,898
Zamfara 211,917 - - - 211,917
TOTAL 1,909,144 850,345 9,460,064 343,065 12,562,618
PERCENTAGE (%) 15.2 6.77 75.3 2.73 100

Table 1 displays the Chicken production capability of each State in Nigeria. Analysing Table 1, the percentage production of Chicken in Nigeria are shown in Figure 4.

Figure 4. Percentage production of Chicken systems in Nigeria
GIS based National-Level estimate

Spatial query is a common analysis in GIS. For this study, queries were generated for the retrieval of information. Since the graphic and the corresponding attribute tables were linked, it was possible to query by attributes. This query was emphasized as it provided answers to likely questions that would be required. As shown in Figures 5 - 13, the major queries performed were to determine the percentage of States in Chicken production in Nigeria. Different production classes: <5,000; 5,000 – 20,000; 20,000 – 50,000; 50,000 – 100,000 and >100,000 were adopted for the display of variation in Chicken products production.

Results and Discussion

Broilers analysis

Applying the adopted classes in analyzing Broiler production by States in Nigeria, 21.6% produced below 5,000 birds, 24.3% (5,000 - 20,000), 19.0% (20,000 - 50,000), 21.6% (50,000 - 100,000) and 13.5% (above 100,000). This implies that there is no major production of Broilers because the percentage of States producing in the high categories (50,000 - 100,000 and above 100,000) are in low percentages in Nigeria. The analysis is summarized in Figures 5 and 6.

Figure 5. Production of Broilers in Nigeria Figure 6. Percentage of States in Broilers production in Nigeria
Breeders analysis

Analyzing the Breeders production, 70.3% of States produced below 5000 birds, 8.11% (5,000 - 20,000), 10.8% (20,000 - 50,000), 8.11% (50,000 - 100,000) and 2.70% (above 100,000). In quantity as shown in Figure 4, Cockerel production is the lowest but by State percentage analysis, Breeders production has the highest percentage of States producing below 5,000 birds in Nigeria. This is summarized in Figures 7 and 8.

Figure 7. Production of Breeders in Nigeria Figure 8. Percentage of States in Breeders production in Nigeria
Cockerels analysis

Cockerel production shows that 59.5% of States produced below 5000 birds, 32.4% (5,000 - 20,000), 5.41% (20,000 - 50,000), 2.70% (50,000 - 100,000) and 0% (above 100,000). Cockerel production is the lowest in chicken production in Nigeria because there exists a major production by the States in the low classes. This summary is shown in Figures 9 and 10.

Figure 9. Production of Cockerels in Nigeria Figure 10. Percentage of States in Cockerels production in Nigeria
Layers analysis

The State percentage analysis for Layers production shows that 2.70% of States produced below 5,000 birds, 5.41% (5,000 - 20,000), 21.6% (20,000 - 50,000), 10.8% (50,000 - 100,000) and 59.5% (above 100,000). There are more States in the highest production class of Layers in Nigeria indicating that Layers production attracts more poultry farmers than other poultry birds because of its meats and eggs which derives high economic values. This summary is shown in Figures 11 and 12.

Figure 11. Production of Layers in Nigeria Figure 12. Percentage of States in Layers production in Nigeria
Overall Assessment of Chicken Production in Nigeria

According to Figure 13, Breeders production would have emerged the lowest in Nigeria but due to a higher production of Breeders in the higher classes above Cockerels, Cockerels production moved to the lowest category as expressed in Figure 4. There exists an appreciable uniform production of Broilers across all the classes, this is a major factor responsible for the emergence of Broilers production as the second highest in Nigeria. The major production of Layers is in the highest category (class). Thus, this implies that a high percentage of States in Nigeria produce Layers in commercial quantities.

Figure 13. Chart showing State percentage in production of Broilers,
Breeder, Layers and Cockerels in Nigeria

Figure 14 shows charts of Chicken products production and the total production of Chicken per State in Nigeria. The highest production is in Ogun State in the south-west geopolitical zone of Nigeria.

Figure 14. Total Chicken production in Nigeria


The present study with the use of GIS techniques has revealed that most poultry farm operations in Nigeria are into Layers production. The major production of Layers is due to the derivation of meat and eggs. This study has provided a database from which poultry industry can be further developed. Therefore, GIS techniques could strengthen monitoring and assessment of the poultry sector.


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Received 14 February 2014; Accepted 1 March 2014; Published 1 May 2014

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