Practices associated with Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza spread in traditional poultry marketing chains: Social and economic perspectives.
In developing countries, smallholder poultry production contributes to food security and poverty alleviation in rural areas. However, traditional poultry marketing chains have been threatened by the epidemics caused by the Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza (H5N1) virus. The article presents a value chain analysis conducted on the traditional poultry marketing chain in the rural province of Phitsanulok, Thailand. The analysis is based on quantitative data collected on 470 backyard chicken farms, and on qualitative data collected on 28 poultry collectors, slaughterhouses and market retailers, using semi-structured interviews. The article examines the organization of poultry marketing chains in time and space, and shows how this may contribute to the spread of Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza H5N1 in the small-scale poultry sector. The article also discusses the practices and strategies developed by value chain actors facing poultry mortality, with their economic and social determinants. More broadly, this study also illustrates how value chain analysis can contribute to a better understanding of the complex mechanisms associated with the spread of epidemics in rural communities.