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Master of Agribusiness

Enhancing Competitiveness of Small Scale Poultry Egg Production Farm in the Democratic Republic of Congo

Zephyrin Tshibambe Ndjibu, Kinshasa, Ngaliema, Democratic Republic of Congo (DR Congo), defended his thesis, “Enhancing Competitiveness of Small Scale Poultry Egg Production Farm in the Democratic Republic of Congo” on May 13, 2015. He is the Customs Senior Economist of Z-CO Farms. Tshibambe Ndjibu is an August graduate from Kansas State University with a Master of Agribusiness (MAB) degree.

“The second-largest country in Africa, DR Congo has suffered through more than four decades of political and economic uncertainty exacerbated by a civil war. It now has the second-lowest per capita Gross Domestic Product (GDP) on the continent. However, there are signs of economy recovery: the GDP is growing by as much as 8% and inflation dropped from 31% to 1.6% in 2013. DR Congo growth presents new opportunities for local producers like Z-Co Farms,” Tshibambe Ndjibu said.

Growing urbanization and increasing incomes in Africa are increasing animal product consumption, including chicken eggs. As a result, the local production of table eggs has also been increasing, but the inability of local production to meet local demand has led to an increase in imports, boosting regional trade as well as international trade in table eggs. The chicken egg production industry is dominated by highly capitalized, often foreign-owned, large, highly integrated and modern companies with small-scale producers operating on the fringes. The small-scale producers are generally locally owned, small and unintegrated in their operations. This structure presents significant opportunities for small-scale producers to target market segments that demand specific products that may be difficult for the large producers to address.  

Tshibambe Ndjibu examined opportunities for a small-scale egg production farm in DR Congo using Z-CO Farms as a case study.

“The overall objective of this research is to evaluate the economic feasibility of table egg production in DR Congo, focusing on a market segment that is sensitive to food safety and highly insensitive to price. This project, when implemented, would be the first in DR Congo. However, would it be profitable? Under what conditions would it be profitable?” Tshibambe Ndjibu said.

Taking advantage of their small size, flexibility and low labor cost, Tshibambe Ndjibu found Z-CO Farms can compete with imported eggs, by offering premium eggs at lower price. This information may be vital to all types of small farming operations in African countries.

Dr. Vincent Amanor-Boadu, Professor of Agricultural Economics and Tshibambe Ndjibu’s thesis advisor, said, “What we found in this research was that the large urban population provider a market that is big enough to support a strategy of niche development. However, the operations must maintain a close watch over the food safety and quality differentiation points.”

The full thesis publication can be found online on Kansas State University’s Research Exchange at http://hdl.handle.net/2097/19716.