Indigenous chicken play an important role in the livelihoods of the rural poor in developing countries. They not only act as a source of nutrition but also supplement household incomes. Despite the tremendous market opportunities available for the farmers, there are still low levels of market participation for indigenous chicken farmers in Gulu district and other parts of Uganda. In light of this, a research study was motivated to ascertain the drivers of smallholder indigenous chicken farmers’ market participation in Gulu district. Using cross-sectional data from households in selected sub counties in Gulu district, a two-stage Heckman model was used to model the decision of the smallholder farmers to participate in the market and then determine the factors affecting the value of sales thereafter. Results from the descriptive statistics showed that there were 126 market participants and 24 non-participants. Both flock size and non-farm incomes differed significantly (5%) between market participants and non-participants. The participants had a larger flock size while non-participants had more income. The results of the probit model further revealed that the first stage of market participation was significantly affected by distance of the household to the market (1%), flock size (10%), and ownership of a bicycle (1%). In the second stage (outcome model), the OLS results revealed that flock size, distance to the market and market price of indigenous chicken significantly (1%) affected the indigenous chicken farmer’s value of sales. In conclusion, creation of effective marketing systems that would help reduce transaction costs of the indigenous chicken, provision of extension and veterinary services will not only increase the flock sizes kept by the smallholder farmers but also the value of sales of indigenous chicken for the farmers that participate in the market.
Key words: Heckman model, smallholder farmers, indigenous chicken, market participation, Gulu district.
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