Do smaller chicken farms use more antibiotics? Evidence of antibiotic diffusion from Nigeria

September 26, 2022 - Author: Charuta M. Parkhi, Lenis Saweda O. Liverpool-Tasie,

Parkhi, C. M., Liverpool‐Tasie, L. S. O., & Reardon, T. (2022). Do smaller chicken farms use more antibiotics? Evidence of antibiotic diffusion from Nigeria. Agribusiness.


Farmers across the world have been using antibiotics in poultry production for both therapeutic and nontherapeutic purposes since the mid 1900s. The literature on antibiotic diffusion and intensification is largely focused on developed countries in North America and Western Europe. There is some literature on Asia where the emphasis has shifted from antibiotic diffusion to concerns about antimicrobial resistance due to excessive use of antibiotics. Although there is evidence of farming intensification across sub-Saharan Africa, few studies have looked at antibiotic use among livestock farmers. We fill this gap by studying antibiotic use over farm size and regions in Nigerian poultry farming. We find that antibiotic use for nontherapeutic purposes is rapidly expanding among small farms (already over 60% for those with 50–100 birds) and widespread among medium and large chicken farmers (75%–95%) across both richer and poorer regions of Nigeria. While large farmers are more likely to adopt antibiotics, their indiscriminate use is more evident among small farmers. Further, our results reveal that information dissemination through social networks and extension services could play a crucial role in the efficient use of antibiotics. This suggests a need to promote awareness regarding excessive use of antibiotics, particularly in the absence of regulation in Nigeria and other developing countries. [EconLit Citations: Q12, Q18, O12, C34].



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