Since its emergence in Africa in 2006, the highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) virus of the H5N1 subtype has spread rapidly to poultry farms in several countries, including Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Ghana, Niger, and Nigeria (FAO 2006; OIE 2006). In February 2006, Kaduna state in Nigeria was the first of 36 states to report the infection of poultry by H5N1 (Monne et al. 2008). By April 2006, more than 325,000 chickens in Nigeria alone were identified as having H5N1 virus; of these, 223,000 died of H5N1 infection and the rest were slaughtered as a control measure (You and Diao 2007). Since 2006, the infection has spread to 22 states in Nigeria (Monne et al. 2008), and there was recently one confirmed case in humans in the southern state of Lagos in February 2007 (Monne et al. 2008). Though the last outbreak occurred in October 2007, the spread of HPAI poses a challenge to the poultry industry in Nigeria (You and Diao 2007).
Based on estimates from the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) in Nigeria, since 2000, the poultry subsector in Nigeria grew at 5.9 percent per year, reaching a population of 150 million in 2005 until the appearance of HPAI in 2006 (Nigeria, NBS 2006). Since then, a significant reduction in the poultry trading activities (imports and exports) has been observed in Nigeria (Uzochukwu Obi et al. 2008). Outbreaks of HPAI undoubtedly pose serious consequences on the livelihood of many poor households, disrupting an important source of cash income for producers and a source of protein for consumers’ diets. Moreover, HPAI can threaten the advancement of women, as raising poultry has become an important channel for women in countries to develop assets or income because entry costs are low and the work can be integrated with their domestic responsibilities (You and Diao 2007).
This paper focuses on the economywide impact of the HPAI outbreak in Nigeria. The primary goal of this paper is to assess the economywide potential impact of an avian flu outbreak in Nigeria, which can provide helpful information for designing a pro-poor HPAI risk-reduction strategy. Towards this, a dynamic computable general equilibrium (CGE) model and a social accounting matrix (SAM) were used to assess the economywide impact of HPAI outbreaks in Nigeria.
According to the SAM, poultry is a small subsector in the Nigerian economy, accounting for 1.2 percent of the agricultural gross domestic product (GDP) and 0.4 percent of the total GDP. Approximately 96 percent of poultry-producing households are small scale, producing less than 50 birds, and collectively only produce less than a quarter of the national poultry production.