The main research objective was to analyze and evaluate different systems of table egg production by using the multiple criteria analysis, the method of Analytic Hierarchy Process (AHP) in decision making within strategic planning of production. The survey involved 79 producers of table eggs registered in the Records on laying hens’ farms in the Republic of Croatia. In the first stage, the research defined the criteria and sub-criteria for system evaluation which were compared in pairs in order to determine the weight or importance for each of them. Alternatives were evaluation based on definition of priorities of examinees and the extent to which they meet each of the defined criteria and sub-criteria. Intensity of examinees’ preferences were entered into the Expert Choice software in order to evaluate ranking results of egg production systems. Defined model consisted of a quantitative criterion of economic indicators, and the other two referred to qualitative criteria, market indicators and technical-technological factors. Each criterion had its corresponding sub-criteria that were evenly distributed in numerical order. Based on individual assessments of the examinees, overall cumulative evaluation was obtained for the table egg production systems. Accordingly, the most acceptable alternative to egg production is the indoor keeping system (priority 0.301). It is followed by the free-range system of keeping laying hens (priority 0.253). The third-ranked alternative is egg production by hens kept in conventional cages (priority 0.226), while the fourth-ranked least acceptable alternative, as of the total evaluation, is the ecological system of egg production (priority 0.220). Taking into account the obtained results of multiple criteria evaluation as well as EU and world trends in changing consumers’ habits including food safety and quality as well as customers’ preferences towards local market and local products, it is recommended that eggs should be produced by laying hens kept in an indoor keeping system. In this sense, organized egg production on small farms in an indoor keeping system offers a possibility for self-employment serving as a source of additional income certainly has great potentials for development.
Ana Crnčan, Josip Juraj Strossmayer University of Osijek, Faculty of Agriculture in Osijek, Osijek, Croatia, email@example.com