Cocoyam Marketing in South East Nigeria
Cocoyam is highly perishable and considerable economic losses occur after it is harvested.
This is as a result of rot, sprouting and other physiological changes. These losses could be reduced through efficient storage, processing and marketing. This study is about economic study of cocoyam marketing in south-east Nigeria. It specifically ranked market participants preference for cocoyam cultivars and the reasons for such preferences. It showed the main marketing channels and socio-economic and institutional factors affecting the choice of marketing channels.
It showed the structure and conduct of cocoyam marketing and socioeconomic and institutional factors affecting the volume of cocoyam marketed. It estimated the costs and benefits of cocoyam marketing as well as the net income of six storage methods. It assessed the effectiveness of six storage methods. The study was guided by null hypotheses that socio-economic and institutional factors did not determine the choice of marketing channels; that socio-economic and institutional factors did not determine volume of cocoyam marketed; that the mean income of farmers, wholesalers and retailers did not significantly differ and that the mean cocoyam rot of the six storage methods did not significantly differ. A total of 260 marketers comprising 100 producers, 60 wholesalers and 100 retailers were selected through stratified random sampling techniques. Data were collected from both primary sources. Primary data emanated from various questionnaires and weekly/monthly monitoring of the six storage methods. Descriptive statistics such as tables, charts, percentages and mean and inferential statistics such net income analysis, four firm concentration ratios, Herfindahl-Hirschman Index and Gini Coefficient, Multinomial logic regression model, correlation analysis, Ordinary least square regression model and Analysis of Variance were used to achieve the objectives. The results showed that producers, wholesalers and retailers preferences for cocoyam cultivars depended on culture and food
pattern more than anything else. It also showed that four firm concentration ratios and Herfindahl-Hirschman Index did not indicate oligopolistic behavior although their Gini coefficient showed unequal distribution of market sale. The average net income of producers, wholesalers and retailers per year were ₦204,246, ₦3,650,000 and ₦474,000 each respectively while the net income of the six storage methods were ₦56.92, ₦47.96, ₦47.80, ₦43.36, ₦15.25 and ₦3.00 per kg respectively. Approximately 33% of the variations in the volume of cocoyam marketed were explained by socio-economic and institutional variables.
The multinomial logic regression analysis has R2 value of 0.56 and showed that age and storage cost were significant (P < 5%).The correlation results for objectives iii and vi showed that distance to market, family labour, size of land allocated to cocoyam income from other sources and purpose of marketing were significant at (p< 0.001) and thus contribute to improvement in marketing. The Analysis of Variance (ANOVA) showed statistically significant difference (P < 0.01) in the mean income of farmers, wholesalers and retailers as well as the mean disease severity of the six storage methods. So, the first, second, third and fourth hypotheses were rejected, while the alternatives were accepted. The study therefore, recommended that government should build the capacity of market participants through seminars. Additionally financial/technical support should be provided especially to the commercial farmers. There is also need for agricultural-chain partnership between the farmers and processors.