C. O. A. Ugwumba
Keywords: Marketing; profitability; efficiency; Sherpherd-Futrel model
After wheat and rice, maize is the most important cereal in the world (Fakorede, Fajemisin, Kin and Iken, 1993). In Nigeria, maize has now rison to a commercial crop providing rawmaterials to agro-based industries. Its consumption accounts for about 64% of the total daily calorie intake of rural dwellers especially during the hunger time. It can be boiled or roasted or dried. Its paste is used in making porridge and pap popularly used by the Easterners in the country as weaning food for children. There is no class distinction in maize consumption and there is no apparent taboos or religious sentiment associated with its production, preservation and utilization (Okafor, 1994).
In the study area, fresh maize marketing is popular in the rainy season ( i.e. between the months of April and November of every year). Marketing agents travel long distances to local maize farms and the only daily fresh maize wholesale market at Onitsha to buy their product for sale from outlets located in different parts of the State. Moreso, maize being an agricultural product is bulky and perishable. It therefore exerts various pressures on handling, packaging, transport and sales with adverse antecedent effect on market prices. In addition, poor storage facilities coupled with improper handling and transportation stress lower quantity and quality and cause losses leading to reduced market margins and poor returns. Thus, the better the market situation of a product, the more the desire for higher production among the farmers.
This paper seeks to examine the efficiency of fresh maize marketing and the effect of socio-economic variables on income from the marketing process in Anambra state. Specifically, the study examines the marketing channels of fresh maize ;the efficiency of fresh maize marketing ; and the effects of socio-economic and demographic factors on income from fresh maize marketing.
thus accounting for 500 erosion sites of varying dept and length (Anambra State Economic Development Strategy, 2006). Farming is the predominant occupation .It is carried out at the family level and it is mainly for subsistence .The little surplus production that may be generated is sold for money used to purchase non-farm commodities. Over the years , women are found to be heavily involved in petty trading attributed to lack of capital and access to loanable funds or credits (SEEDS, 2006).
Random sampling technique was used to select 90 respondents at Onitsha, Awka and Nnewi metropolitan cities of the state for the study. Data was collected through primary sources. Primary sources of data, which were cross-sectional, involved the use of structured questionnaire items administered to the farmers , observations and memory recall .The complements of secondary data in fine tuning the work were also explored. Information obtained included socio-economic and demographic factors such as age,
Descriptive statistics such as frequency ,mean and percentages were used in describing socio-economic and demographic variables , while Shepherd –Futrel technique, net profit analysis and multiple regression were respectively employed to determine marketing efficiency, profitability and effects of socio-economic and demographic factors on income realized from fresh maize marketing business. To determine the efficiency of fresh maize marketing the Sherpherd-Futrel model was employed. This model propounded by Sherpherd and Futrel (1982) considers as an accurate measure of marketing efficiency the coefficient of total cost of marketing to total revenue expressed in percentage term. The model is specified as:
ME = TC X 100 or TR- TC X 100
Multiple regression analysis following Lucey (2004) was adopted to analyze the effects of socio-economic and demographic factors on marketing income, and is implicitly specified as:
Results and discussions
Table 1 below profiles the socio-economic and demographic characteristics of fresh maize marketers in the study area. Majority of them (72.2%) fell within the active, strong and productive age range of 31-50 years. This is an
indication that fresh maize marketing especially in roasted form requires youths who are active, strong and can therefore withstand the stress associated with purchasing, roasting and marketing of roasted maize cobs.
Table 2: Estimated profitability and efficiency of fresh maize marketing
Item Agent/Amount (N) Total Amount ( N )
Source: Field survey 2008.
N37,400.00 or 25.39 was scored by the retailers .
Results of analysis of coefficient of marketing efficiency are as shown in Table 2. An overall coefficient of marketing efficiency of 0.56 or 56.16% was recorded by the agents. This implies that 51.6% of sales revenue of the agents is taken up by costs. Efficiency of fresh maize marketing could be increased by adopting those measures that will increase revenue, reduce marketing cost and thus reduce coefficient of marketing efficiency. This is because, the lower the coefficient of marketing efficiency, the higher the level of efficiency. Thus, in the study area the producers were more efficient (0.53 or 53.25%), than the retailers (0.54 or 54.06%), and then the wholesalers (0.61 or 61.32%).
Effect of social economic and demographic factors on marketing income
-1.349 – 0.149log * + 0.176logMST – 0.022logEDU + 0.197logACC
-0.678logGEN* + 0.526logMKE* - 0.211logMKC* + 0.467logSAV*
(6.124) (2.389) (-0.2.014) (3.867)
R2 = 0.78
F = 56.17
Values in parenthesis represent corresponding t-values.
The coefficient of determination (R2) value of 0.78 implies that 78% of the variation in fresh maize marketing income is explained by age, marital status, education, access to credit, gender, marketing experience, marketing cost and savings. The F-ratio is statistically significant at 5% level of probability, further confirming the overall significance of the parameter estimates in the relationship.
Age of the marketer is negatively correlated with marketing income but significant at 5% level of probability. Marital status affects fresh maize marketing positively and significantly too. This suggests that married people are more likely to earn income from the business than individuals who are single. The reason could be that married marketers would have accumulated experience and resources to enable them excel in the business. Moreso, results of the regression analysis also show that marketing experience has positive relationship with marketing income and significantly determined it. Access to credit and savings are positively correlated with marketing income implying that marketers who have large resources will sell more fresh maize and realize more income than those with small capital. However, results of the regression analysis show that access to credit is not a significant determinant of marketing income but savings is.
Conclusion and recommendation
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