MARKETING OF DRY SEASON VEGETABLES IN SOUTH-EAST NIGERIA
The study analysed the marketing of dry season vegetables in South-East Nigeria. This study was carried out with five specific objectives. The specific objectives included (i) description of the channel, as well as the analysis of the structure and conduct of marketing of dry season vegetables in South-East Nigeria; Objective (ii) determined the marketing margins of dry season vegetables marketers; (iii) determined the effect of the constraints on the margins of dry season vegetables marketers; (iv) determined the price causality in the marketers’ prices of dry season vegetables; (v) measured the extent of market integration of dry season vegetables in the study area. Multi-stage sampling technique was used to select a total sample size of 227 respondents for the study. Data was collected for 61 days using 2 sets of structured questionnaires for the wholesalers and the retailers. Data were analyzed using simple descriptive statistics, Gini coefficient model, marketing margin analyses, Pearson Chi-square model, Granger causality tests and Bivariate autoregressive model of Dynamic spatial and temporal market model. The results showed that there were no barriers to entry and exit in and out of the vegetables markets during the dry season period. Also, eight (8) marketing channels were identified and described for Ugu and Okra respectively. The marketing margin analyses showed a high percentage margin of Okra marketers as 93%, and that of Ugu marketers as 79%, implying that dry season vegetables marketing is a profitable business venture in the study area. The identified constraints included: problem of storage, high transport cost, lack of market, poor sales, lack of market stalls, poor preservation facilities, weather problem and inadequate capital. Pearson Chi-square results showed that few constraints such as problem of weather, lack of market stalls, lack of market, problem of weather and problem of poor sales were significant to the marketers’ margins either at 5% or 10% levels of significance. Granger causality test showed that there was bilateral price causality existing between the farmgate anprd wholesale prices, as well as bilateral price causality relationships between the wholesale and their retail prices respectively. There was no causality relationship between the farmgate and the retail prices. But there was a unidirectional price causality relationship existing between the wholesale price of Okra and retail price, and not the other way. Bivariate autoregressive model which was used to measure the extent of integration amongst the vegetables markets ascertained that there was significant relationship between the central and local market prices for Ugu wholesalers and retailers, as well as Okra wholesalers and retailers. From the result, it showed that there is an instantaneous adjustment to price changes in the market pairs of the marketers, an indication of perfect competitiveness amongst them, suggesting the existence of non-collusive pricing arrangement. Hypothesis (i) was accepted and rejected for the marketers’ prices, based on the judgment from their results. For instance, there were bilateral price causalities for both Ugu wholesalers’ and retailers’ purchase and selling prices. On the other hand, hypothesis (ii) was also accepted and rejected based on the findings. For example, it was rejected Ugu retailers, Okra wholesalers and Okra retailers, because their local and central markets were integrated at 5%, 5% and 1% significant levels. The study therefore, recommended that government should build sufficient and modern market stalls to ensure and foster conducive environment and as well provide hygienic environment for their sales. Moreso, waste places and incinerators should be built by the government in order to maintain a clean market environment. Government should build new roads and repair worn out roads, as well as construct railways to link the northern regions due to huge supplies from there; marketers should form market associations, which will in turn bring about easy access to information as well as lower transaction costs. There is need for improved information on current market prices, margins and supply situation of the marketers; as well as need to strengthen emphasis with research on dry season marketing of vegetables.