RAPHIA PALM WINE MARKETING IN SOUTH-SOUTH NIGERIA
The broad objective of the study was to analyse Raphia palm wine (RPW) marketing in South-South Nigeria (SSN). The specific objectives were to: (i) analyse the productivity of resources used in RPW production; (ii) analyse the determinants of technical efficiency of tappers; ( iii) analyse the structure of RPW market in the area; (iv) describe the marketing channels and distribution of RPW; (v) estimate the level and determinants of profit in RPW tapping and marketing (vi) estimate the level of market integration for the product; and (vii) identify the constraints faced by RPW tappers, marketers and consumers in the study area. The study was conducted in South-South Nigeria (SSN) using the survey method. Multistage random sampling technique was used in selecting three states (Bayelsa, Delta and Rivers) out of the six states (Akwa Ibom, Bayelsa, Cross River, Delta, Edo and Rivers States) that make up South-South Nigeria. Two markets were randomly selected from each of two local government areas randomly selected from each state, after which a total of 10 RPW tappers, marketers and consumers, respectively, were randomly selected from each market to give a sample size of 120 RPW tappers, marketers and consumers, respectively. Total sample size was therefore 360. Three sets of pre-tested structured questionnaires were administered to the respondents according to their categories using trained enumerators to obtain primary data that were used to realise the objectives of the research. Furthermore, four-day local market prices for RPW in selected markets in the states were collected for a period of six months starting from September, 2012 to February, 2013 and these were used to determine the integration of RPW markets in the study areas. Data were analysed using descriptive statistics and inferential statistics, such as, stochastic frontier production function, Gini Coefficient, Gross margin analysis, multiple regression analysis and market integration function. Sixty-six percent of the tappers were married. They were all males (100%) and a good number of them (50%) prwere in their productive ages of 30-49 years with as many as 74% of them without formal education. A large proportion (92%) of the marketers were married with a large number (66%) of them being females and 66% also were in the age bracket of 30-49 years, with as many as 97% of them having little or no formal education. The consumers were made up of married (58%), males (72%) of which only 42% were in the age group of 30-49 years with a high percentage (84%) of them not exceeding primary school education. Number of Raphia palm stands, variety of palm stands, family labour, hired labour and years of tapping experience were statistically significant (p>0.01) in relation to RPW output even though there was a record of inefficiency in the productivity of resources (gamma = 1). The test of marginal effect after frontier showed a 7% and 21% increase in RPW output for every additional unit of hybrid Raphia palm tree and palm stand tapped, respectively. However, the marginal effect of tapping duration was negative, causing a 9% reduction for every additional day of tapping. There existed a positive correlation among the degree of tappers’ inefficiency and their age (0.0224) and years of tapping experience (0.0130). Access to market information (-0.0123), household size (-0.0720), level of education (-0.0004) and access to credit (-0.0020) exhibited negative correlations with the tappers’ degree of inefficiency. RPW market was profitable at both the tappers’ and marketers’ levels, concentrated and with complex distribution channels. Raphia palm wine markets in the three states were integrated. Both tappers and marketers of RPW in the study area faced such very serious problems as poor/lack of access to formal credit facilities, inadequate finance for business expansion and low shelf life of RPW. Consumers faced very serious problems of high transportation cost, adulteration of RPW by retailers and low shelf-life of the wine.