Assessment of agro-marketers’ patronage of private commercial cold rooms in Abakaliki Urban Area of Ebonyi State, Nigeria
AbstractThe study assessed the agro-marketers’ patronage of private commercial coldrooms in Abakaliki Urban area of Ebonyi State. Purposive sampling technique was employed in selecting 120 respondents (30 cold room operators and 90 agro-marketers) used for the study. Data were collected from primary source using structured questionnaires. Descriptive statistics such as mean, tables, percentages, difference in means were employed to analyse objectives i and ii, objective iii was analysed using ordinary least squares regression analysis; whereas, objective iv was analysed using gross margin analysis; whereas, and objective v was analysed using mean score (obtained from a 4-point likert rating scale of 2.5 weighted mean). The results obtained have shown that majority of the agro-marketers were
females (80%) as most of the males were involved in the operation and management of coldrooms. It further, revealed that 66% (R2 = 0.659) of the total variation on the level of patronage were explained by the combined effects of the explanatory variables, as the coefficients of educational and income status of the agro-marketers were both positive
and significant at 5% level. The F-test of the analysis showed that the socio-economic characteristics of the respondents have a significant effect on the patronage of private commercial coldrooms in the study area. The
analysis revealed further a higher gross marketing margin for unrefrigerated agro-products than refrigerated agroproducts (18.3% and 16.5% gross margins respectively). Factors like cost of refrigerating agro-products (3.3), use of local refrigerating facilities (2.7), inadequate power supply (2.6), and lack of market information (2.5) were identified as
the major constraints to effective patronage of private commercial coldrooms in Abakaliki urban. From the findings, the study recommended that the public power supply should be enhanced to ensure constant power supply; and that agro-marketers should be sensitized towards coldroom patronage and need for market information.