Analysis of Edible Mushroom Marketing in Three Villages in Central Cross River State, Nigeria
This study examined the marketing of edible mushroom in three villages (Alesi, Ekukunela and Ohon) in Central Cross River State, Nigeria. The marketing of edible mushroom in the state offers job opportunities for both skilled and unskilled rural population at farm gate and offers market employment opportunities for middlemen (wholesalers and retailers), enable talent utilization and stimulation of increase in edible mushroom production. The socio-economic characteristics of sellers, profit margin and marketing efficiency were the main focus. One hundred and twenty respondents were interviewed at three different markets in three selected villages in Central Cross River State, Nigeria, namely: Alesi, Ekukunela and Ochon. These markets were chosen because of the large number of edible mushroom sellers in them. However, the sellers were randomly selected. This study revealed that the marketing of edible mushroom in Central Cross River State was completely dominated by women and children, with monthly profit margin for Alesi, Ekukunela and Ochon markets as N60,000.00, N56,000.00 and N52,000.00 per annual respectively. This suggests that edible mushroom marketing business was lucrative. The concentration of sellers is low while entry is free. The markets are thus prefect competitive markets. The regression analysis, however, revealed that of all the marketing costs, transportation had the most significant impact on the returns of sellers in all the studied markets. It was therefore recommended that farmers should form Mushroom Grower and Marketing Cooperative to enable them obtain loans from banks. Banks should provide loans with low interest rate to both small and large – scales genuine mushroom farmers and marketers (not politicians, motor park boys or civil servant). Furthermore, extension agents should monitor beneficiaries of such loans to ensure that the farmers or marketers do not divert funds to buy motor-cycles, cars or marry more wives and also they should ensure regular repayment of loans by loan beneficiaries. The study also recommended that government should implement action –research type of programs that integrate institutional-technical and socio-economic aspect of mushroom farming and include post harvest and marketing aspects either through cooperatives or export processing zones. Finally, the study recommended that serious attention should be paid to improve the markets to perfect markets for optimal efficiency.
KEY WORDS: Edible Mushroom, Nutrition, Improved Health, Marketing Efficiency