Analysis of cocoa processing and marketing in Abia State, Nigeria
The study analysed Cocoa processing and marketing in Abia State, Nigeria. It specifically assessed the socio-economic characteristics of the cocoa processors, the structure and conduct of cocoa processors, cost and returns, marketing efficiency and constraints to cocoa processing and marketing in the study area. A total of 120 cocoa processors and marketers were randomly selected from the selected local governments purposively chosen using a multistage sampling procedure. Structured questionnaire was used to elicit information from cocoa processors who also engage in marketing of cocoa. Data were analysed using descriptive and inferential statistics. Results show that majority (56.7%) of the processors and marketers were males, with a mean age of 51.35 years, literates (98.3%), married (86.7%), members of cooperative society (75%,), had extension contact (60%) and have a mean household size of 5 persons with 11.2 years processing and marketing experience. Cost and return analysis revealed that cocoa processing and marketing is a profitable venture and the marketers were efficient at their trade. Multiple Regression result revealed that Age, Educational level, household size, were significant variables that influence marketing efficiency of processors and marketers in the study area. Constraints identified include; transportation, spoilage, price fluctuation amongst others. The study recommends among others the provision of infrastructure like modern processing facilities and good road network by government to improve efficiency in processing and marketing of cocoa.
Keywords: Cocoa processing, Cost-return, Efficiency, Marketing