Analysis of profitability of water yam (Dioscorea alata) marketing in Umuahia Agricultural Zone of Abia State, Nigeria
The study was conducted in Umuahia Agricultural Zone of Abia State, Nigeria, to determine the socio-economic characteristics of water yam (Dioscorea alata) traders and the profitability of the marketing enterprise. Multistage sampling techniques were used in the study. Data collected from 72 respondents (32 wholesalers and 40 retailers) were analyzed using descriptive statistics. The socio-economic characteristics of the traders were described using their age, sex, educational level, marketing experience, marital status, household size, membership of cooperative and source of fund for business. The profitability of the marketing enterprise was described using marketing income statement and profitability ratios including the input ratio, cost ratio, income ratio and capital ratio. The results of the study showed that there were more males than female traders in the marketing enterprise. Most of the traders were middle-aged, married, had formal education, good marketing experience, large household size, high cooperative society membership, and depended on informal sources of fund for business. The commodity input ratios were generally high at the retail than the wholesale level, while the cost ratios, the income ratios and the capital ratios were relatively high for the wholesalers than the retailers. The marketing system was more profitable at the wholesale than the retail marketing level, because of the relative risk evasiveness of the traders. The profitability and efficiency of the marketing system can be improved by lowering the production and marketing cost of the commodity in the study area.
Keywords: Profitability, water yam, profitability ratios, marketing efficiency