Test marketing for value-added root and tuber based products in Ikwuano local government area of Abia state, Nigeria
The study was conducted at different markets in Ikwuano LGA of Abia State to test-market selected value-added root and tuber based products, developed at National Root Crops Research Institute, Umudike. Its specific objectives were to assess acceptability of the products by the consumers; identify the marketing channels for the products; estimate the profit margins of value addition in selected root and tuber products and determine the benefit cost ratio of value addition. The products were prepared in the Post-harvest Technology Programme of the Institute, using the recommended recipe developed for each of the products. The products were properly packaged, placed at variety shops and taken to Ndoro market for sale on market days, usually once a week for six (6) weeks. Local vendors were also used in the marketing. A simple questionnaire was used to elicit information from consumers. The results were determined with the use of descriptive statistics and gross margin analysis. Burger and meat pie were accepted by more consumers among the baked products while meat pie and ginger drink gave the consumers the highest levels of satisfaction. All the products were profitable; however, meat pie gave the highest profit margins while ginger drink had the least cost advantage. In terms of percentage volume of sales, Chin-Chin ranked 1st followed by ginger drink and cocoyam crisps at 2nd and 3rd respectively. It is therefore recommended that value-added products of root and tuber crops should be commercialized since they are profitable and likely to be accepted by consumers. This will create markets and increase demand thereby eliminating wastage of root and tuber crops in Nigeria.
Keywords: Roots, Tubers, Value-addition, and Ikwuano LGA