Efficiency of bitter kola marketing in Abia State, Nigeria
The goal of marketing of agricultural products is to ensure that consumers get satisfaction from the entire process of production, as well as create benefit to the various participants in the marketing channel. This study analyzed the efficiency of bitter kola marketing in Abia State, Nigeria. The specific objectives of the study were to identify the main marketing channels of bitter kola marketing in Abia State, determine the marketing efficiency and the factors influencing the marketing efficiency of bitter kola, and ascertain the problem encountered by the marketers of bitter kola in the study area. A multistage sample technique was used in selecting 40 bitter kola marketers. Data were collected through the use of structured questionnaire and interview schedules which were administered to the respondents. Descriptive statistical tools like frequency tables, means and percentages and ordinary least squares (OLS) regression were used to analyze the data. The marketing chain of bitter kola showed that the key actors involved in the marketing of bitter kola were farmers/producers, assemblers, wholesalers, retailers and consumers. The average marketing efficiency of the bitter kola marketers was 1.19%, which showed that bitter kola marketing was relatively efficient as a return of 19kobo was made for every ₦1 spent. This implies the value added by marketing was less than the total marketing cost. The significant variables influencing marketing efficiency were age of the marketer (P= 0.01), years of education (P = 0.01), marketing experience (P = 0.05), selling price (P = 0.01), purchase cost (P = 0.01), marketing costs (P = 0.01), and access to credit (P = 0.01). The major problems faced by the bitter kola marketers were seasonality of the commodity which makes the commodity scarce during the off season, high cost of transport incurred in sourcing the commodity from producers and local markets, lack of storage facilities especially during the harmattan periods causing the nuts cover to peel off. Other problems identified by the markers include weather condition, insufficient capital and daily charges by government at the markets. The study there recommended that policies aimed at reducing cost incurred in the marketing process should be put in place for improved efficiency. Such policies will include among others reduction of transportation cost by constructing rural roads, and provision of credit facilities to alleviate capital constraints.
Keywords: Efficiency, Bitter Kola and Marketing