Efficiency analyses of cocoa marketing in Abia State, Nigeria
The study analyzed efficiency and constraints of cocoa marketing in Ikwuano Abia State, Nigeria. Ikwuano was purposively chosen because it is among the cocoa major producing/marketing areas in Abia State. Data were obtained from primary source using personal interview and a well-constructed questionnaire from 60 marketers. The results showed that about 87% of the marketers are males; 83% were married; while 63.33% had no-formal education. About 70% of the marketers belonged to marketing unions; also 70% did not have access to credit. The mean age of the respondents was 42.17 years; mean household size was about 5 persons; while mean marketing experience was 8.97 years. The results also showed that transportation accounted for about 51% of the total marketing costs. The mean marketing margin for the marketers was 22.88%, while the marketing efficiency was 5.77. Six independent variables significantly influenced marketing efficiency of the respondents, which were sex, marketing experience, educational level, household size, union membership and age of the respondents. Among the constraints experienced by the marketers were poor access to credit with a mean score of 3.225, significant at 1% alpha level. Others were storage-related issues (3.075), and transportation difficulties (2.825). It was recommended that cocoa marketers advanced with age and those that must have spent years in the business should not leave it for another because its efficiency increases with age and years. The results also call on policies aimed at strengthening the efforts of the cocoa marketers by encouraging them form marketing associations or enhance the bargaining power of their existing unions, through which they can collectively access credit at low interests.
Keywords: Marketing Efficiency, Marketing Margin and Constraints