Economic Analyses of Performance of Watermelon Marketing Among Marketers in Owerri Municipal Council Area, Imo State, Nigeria
This study analyzed the performance of water melon marketing among marketers in Owerri Municipal Council Area of Imo State. Purposive and random sampling techniques were used to select 70 marketers for the study. Data were collected through primary source. The data were analyzed using cost and returns, marketing margin and efficiency index. The findings of the study indicated that both marketers (wholesalers and retailers) had positive net profit, depicting that the watermelon marketing was economically viable. The result further showed that the market returned N1.37 and N1.17 for every N1.00 invested in the business at the wholesale and retail levels respectively. The market had marketing margins of 58.97% and 30.56% and marketing efficiencies of 36.71% and 16.16% among the wholesalers and retailers respectively. This shows that the watermelon marketing in the study area was still economically profitable but not efficient at both wholesale and retail levels. The values of expense structure ratio were 0.3 and 0.1 for wholesalers and retailers indicating that 30% and 10% of the total costs in the wholesale and retail levels respectively were made of fixed capital. Therefore, new entrants with little capital can easily enter into the business especially at the retail level as it is not fixed capital intensive. The study therefore, recommends the need to encourage more marketers to trade in watermelon as well as more entrants into the trade. This will help to enhance efficiency of the market and improve the standard of living of the marketers as their means of livelihood will equally increase. Some unemployed youths in the area should be encouraged to join the watermelon business especially at the retail level as the business is profitable.
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