Marketing Agricultural Products In Nigeria – Contribution Of Road Transport Network

Marketing Agricultural Products In Nigeria – Contribution Of Road Transport Network

Marketing Agricultural Products In Nigeria – Contribution Of Road Transport Network

Agriculture which is one of the major sectors of every economy has been accorded so much importance, and that is why the federal government of Nigeria has introduced a number of incentive measures to encourage the transportation of agricultural products from one area of concentration to other areas of intense demand.

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Government incentive measures to boost the transportation of agricultural products includes the establishment of a good road transport system network and the establishment of state owned transport, firm local government transport, state transport company as well as private transportation and the establishment of sea transport boats, canoes.

In Ebonyi state the ultimate goal of the agricultural policy is the attainment of self-sustaining growth in all sub-sector of agriculture as well as the realization, necessary for the overall socio-economic development of the rural areas.

Based on the above reasoning therefore, the influence as well as the importance of road transportation services is critically investigated in this study with particular reference to marketing of agricultural product in Ebonyi state because, agricultural products supplies from some of its products supplies from some of its local government area do not usually respond quickly to changes in demand.

Increases in production of smallholder farmers who dominate in the area depend on the assurance of good prices and market opportunities. Market opportunities, in particular, are constrained by poor transport network, which adversely affect accessibility and personal mobility.

Although often unaccounted for, farmers production activities and costs includes costs of trekking between home and field often over long distances, quite apart from the transport requirements for marketing agricultural products. The proportion of production costs represented by transport and travel costs usually increases rapidly with distance between villages and fields. These constraints in of-road transport limit farmers’ production to fields closer to the villages, and other factors include are inadequacy of infrastructure, high cost of production, and inadequate transport system due to bad roads in Ebonyi state.

STATEMENT OF PROBLEM

Agricultural and transportation are two words that go together. This is because the source of food and other economic products must be reasonably accessible in distributing agricultural products to the markets, and factories. Therefore, adequate transportation network and efficient carrier services operations are a necessary conditions for affecting an efficient physical distribution of agricultural products.

In Ebonyi state therefore, most roads are in very poor condition. This hinders the transportation of agricultural products in the towns and other areas. Also poor transportation also has the added effect of preventing farmers from specializing, in the crops that offer them the best returns. If agriculture is to respond to the growing demand of consumers, then it will be necessary, to evolve a good progressive rural roods to expedite and reduce cost of the flow of agricultural commodities, information all sorts of rural services to enable it contribute meaningful economic growth of Ebonyi state and Nigeria as a whole.

OBJECTIVES OF THE STUDY

The main objective of this study is to relate road transportation services to the economy with regards to the marketing of agricultural products in Ebonyi state, other objectives are:

I. To determine the extent, to which road transportation services affect marketing of agricultural products.

II. To determine those factors that are directly or indirectly related to the marketing of agricultural products and to what extents they have contributed to this.

III. To offer useful recommendations with a view to making the marketing of agricultural products in Ebonyi state area more successful and effective.

RESEARCH QUESTIONS

i. What are the influences of road transportation network on the marketing of agricultural products?

ii. Can inaccessibility into the rural area of Ebonyi state reduce the motivation of farmers to produce and distribute farm products?

iii. Does poor network in Ebonyi state area affects marketing of Agricultural products?

STATEMENT OF HYPOTHESES

This study will seek to test two major hypothesis which are:

1. HYPOTHESIS ONE

Ho: poor road network system in Ebonyi state does not

affects marketing of agricultural products.

Hi: poor road networks system in Ebonyi state affects

Marketing of Agricultural products.

HYPOTHESIS TWO

Ho: The nature of the modes of transport influence

selling price of farm products in the open markets.

Hi: The nature of the modes of transport does not

influence selling prices of farm products in the open

markets.

 

IMPORTANCE OF THE STUDY

The importance of the study is to find out the gainful and developmental, contributions agriculture can make to the Economy and most importantly to the tremendous influence of road transport infrastructure in Ebonyi state. This is because transport and development, as well as agriculture are usually regarded as closely related since each of them influences the fortunes and relative rate of growth of the others.

DEFINITION OF TERMS

It is pertinent at this stage to know key terms, which includes:

1. AGRICULTURE: This is the science or art that involves all activities directed towards food production.

2. FARMING: This are activities that are directed towards the cultivation of agricultural products towards satisfying needs and wants.

3. MARKET: A set of people and organization with latent or manifest, needs to satisfy, the money to spend and the willingness to spend it on need-satisfying goods services either now or in the foreseeable future.

4. MARKETING: According to kotler is a societal process by which individuals and groups obtain what they need and want through, creating, offering and freely exchanging products and services of value with others.

5. RETAILER: Business whose sales come, primarily from retailing.

6. INDUSTRIAL PRODUCTS: Products bought by individuals and organizations for further proceeding or for use in conducting a business.

7. AGRICULTURAL MARKETING: Therefore, may be defined as the performance of all business activities involved in the flow agricultural products and services from the point of initial agricultural production until they are in hands of consumers. It involves the application of the knowledge of marketing to the formulation, implementation and control of activities, which are directly or related to agriculture.

8. AGENT: This is a wholesaler who represents buyers or sellers on relatively permanent basis performs, only a few functions and does not take title to goods.

9. CONSUMERS: They are individual groups and families that buys the produce to meet their satisfaction.

10. CONSUMER MARKET: This are all individuals and households who buy or acquire goods and services for personal consumption.

SCOPE OF THE STUDY

In Ebonyi state most of the agricultural products yam, potatoes, cassava, rice, sea-foods, vegetables etc are produced in the village located in IZZI, and IKWO.

LIMITATION OF STUDY

TIME CONSTRAINT: The time range for the completion of

this research work is quite short and

this means that the researcher will be

working at a very lest rate to be able

to meet the allotted time for the

completion at the project.

FINANCIAL CONSTRAINT: There are also constraints due

to financial incapacitations of the

researcher, in carrying out detailed

work on the research.

LACK OF MATERIAL AND DATA: The researcher, would

have loved to increase the scope of

this research work but inadequate

material and data on marketing

Agricultural products are limited.

REVIEW OF RELATED LITERATURE

Agriculture which used to be main stay and backbone of the nations’ economy during the pre-colonial and colonial era has invariably, become the forgotten sector of our economy. Instead more emphasis is wants to identify oil sectors. Nobody wants to identify with agriculture products that used to be the commodities for both local and international markets. The story is the same in almost all the states of the federation.

Programmes and schemes which includes national Accelerated Food Production Programme (NEFP) national grains and Root Crops Production Company, the integrated rural development and direct production activities of the various river basin development Authorities were established to promote the effort of agriculture in Nigeria but schemes which was established did not last because only few people in Nigeria engage in agricultural production while the other engage in business activities.

A MARKET: Is an institution for exchange of goods and services. It can also be seen as an area or setting within which producers and consumers are or setting within which producers and consumers are in communication with one another, while supply and demand conditions operate and title of goods and services are transferred. Based on the foregoing, the following have emerged.(Umebali, 2002).

TYPES OF MARKET FOR AGRICULTURE PRODUCTS

The following market exist:

(A) FARM GATE MARKETS: In this market agricultural products exchange from the producer to the middlemen or consumers. They are local markets where the farmers direct sales. They are obtained, raw and can be in a wholesale manner or retail.

(B) WHOLESALE MARKET: The back purchase from the farm gate are further sold in large qualities. This market sells to the market carries out some marketing functions.

(C) INDUSTRIAL MARKET: This market ensures the processing of the agricultural uses. Such produce include, cocoa, palm oil, cotton, rubber etc. the processor own their processing plant. However, in Ebonyi State the situation is quite different. This is because while majority of Local government out of the twenty one local government in Ebonyi State are respectively engaged in trading and commercial activities a particular local government named Ebonyi West Local Government area stood out in identifying with Agriculture.

Agriculture in Ebonyi West Local government in particular is carried out both in small and large scale. The people of Ebonyi west local government are predominately farmers practicing agriculture as a means of livelihood. But as you are aware the people of Ebonyi West are the most prolific farmer produces large qualities of the agriculture or farm produce you see in the major markers in Ebonyi State and other parts of Nigeria without any gain saying 70 percent of the farm product brought or sold at Onitsha markets and other markets in Nigeria are mostly produced from Ebonyi West Local Government area (report of state ministry of agriculture 2002.)

THE ROLE OF AGRICULTURE IN OUR ECONOMY

Agriculture, which used to be the basic of life in Nigeria and Ebonyi State, also play or contribute to our economy in numerous ways.

i. FOOD PROVISION: Agriculture sector is mainly responsible for food provision to the Nigeria populace.

ii. EMPLOYMENT: Its used to be the major source of employment to the Nigeria labour force but since the era of oil boom its has lost her pride in the scheme of things.

iii. INVESTMENT: Although, agricultural activities is not in high gear in Nigeria and \Ebonyi State some businessmen still sees it as an viable investment arena and they have continued to invest in it.

iv. RAW MATERIALS PROVISION: The agriculture sector provides most manufacturing industries with raw materials they need for production.

v. FOR FOREIGN EXCHANGE: Agricultural marketing also contribute to the foreign exchange earnings of our nation that is its contributes to the gross domestic product (G. DP).

ROAD TRANSPORTATION SYSTEM IN EBONYI STATE

Road transport system can defined as any kind or type of transportation activities carried out on land. There are various types of road transport system. For example, we have the trekking system (transport of footing) the breast of builder system (transporting oneself or item using an animal) cycling either motorcar, Lorry, bus etc) for transport purposes.

However, this will be concerned with the vehicle system of transport as its affects the marketing of agricultural products in Ebonyi state, particularly Ebonyi west local government area. Earnings of our nation. That is its contributes to the gross domestic product, (G. DP)

vi. REVENUE GENERATION: Governments, both federal, state and local do generate revenue from agriculture activities carried our in their domain (taxation)

ROAD TRANSPORTATION SYSTEM IN EBONYI STATE

Road transport system can defined as any kind or type of transportation activities carried out on land. There are various types of road transport system. For example, we have the trekking system (transport of footing) the breast of builder system (transporting oneself or item using an animal) cycling either motorcar, Lorry, bus etc) for transport purposes. The road transport system in Ebonyi state and par6ticularly the once leading to Eb0onyi West local government area is in a general state of disorder.

This present condition of this road network, has really done a lot of havoc to the entire populace, ranging from like in transport fares, frequency breakdown on the way, inaccessibility, arm robbery attacks hampering of the marketing of agricultural products to mention few. All the farmer from Ebonyi west local government as really suffering from this problem of poor road connection in their domain. They lost 20% to 30% of the farm produce to this bad road condition. (Report of the state ministry of agricultural and natural resources 2002).

MARKETING OF AGRICULTURE PRODUCTS:

Aside from the agricultural producers who may be involved in the direct marketing of the their products, the major institutions involved in the handling and marketing of agricultural products include.

A. Wholesalers, trade associations and retailers of food products, and

B. Food processing industries.

 

MARKETING STRUCTURE OF AGRICULTURE PRODUCTS

 

WHOLESALES

Wholesales are the bulk buyers of agricultural and food products, both processed and unprocessed. They in turn, sell to retailers hotels, and other institutions. Among the wholesalers are such food handlers and marketers as distributors and forestallers. The forestaller who place themselves at strategic points on the road into our traditional markets or road leading from the farms and try to induce those going to the market or returning from the farmers to sell their agricultural products to them.

TRADE ASSOCIATIONS

Trade associations are association of traders in particular communities that have banded themselves together to promote their own objectives.

According to Onakomaiya, trade associations perform two main functions one school the other political during important occasion like marriage and funeral ceremonies on the political side the associations labby the authorities to ensure adequate supply, maintenance and improvement of marketing facilities, at the traditional open markets.

We should add that trade association in agricultural markets performs economic functions such as restricting and regulation entry into the trade, the also control price through collusive price fixing.

RETAILERS

In Nigeria it is difficult to distinguish between the wholesaler and the retailer since both categories of middlemen interchange the functions which they perform. Essentially, however, the retailer handles smaller qualities of agricultural products and sells primarily to the ultimate consumer.

Among the retailer are the supermarket, and most of the operators in our traditional open markets. In the handling and marketing of farm produce, it is not necessary to distinguish between the different classes of middlemen that are involved with moving the products to the consumers at markets. For example, Hooder and Ukwu have depicted in figure1, how the local farm produce is distributed.

THE DISTRIBUTION OF FARM PRODUCE

SOURCE = HOODER AND UKWU

DISTRIBUTION CHANNELS

In the marketing of agricultural products, a lot of bulk breaking and rebuking takes places at many points in the chain of distribution before the product reaches the consumers. These involve enormous costs as the products pass through the hand of different categories of middlemen. The channel of distribution that is therefore adopted, as well as the cost incurred in the process would depend on the following factors.

(1) If the product were a seasonal one in terms of production or demand pattern as in the case of onions, orange and kola nuts, traditional multi-link channel would normally be used instead of separately established distributive organisation every season.

(2) Where the products are perishable and long distances separate the producers and the retailers, traditional multi-link channels would be used to offset the hazards of long distance transportation.

However, processed or semi-processed commodities tend to have shorter channels as some of the strong functions are performed by

(3) Generally the higher the unit value of a commodity the greater the possibility of successfully marketing directly to the consumer.

(4) Highly divisible convenience goods generally used the traditional channel, while shopping goods can be more directly marketed.

(5) If the total sales volume is large middlemen can be successfully eliminated. However, if the sales volume is low, middlemen who handle other or similar products have to the used.

(6) A commodity having a widespread scattered market has to use existing traditional, channel of distribution.

(7) The existence of competitor and established channels with customers are already familiar with which have proved profitable to his competitors normally induces a producer or trader to follow those established channels.

DISTRIBUTION CHANNEL

THE ROLE OF ROAD TRANSPORTATION ON AGRICULTURAL MARKETING

According to Nwokoye (1981) that from basic economic theory production is never complete until what produced gets to the final consumers, and that is only through transportation that this objective can be effectively achieved. In his views, transportation in relation to agriculture in Ebonyi West Local Government area is mainly by road in which the vehicular traffic consists of cars, Lorries, buses, tippers etc, and sea which consist of canoes and boats also pedestrian traffic and by head are not entirely excluded, but are mainly used for short distance market within the rural areas. He asserted that this mode of transportation in mostly applicable to some agricultural products which require movement only over short distance to and from market places between adjoining villages an nearby town which s however a slow and inefficient mode of transportation, commonly called head portage, was the oldest in the system but was largely made possible by the existence of bush paths which were not conducive for vehicles and bicycles as means of agriculture.

Similar views were also held by Totiola and Igben (1999) when they observed in the role of government in food and agricultural production in Nigeria. That apart from the poor conditions of the roads, all forms of carriers services Lorries, boats, and trains are inadequate and ill-equipped to meet boost cases, transport charged are not fixed, the very with the condition, of road, type of produce, season of the year, and prospect of relum road. They further observed that there is complete lack of regulation and standardization of the carrier trade especially with regards to marketing a distinction between passenger in one, and goods and services on the other. In their assertions Lorry owners refuse, to carry foodstuffs, but accepts passages and in cases they accepts to carry food stuffs, the rate are exploitative and highly variable, besides the inadequacies, road network services are inefficiently executed. They finally noted that the primary requirement of an efficient transport service is not only that cost to the cost to the users be lowest but also that goods be moved quickly with a little delay as possible and recommended, that rural road should be provided since they are very essential for the prompt evacuation of produce farms to market places. Adirika (2002) in recognition of the inputs of road transport system to agriculture observed that construction of rural road may induce an immediate response in improved agricultural output. This view is however, in the same line and reasoning with the previous one held by Titiola and Igben in his view new settlers often move in and begin to cultivate even before road construction in completed.

However, these results according to him can only be expected when a road is built through a fertile area inhabited by enterprising. He was however, quick to point out that there are many examples of roads that where built under less favorite condition which have led to title or no appreciable increase in agricultural output. For example where there is an absence of mark etc, or of puts necessary to increase production these factors individually or in combination will limit the development impacts of better access.

According to Aderemo (1991) marketing in Agriculture the said that the present sat state of transport is poor and does not encourage increased agricultural production. The services make the transportation of agricultural products from the gate to the areas of need difficult. It also encourage waste of products time and money.

Titiola and Igben (1981) observed that the role of motorable feed road is directly link to the amount of marketable surplus that can reach the mark etc. In their opinion, through the Nigeria farmers still consume an appreciable amount of their products the amount that could reach the markets from individuals farmers is determined by the mode of transportation.

In an attempt to highlight the contribution of rural road to agricultural marketing and rural roads to agricultural marketing and rural transportation, participants at a seminar on problems and prospects of agricultural credit and finance in Nigeria, organized by the central bank of Nigeria in April, 1981 identified the key areas as.

1. ACCELERATED DELIVERY OF FARM INPUTS:

In their views, the massive infusion of new inputs and technology packages hold the key to the structural transportation of Nigeria agricultural. Also rural roads in turn hold to the prompt delivery of fertilizer seeds, pesticides, farm machinery etc to farmers, at the time they need them.

2. REDUCED TRANSPORTATION COST: The participants observed that over 60% of the power for transportation far inputs into the farm gate is currently being supplied by the human muscles. They therefore, recommended that the accelerated coverage of rural area with rural roads will considerably reduce input, transportation cost especially with regards to the human energy costs of head percentage and the opportunity cost of farmers time spent trekking long distances.

3. LASTLY ENHANCE SPATIAL AGRICULTURAL PRODUCTION EFFICIENCY: The participants were of the opinion that since coordinated production of farm produce, within different agro-climatologically zones according to comparative, advantage holds the key to the efficient utilization of the nations. Food resources, then rural road constitute perhaps the most important single element in the development of such an integrated food production system. They are of the view that road improve the structure, conduct and performance of rural markets, so as a result, the rural markets become more competitive resulting in higher farm gate crop producer price and lower farm gate inputs prices. They were quick to point our that efforts to accelerate food production bottleneck, especially if rural roads remain seasonal and grossly inadequate.

SUMMARY OF FINDINGS, CONCLUSIONS AND RECOMMENDATIONS

INTRODUCTION

This chapter contain the summary of various findings that resulted from the data generated in the study and which has been analyzed in the proceeding chapter.

Also the chapter contains recommendations by the researcher base on the findings and conclusion.

SUMMARY OF FINDINGS

From the analysis in chapter 4 of the result of the study as seen from hypothesis one that poor network system in Ebonyi state Local Government Area affects marketing of Agricultural products. Chi- square distribution was used to test this hypothesis which the respondents highly view that poor road network system in Ebonyi state affects marketing of Agricultural products. This highlights that the poor nature of roads makes effective distribution of Agricultural products difficult for the farmers. Hypothesis two which stated that the nature of mode of transportation influences the selling prices of farm products in open market.

This hypothesis was also tested by the use of chi-square. From the result, majority of the respondents highly viewed that the mode of transportation causes increase in prices of agricultural products because farmers who distributed their farm produce add some money which is charged to transport the products thereby, this lead to an increase in selling prices of the products.

Apart from the findings made through the test of hypothesis, other observation was made during the study which includes that most farmers are illiterates who had little or no education and this affect their level of productivity and majority of those people that engaged in agricultural production and marketing are aged between 35 – 49 years.

CONCLUSION

This study has examined the road transportation system, its influence on the marketing of agricultural products in Ebonyi State Local Government Area. While doing this, it is believed that production is never complete, until what is produced gets to where it is needed.

Also based on the finding efforts were made to identify those factors that directly or indirectly affect the effective marketing of agricultural products in Ebonyi State. The main factors are poor road network, mode of transportation and lack of maintenance have been identified as a major short comings in the marketing process of agricultural products, the incentives and enterprise to grow more food is therefore reduced. This result to scarcity of agricultural products, especially in the Ishieke markets. Finally, road transportation services in relation to agriculture are necessary condition for efficient and effective physical distribution of agricultural products in Nigeria as a whole so that we will have sufficient food in our economy.

Government should also put concern in some of its policies based on transportation of agricultural products for effective and efficient food supply in the economy.

RECOMMENDATIONS

Based on the identified problems and findings of the study some of the useful recommendations are made;

The government, private companies and communities should make sure that rural feeder roads are constructed to link each town and where roads are in bad conditions or shape they should be reconstructed or rehabilitated. This will go a long way ton enhance an easy evaluation of agricultural products to the various area where they are needed at the right time thereby creating time and place utilities.

Having established the fact that modes of transportation increases the selling prices of agricultural products, it is recommended that government with collective will of the people should establish food collection centers or points in the various areas where government vehicles can collect and transport the agricultural products into the Ishieke market.

Government should also provide vehicles free of charge or at a very subsidized rate to farmers to enable them transport their products to the Ishieke markets. And where this is Not possible, farmers and transport operators within the Local Government should put heads together to arrive at ways to reduce transportation cost and ways to enhance efficient distribution of the farm produce, which everybody should understand is for the interest of the community and society at large.

Finally, since lack of agricultural equipment and inadequate storage facilities are other problems that affect of urgency. Government should provide the farmers with the most modem agricultural equipment and also modern and adequate storage facilities to check against wastage and spoilage.

Marketing Agricultural Products In Nigeria – Contribution Of Road Transport Network

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