The Role Of Road Transportation Mode In The Marketing Of Agricultural Products (A Case Study Of Abakaliki L.G.A. Ebonyi State)
The aim of this study is to determine the role of Road Transportation mode in Marketing of Agricultural Produce in Abakaliki Local Government Area of Ebonyi State.
To enhance a quicker, clearer and more comprehensive understanding of the impact of this study the work has been divided into fi8ve chapter.
Chapter one deals with the nature and statement of the problem, objectives and scope of the study. Also included in the same chapter is the statement of hypothesis, significance of the study and finally, a definition of concepts very unique to the study.
Chapter two deal with a review of related literature where other people’s views and opinions on road transport and agriculture were highlighted.
The third chapter treated the research methodology adopted and such other areas as method of investigation, population and sample size and finally, the limitations of the study.
Chapter four forms the main basis of the study as it treated the presentation and analysis of data collected for the purpose of the study.
Lastly, chapter five dealt with a summary of the findings, conclusion and recommendations.
1.1 Background of the Study
The quest of achieve self sufficiency food production is one of the highest priority areas facing most of the world’s today. It is also a problem that threatens to worsen rapidly in the years immediately ahead.
On the otherhand, problems relating to rural inaccessibility have continued to plogue the world, and in particular, Nigeria Agriculture, it is on this basis that the government and transport policy maker should intensify efforts to improve the transportation system especially in road network system, their collective or individual efforts and endeavours should be directed towards fighting a war against hunger, and providing necessary transport facilities and services, and contribute to judicious investment decisions in related areas that can help assume the supply of additional food and it’s distribution to consumers.
1.2 Statement of the Problem
Ever since the beginning of time, agriculture and transportation have always co-existed inseparably. This is not only because the source of food and fibre and other economic product must be reasonably accessible and on being collected, be distributed to makers, parts and factories, but also that5 adequate transportation mode and efficient carrier service operations are a necessary condition for effecting an efficient physical distribution of agricultural products. Indeed, adequate and efficient transportation network is a cornerstone of the modern food marketing system. Transportation thus services as a means of moving goods, ideas and information geared towards increased productivity.
In Nigeria, roads constitute perhaps, the most important infrastructure in the structural transportation of her agriculture.
In Abakaliki, most of the roads traverse a territory of sharp contrasts in climate, soit and vegetation and this hinders agricultural progress in some rural areas, most of the roads which are of course essential for the prompt evacuation of produce from the farms to the market places are often times inaccessible all year round.
Most of these roads, especially feeder roads are unsurfaced, narrow, bad, poorly drained and winding and this prevents easy access to the hinter lend where the majority of the farmers are located. Even in Abakaliki main town where such roads are in a fair condition, there is the problem caused by poor maintance, lack of adequate executive capacity, lack of suitable materials, and management problem. The vicious combination of these factors is that costs are higher, marketing possibilities are uncertain and incentives to produce are low.
Besides, the inadequacy of road network services are inefficiently executed. Delay in transit, bad loading and offloading, and rough handling of goods characterize road transport resulting in great losses from damages, spoilage and detonation of products.
Poor transportation also has the added effect of preventing farmers from specializing in the crops that offer them the best return. Where transport is inadequate, each former attempts to keep his family supplied with all their needs, and he therefore retains more food than he actually needs, and he therefore retains more food than he actually needs. This is because if he runs short, it will be difficult to tap other resources and this entails higher losts as a result of transportation this often poses a problem because urban dwellers will be faced with dearth of foodstuffs and other essential goods manufactured from agricultural materials. These problems that confront rural transportation in Nigeria, therefore, hinder it’s ability to improve the system of land use for agricultural production.
If agriculture is to respond to the growing demand, than it will be necessary to evolve a good progressive rural structure with rural roads to expedite and reduce the cost of flow of agricultural commodities, information and all sorts of rural service to enable it contribute meaningfully to general economic growth. This will help accommodate increased traffic flows in both directions, inputs moving from the urban areas to the farms and output in the opposite direction. The task involves very large additions to rural road mode and maintaining existing roads, the expansion of storage and processing facilities and a new institutional arrangement for managing and financing the total system this is of course, a no mean task indeed.
1.3 Objectives of the Study
This study will attempt to relate road transport to the economy as regards the role of a road transportation mode in marketing Agricultural product in Abakaliki L.G.A. Ebonyi State. The objectives include:
- To determine the extent to which road transportation system has affected the marketing of Agricultural products.
- To identify these factors that are directly have contributed to this.
- To offer useful recommendations with a view to making the marketing of Agricultural products in Abakaliki L.G.A. Ebonyi State, more successful and effective.
1.4 Research Hypothesis
Based upon the earlier stated objectives, this study will see to test three major hypotheses. These are:
- That the nature of road mode system in Abakaliki affects the marketing of her agricultural products.
- That inaccessibility reduces the incentive to produce.
- That the cost of transport affects the price of the farm products. That is, that the price of agricultural products is a function of the transportation cost.
1.5 Significance of the Study
The increased interest in this study is due pointy to the gainful and developmental inputs agriculture can make to the economy and most importantly to the tremendous role of transportation infrastructure on regional economies. This is because transport and development, as well as Agriculture are usually regarded as closely related since each of them influences the fortures and relative rate of growth of others.
The significance of the study is further highlighted considering that in Nigeria, the road is the only mode of transport by which all the states of federation are linked especially with regards to the movement and distribution of Agricultural products from various rural areas of production to the different urban areas of the states for consumption.
Finally, the study shall also serve as a stimulant or reference guide for further research in this area especially in this era of population explosion and impending food storage.
1.6 Scope of the Study
In Abakaliki, Ebonyi State, most of the Agricultural Products (Yams, garri, cassava, rice, vegetables, tomatoes etc), are produced in the villages located in remote towns. Because of difference in ecological factors such as climate, soil texture, topography etc, some village produce more of one or several type of food and other Agricultural products than the others.
Taking cognizance of the fact that the study covers the entire Abakaliki local government area, as a result of dearth of time therefore, it would be time some and almost impossible to visit all the towns and villages in Abakaliki L.G.A. Ebonyi State.
Secondly, because the attendant cost involved if the whole towns and villages should be visited cannot be afforded by the researcher, coupled with the final year academic work, and recognizing that Abakaliki town is the greatest producer of the main staple food items (yam, garri, cassava, rice, groundnut, pepper) in the state, the study therefore will be restricted and limited to the aforesaid zone in investigating the ro9le of road transportation mode in marketing Agricultural products in Abakaliki, Ebonyi State.
The general focus of this study is the prevalence and implication of indiscipline in Nigeria secondary schools. However, the specific objectives which falls inline with the overall aim of this research are outlined below;
1.7 Limitation of the Study
Like in every human endeavour, the researcher encountered slight constraints while carrying out the study. Insufficient funds tend to impede the efficiency of the researcher in sourcing for the relevant materials, literature, or information and in the process of data collection, which is why the researcher resorted to a limited choice of sample size. More so, the researcher simultaneously engaged in this study with other academic work. As a result, the amount of time spent on research will be reduced.
1.8 Definition of Terms:
Considering that the subject matter of the study is the role of road transport mode in the marketing of Agricultural products. Definition of term will be attempted.
However, such definitions are only made and to be understood within the contest of the study.
Agriculture may be defined as the Science, art, and business of farming, it involves all activities directed towards food production.
Marketing, on the other hand, is defined as the performance of all business activities that direct the flow of goods and services from the producer to the consumer it emphasizes the flow of products or service that have already been produced.
Agricultural marketing therefore, may be defined as the performance of all business activities involved in the flow of Agricultural products and services from the point of initial Agricultural production until they are in the hands of consumer’s it involves the application of the knowledge of marketing to the formulation, implementation and control of activities which are directly or related to agriculture.
Summary of Findings, Recommendation and Conclusion
The purpose of this chapter is to present a summary of the findings based on the stated and tested hypotheses, and to highlight other findings of the study in order to enable meaningful conclusions to be drawn.
Finally useful recommendation are then made based on the findings.
5.1 Summary of Findings
A brief summary of the results of the study as seen from the acceptance or rejection of the earlier stated hypothesis is made here.
This hypothesis states that the role of road transport mode in Abakaliki effects the marketing of her agricultural products. It was tested by using pie-chart and chi-square statistical distribution as tools of analysis.
From the results obtained, it was observed that majority of the respondents hold strongly the view that the (poor) nature of road net-work in Abakaliki effects the marketing of her agricultural products.
This however is the view expressed by 132 out of 254 respondents, representing approximately 52% of total respondents. The implication of this finding is that the (poor) nature of the roads makes distribution and effective marketing of the agricultural products difficult from the rural farmers.
This hypothesis states that inaccessibility reduces the incentive to produce. Again, this hypothesis was tested by the use of pie-chart and chi-square statistical distribution as tools of analysis.
From the results obtained, it was found that most of the respondents hold strongly the view that inaccessibility (caused by poor-state of the roads) reduces the incentive to producer. This findings also revealed that inaccessibility is a disincentive to higher productivity and as well kills enterprise on the part of the farmers.
This result is the view expressed by about of 120 respondents, representing approximately 80% of total respondents.
This third hypothesis states that the cost of transportation affects the prices of agricultural products unlike in other cases, this hypothesis was tested by the use of 2-test analysis. The essence of using this tool of analysis is to establish whether any relationship exists between the (poor) nature of the roads and the prices of the products since the cost of transportation depends on the nature of the roads.
From the results obtained, it was found that majority of the respondents hold the view that the cost of transportation caused by the (poor) state of the roads cause increase in the prices of the agricultural product.
It can therefore be finally established that the nature of road transport network in Abakaliki L.G.A. to great extent affects the price of the agricultural products. This is because farmers and traders usually add up transportation cost to the prices charged for the products, thereby making the process high.
5.2 Other Finding
Apart from the finding made through the test of hypotheses, other useful and reliable finding and observations were made during the course of the study. Such other findings are summarized as shown below:
- That majority of those engaged in agricultural production and marketing are aged between 30 to 40 years and earn less than N200,000 per annum.
- That most of the people involved in agricultural production and marketing had little or no education and this affects their level of productivity.
- That apart from poor road facilities, inadequate vehicle facilities and road distance to consumers are other problems military against marketing of agricultural products in the local government area.
- That the poor state of the roads not only reducers the incentive to produce but also causes urbanization and creates conservations.
- That the prices of agricultural products is influenced not only by the poor road network but also by government tax and low demand for the product.
- That apart from transportation high cost of labour soil texture and lack of agricultural equipments for mechanized farming also affect production.
Generally, researches are conducted with a view to finding out better and New methods of improvement in all fields of human endeavour. This study, however has been concerned with determining the role of road transport mode in the marketing of agricultural product in Abakaliki L.G.A.
It is generally believed that production is never complete until what is produced gets to the consumers and for this purpose to be achieved goods must be made available to be consumers at the right place and time. This of course is the essence of transportation in marketing.
In the course of the study, efforts were made to identify those factors that directly or indirectly affect the effective marketing of agricultural products in Abakaliki L.G.A. prominent among the factors was poor road network which in the respondents views was the greatest problem hindering effective marketing of agricultural products in the L.G.A.
Since poor road network and lack of maintenance have been identified as major shortcomings in the marketing process of agricultural products, the incentive and enterprise to grow more food is therefore greatly reduced. As a result, farmers profits are reduced and a lot of wastage and spoilage due to poor or no storage facilities is experienced.
The implication of these is quite obvious, it causes dearth and scarcity of food stuffs especially in the urban markets. When this happens, the tendency is for the prices of the food stuffs to rise owing to increased costs of inputs like efforts and transportation costs. The modern food marketing system, and since transportation services are a necessary condition for effecting an efficient physical, distributor, distribution of agricultural products, one cannot therefore, but conclude that efficient and reliable of road transportation mode is desirous and indispensable in effective marketing of agricultural products in Nigeria and Abakaliki L.G.A. in particular.
As is normally said, the first step is solving any problem is the identification of the problem. Based on the identified problems and findings of the study, some useful recommendation are made all armed towards growing more food and enhancing effective marketing of agricultural product in Nigeria and Abakaliki L.G.A. in particular. This is with a view to achieving self sufficiency in food production.
In planning for agriculture in an area, it is absolutely essential that rural feeder roads are constructed to link such area and where the roads are in a terrible state of disrepair, be reconstructed or rehabilitated. This recommendation is to enhance easy evacuation of food product to the various areas of need.
Secondly, given that inaccessibility caused by poor state of the roads reduces the incentive to produce, it is highly recommended that the government makes efforts to improve upon the nature of the roads. On the alternative it could begin to subsidies the farmer’s cost of production and marketing. This will raise the morale and as well serve as an incentive to higher productivity.
Having established the fact that transportation cost increases the prices of the agricultural products, it is recommended that the government with the collective will of the people, establish areas where government vehicles can collect and transport them to the urban markets.
Consumers co-operatives, it is also suggested could be established to help lower the prices of these products.
In the hight of the above, it is also recommended that government invests heavily in rural feeder roads and again ensures adequate and proper maintenance to enable the road sustain in all seasons.
Since lack of agricultural equipments and adequate storage facilities are other problems affecting agricultural production the government with the most modern agricultural equipment, and also model and adequate storage facilities to check against wastage and spoilage.
Furthermore, it is recommended that planning of road network should not be left to civil on engineers alone, but should also actively involve the agricultural establishment to provide information on current and projected spatial agricultural production patterns within the context of the national food plan.
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