Analysis of Factors Influencing Fish Marketing and Profitability In Benue State, Nigeria
The study analysed the factors influencing fish marketing and profitability in Benue State, Nigeria. Multi stage random sampling techniques were used to select one hundred and eighty (180) fish traders for the study. Primary data were collected with aid of questionnaires. Data were analyzed using descriptive statistics, gross margin and marketing margin, marketing efficiency as well as ordinary least square (OLS) regression. Result showed the dominance of married marketers (77.8%), female marketers (64.4%) with high level of education. The result further showed that N143.01 and N144.25 accrued to wholesalers and retailers as gross margin per kilogram of fish sold, representing 26.51% and 24.26% of the total marketing margins, with marketing efficiencies of 621.54% and 704.99% respectively. This, together with the profitability Index (PI) of 0.23 and 0.21 and operating return (OR) of 0.77 and 0.79 for wholesalers and retailers further lend credence to the profitability of fish marketing in the study area. Among the factors which impacted significantly on fish tradersâ€™ profit were marketing experience, access to credit, storage cost, transportation cost, fish buying prices and age of marketers. Also, high transport cost, inadequate storage facilities, poor funding, high levy and other taxes were identified as the major challenges faced by fish marketers in the study area. These observations suggest the need to reduce transport and storage cost by providing access roads, rehabilitating damaged roads, providing storage facilities such as cold rooms and warehouses at affordable storage rates. Access to agricultural marketing loans should be enhanced through the provision of affordable credit. These, together with the evolution of a realistic tariff and tax structure would promote fish marketing and enhance marketing efficiency in the study area.
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