EXAMINING ALLEGATION OF PRODUCER EXPLOITATION IN THE MARKETING SYSTEMS OF SELECTED FOOD CROPS IN THE BUEA MUNICIPALITY, SOUTH WEST CAMEROON.
By: Victor Eyong Ayuk | Department of Development Studies | Project Planning, Management and Evaluation
The study seeks to examine allegation of producer exploitation in the marketing systems of selected food crops (cocoyam, plantains, sweet bitter leaf, maize, cassava and banana) in the Buea Municipality. The study specifically assessed the marketing cost and marketing margins of producers, wholesalers and retailers, examine the price spread and producers share of ultimate consumer francs and assess the efficiency of the market. To achieve this, the study adopted a cross-sectional descriptive survey design, whereby structured questionnaires were distributed to 246 conveniently selected farmers, wholesalers and retailers. The quantitative data were analyzed using descriptive statistics such as counts, frequency, mean and standard deviation using SPSS 20 software. Standards techniques were used to assess the marketing cost, margins and price spread while the Acharya's model of was used to assess marketing efficiency. The study found out that wholesalers as compared to producers and retailers have the lowest cost ratio and high profit margin for invariably all the selected food crops. The study also found out that price spread was high for all the products and producers received 56.8%, 32.7%, 47.7%, 40.24%, 53.5% and 36.43% of the consumer francs for cocoyam, plantains, sweet bitter leaf, maize, cassava and banana respectively. Finally, the study indicated the marketing efficiency was moderate for cocoyam (60.7%), maize (62.1%), and cassava (60.9%), almost moderate for sweet bitter leaf (49.3%) and low for plantains (35.1%) banana (41%). The study concluded that there an empirical base for allegations of producer exploitation in the marketing of selected food crops given that producers as compared to wholesalers receive a small share of consumer francs which are further eroded by high cost incurred in marketing the produce. The study recommended that to increase producers share in the consumer price, the government should take proactive steps to reduce various cost streams along the food production and marketing chain.
Key words: Price spread, farmgate markets, Marketing Margins, Price spread, marketing efficiency, food crops, Buea Municipality.