BREADFRUIT (Treculia africana) MARKETING ACTIVITIES AND RETURNS IN AHIAZU MBAISE LOCAL GOVERNMENT AREA, OF IMO STATE, NIGERIA
Published in Scientific Papers. Series "Management, Economic Engineering in Agriculture and rural development", Vol. 13 ISSUE 4
Written by Ogbonna Christopher EMEROLE, Chidozie Onyedikachi ANYIRO, Charles Kelechi OSONDU, Nwachukwu N. ANDERSON, Chukwu F. NGOZI
This study on marketing of breadfruits (Treculia africana) and returns was done in Ahiazu Mbaise local Government area of Imo State, Nigeria. The specific objectives of the study were to describe socio-economic characteristics of respondents (sellers and buyers) of African breadfruit; identify value-chain activities available in processing and its storage in compliance with consumers’ order and preferences; determine factors influencing decision to supply African breadfruit; and constraints with its post-harvest management in the study area. Three-stage random sampling technique was used in selecting locations and respondents through which eighty (80) farm households who gather/harvest, process and sell breadfruits were selected and interviewed with structured questionnaire. Data collected were analyzed using descriptive statistics, and probit regression model. Result revealed that 65.80% of the respondents were females and 81.20% of them were married with mean household size of 9 members. Their literacy level was high as 97.6% of them had at least primary education. Predominant marketing activities were fruit gathering/harvesting, processing, storage and packaging, transportation, and sales. Socio-economic factors of gender, household size, income, level of education, years of farming experience and labour significantly influenced supply of breadfruits to consumers with challenges of seasonal scarcity, and tedious methods of processing deterring the enterprise in the area. We recommended provision of credit support to enable fruit gatherers purchase and use shelling machines and good storage facilities to smooth any fluctuations in supplies during off-seasons and help fight overdependence of households on roots and tubers.