ECONOMICS OF FARM-GATE RICE MARKETING IN ENUGU STATE, NIGERIA
Rice has become a staple food, just like yam, garri and beans. As a result, the marketing of rice has become very important due to increasing demand of the product. The study examined the economics of farm-gate rice marketing in Enugu State, Nigeria. Five objectives and one hypothesis guided the study. The study covered all the communities in the local government areas in the three Agricultural Zones that produce rice in the study area. The population of the study consisted of rice farmers/assemblers, rice wholesalers and retailers. Purposive sampling technique was adopted in drawing the sample. Data for the study were collected from both primary and secondary sources through the use of pre-tested structured questionnaire, oral interview, personal observations, journals, texts and other publications. Data collected were analysed using means, frequencies, percentages, marketing margin, gross margin and profit functions. The major findings were: Majority of the farmers (77.1%) completed at least primary education while all the marketing participants, namely wholesalers and retailers passed through formal education, some up to degree level. The average hectarage cultivated was 2.77ha, while average rice yield was 1.4 tons, with Nsukka Agricultural Zone having the highest yield. Uniform measuring unit was found to be lacking among the farmers and the marketing participants. The marketing margin of the middlemen was found to be 14.3 percent while 85.7 percent was the consumers’ spending that accrued to the producer as his own share of the profit.