Cowpea marketing in Uganda: a case study of soroti and pallisa districts

Cowpea is a very important crop in Uganda, particularly among the north and northeastern tribes because of its versatility and economic importance. An increase in production of cowpea demands that reliable information on the marketing of cowpea be availed to producers, traders, and policy makers/implementers for efficient planning and management. Any development plan that seeks to alleviate poverty of the farming community, reduce consumer food prices, eliminate economic wastage has to pay particular attention to the development of an efficient marketing system. The purpose of this study is to therefore understand the nature of cowpea marketing and how optimally cowpea is distributed. Primary data were collected form 72 traders in rural and urban centers of Pallisa and Soroti districts, using pre-tested structured questionnaires. The data were analyzed using descriptive statistics and quantitative analysis. The problems faced by cowpea traders were noted. The results indicated that at both whole sale and retail levels transport costs attributed to a higher percentage of total marketing costs incurred by traders. Poor storage and seasonal fall in demand were among the leading marketing problems. In the region, the farmer took the largest share of the consumer price. Responses on socio-economic characteristics indicated that a majority of traders operated their own business with the male folk dominating. Quantitative analysis using the transportation model showed that traders did not optimally distribute their cowpea. There was a difference of 10.42% between the current level of operation and the optimal level. For optimality, the model suggests that Katakwi zone supplies all the 1164kg to Soroti market. Simirally Gweri zone directs all the 2544kg again to Soroti market. Meanwhile in Pallisa district for optimality Apopong, Putiputi, Ikiiki and Agule suppy only the Pallisa market. It was concluded that the various problems faced in the marketing g system were a contributing factor to the difference between the optimal level of transactions and current level. It is recommended that policy makers should help in solving or minimizing problems encountered by cowpea traders if the optimality condition is to be achieved. These include poor storage, inadequate infrastructure, and lack of finance and inadequate information services.
A Case study of Soroti and Pallisa Distrcits
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RUFORUM Theses and Dissertations
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Open Access
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Dr. Valentine Kasenge (Muk), Dr. William Ekere (Lecturer, Department of Agribusiness and Resource Economics, MUK)