The quest of achieve self
sufficiency food production is one of the highest priority areas facing
most of the world’s today. It is also a problem that threatens to
worsen rapidly in the years immediately ahead.
On the otherhand, problems
relating to rural inaccessibility have continued to plogue the world,
and in particular, Nigeria Agriculture, it is on this basis that the
government and transport policy maker should intensify efforts to
improve the transportation system especially in road network system,
their collective or individual efforts and endeavours should be directed
towards fighting a war against hunger, and providing necessary
transport facilities and services, and contribute to judicious
investment decisions in related areas that can help assume the supply of
additional food and it’s distribution to consumers.
1.2 STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM
Ever since the beginning of
time, agriculture and transportation have always co-existed
inseparably. This is not only because the source of food and fibre and
other economic product must be reasonably accessible and on being
collected, be distributed to makers, parts and factories, but also that5
adequate transportation mode and efficient carrier service operations
are a necessary condition for effecting an efficient physical
distribution of agricultural products. Indeed, adequate and efficient
transportation network is a cornerstone of the modern food marketing
system. Transportation thus services as a means of moving goods, ideas
and information geared towards increased productivity.
In Nigeria, roads constitute
perhaps, the most important infrastructure in the structural
transportation of her agriculture.
In Abakaliki, most of the
roads traverse a territory of sharp contrasts in climate, soit and
vegetation and this hinders agricultural progress in some rural areas,
most of the roads which are of course essential for the prompt
evacuation of produce from the farms to the market places are often
times inaccessible all year round.
Most of these roads,
especially feeder roads are unsurfaced, narrow, bad, poorly drained and
winding and this prevents easy access to the hinter lend where the
majority of the farmers are located. Even in Abakaliki main town where
such roads are in a fair condition, there is the problem caused by poor
maintance, lack of adequate executive capacity, lack of suitable
materials, and management problem. The vicious combination of these
factors is that costs are higher, marketing possibilities are uncertain
and incentives to produce are low.
Besides, the inadequacy of
road network services are inefficiently executed. Delay in transit, bad
loading and offloading, and rough handling of goods characterize road
transport resulting in great losses from damages, spoilage and
detonation of products.
Poor transportation also has
the added effect of preventing farmers from specializing in the crops
that offer them the best return. Where transport is inadequate, each
former attempts to keep his family supplied with all their needs, and he
therefore retains more food than he actually needs, and he therefore
retains more food than he actually needs. This is because if he runs
short, it will be difficult to tap other resources and this entails
higher losts as a result of transportation this often poses a problem
because urban dwellers will be faced with dearth of foodstuffs and other
essential goods manufactured from agricultural materials. These
problems that confront rural transportation in Nigeria, therefore,
hinder it’s ability to improve the system of land use for agricultural
If agriculture is to respond
to the growing demand, than it will be necessary to evolve a good
progressive rural structure with rural roads to expedite and reduce the
cost of flow of agricultural commodities, information and all sorts of
rural service to enable it contribute meaningfully to general economic
growth. This will help accommodate increased traffic flows in both
directions, inputs moving from the urban areas to the farms and output
in the opposite direction. The task involves very large additions to
rural road mode and maintaining existing roads, the expansion of storage
and processing facilities and a new institutional arrangement for
managing and financing the total system this is of course, a no mean
1.3 OBJECTIVES OF THE STUDY
This study will attempt to relate road
transport to the economy as regards the role of a road transportation
mode in marketing Agricultural product in Abakaliki L.G.A. Ebonyi
State. The objectives include:
- To determine the extent to which road transportation system has affected the marketing of Agricultural products.
- To identify these factors that are directly have contributed to this.
- To offer useful recommendations with a view to making the marketing
of Agricultural products in Abakaliki L.G.A. Ebonyi State, more
successful and effective.
1.4 RESEARCH HYPOTHESIS
Based upon the earlier stated objectives, this study will see to test three major hypotheses. These are:
- That the nature of road mode system in Abakaliki affects the marketing of her agricultural products.
- That inaccessibility reduces the incentive to produce.
- That the cost of transport affects the price of the farm products.
That is, that the price of agricultural products is a function of the
1.5 SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY:
The increased interest in this study is
due pointy to the gainful and developmental inputs agriculture can make
to the economy and most importantly to the tremendous role of
transportation infrastructure on regional economies. This is because
transport and development, as well as Agriculture are usually regarded
as closely related since each of them influences the fortures and
relative rate of growth of others.
The significance of the study is further
highlighted considering that in Nigeria, the road is the only mode of
transport by which all the states of federation are linked especially
with regards to the movement and distribution of Agricultural products
from various rural areas of production to the different urban areas of
the states for consumption.
Finally, the study shall also serve as a
stimulant or reference guide for further research in this area
especially in this era of population explosion and impending food
1.6 SCOPE OF THE STUDY:
In Abakaliki, Ebonyi State, most of
the Agricultural Products (Yams, garri, cassava, rice, vegetables,
tomatoes etc), are produced in the villages located in remote towns.
Because of difference in ecological factors such as climate, soil
texture, topography etc, some village produce more of one or several
type of food and other Agricultural products than the others.
Taking cognizance of the fact that the
study covers the entire Abakaliki local government area, as a result of
dearth of time therefore, it would be time some and almost impossible
to visit all the towns and villages in Abakaliki L.G.A. Ebonyi State.
Secondly, because the
attendant cost involved if the whole towns and villages should be
visited cannot be afforded by the researcher, coupled with the final
year academic work, and recognizing that Abakaliki town is the greatest
producer of the main staple food items (yam, garri, cassava, rice,
groundnut, pepper) in the state, the study therefore will be estricted
and limited to the aforesaid zone in investigating the ro9le of road
transportation mode in marketing Agricultural products in Abakaliki,
1.7 DEFINITION OF TERMS:
Considering that the subject
matter of the study is the role of road transport mode in the marketing
of Agricultural products. Definition of term will be attempted.
However, such definitions are only made and to be understood within the contest of the study.
Agriculture may be defined
as the Science, art, and business of farming, it involves all activities
directed towards food production.
Marketing, on the other
hand, is defined as the performance of all business activities that
direct the flow of goods and services from the producer to the consumer
it emphasizes the flow of products or service that have already been
therefore, may be defined as the performance of all business activities
involved in the flow of Agricultural products and services from the
point of initial Agricultural production until they are in the hands of
consumer’s it involves the application of the knowledge of marketing to
the formulation, implementation and control of activities which are
directly or related to agriculture.