Trade Enhancement Characteristics Of Dessert Banana Fruits And Estimates Of Transaction Costs In Okigwe Metropolis, Imo State Nigeria
This study on trade enhancement Characteristics of sweet (dessert) banana fruit and estimation of transaction costs was conducted in Okigwe Metropolis of Imo State, Nigeria. Stratified random sampling technique was adopted in selecting 80 respondents comprising 40 dessert banana traders (panelists) and 40 dessert banana consumers. Monthly trade data was collected from the respondents using pretested semi-structured questionnaire during dry season (November-April) and rain season (May-October) for the year 2012. Data collected were subjected to descriptive statistical analysis; with transaction costs estimated as ex ante and ex post components. Hedonic pricing regression model was used in determining buyer socioeconomic/banana attributes that influenced willingness to pay price. Fruit characteristics that significantly enhanced trade of sweet banana in descending order were taste (3.83), fruit variety (3.57), and fruit skin colour (3.50). Other significant factors were level of ripeness (3.49), availability in off-season (3.46), fruit size (3.20) and cleanliness (3.20). Mean ex-ante transaction costs for sweet banana was N77, 800.00/trader and its mean ex-post transaction cost was N25,080.00/trader. We recommended that traders should take advantage of Global Mobile System (GSM) to overcome information barriers on banana trading. Government and health institutions should intensify consumer safety education, and encourage horticultural unions to heighten postharvest monitoring of stored and displayed dessert banana fruits to enforce observance of ripening standards.
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