Title Page                                                                                           i

Approval Page                                                                                    ii

Certification Page                                                                              iii

Dedication                                                                                         iv

Acknowledgement                                                                             v

Table of Content                                                                                vi

List of Table


CHAPTER ONE: INTRODUCTION                                                    1

Background of the Study                                                                  1

Statement of the Problem                                                                  8

Purpose of the Study                                                                         10

Significance of the Study                                                                  11

Research Questions                                                                           13

Hypotheses                                                                                        13

Scope of the Study                                                                            14


Conceptual Framework                                                                   17

  • Concept of Marketing                                                              17
  • Agricultural Product                                                                22
  • Small and Medium Scale Enterprises                                      27
  • Transportation Network adopted for the Marketing

Agricultural Products                                                              29     

  • Communication Network adopted for the Marketing of Agricultural Products                                                              32
  • Storage/Warehousing facilities adopted for the marketing of Agricultural Products                                                           36
  • Advertising Media adopted for Marketing of Agricultural Products                                                                                40

Theoretical Framework                                                                   45

  • Sociological Theory of Marketing                                             45
  • Theory of Demand in Marketing                                              45
  • The AIDA Theory of Communication                                       46
  • Theory of Consumer Behaviour                                               47

Related Empirical Studies                                                               48

Summary of Literature Reviewed.                                                  51

CHAPTER THREE: METHODOLOGY                                              55

Design of the Study                                                                           55

Area of the Study                                                                               55

Population for the Study                                                                             56

Sample and Sampling Technique                                                      56

Instrument for Data Collection                                                                    56

Validation of the Instrument                                                              57

Reliability of the Instrument                                                              58

Method of Data Collection                                                                 58

Method of Data Analysis                                                59


DATA                                                                             60

Research Question 1                                                                60

Research Question 2                                                                61

Research Question 3                                                                62

Research Question 4                                                                63

Testing of Hypotheses                                                              64

Hypothesis 1                                                                            64

Hypothesis 2                                                                            65

Hypothesis 3                                                                            66

Hypothesis 4                                                                            68

Finding of the Study                                                                69

Discussion of the Findings                                                      73

CHAPTER FIVE: SUMMARY, CONCLUSIONS AND RECOMMENDATIONS                                           77

Re-statement of the Problem                                                    77

Summary of Procedures Used                                                  78

Summary of Findings                                                              79

Implications for Marketing Education                                      82

Conclusions                                                                             82

Recommendations                                                                   83

Suggestions for Further Studies                                              84

RFERENCES                                                                                    86


Appendix A:          Letter to the Respondents                                              90

Appendix B:          Questionnaire                                                                 90

Appendix C: Registered Farmers in Orlu Senatorial Zone                 95

Appendix D: Registered Small and Medium Scale Enterprise in

Orlu Senatorial Zone of Imo State                                  97

Appendix E: Letter to Validates                                                          98

Appendix F: Reliability                                                                      99


Table                                                                                                 Page

1.       Mean responses of respondents on the Transportation

          Network System that could be adopted by Small and Medium

          Scale Enterprises in Marketing of Agricultural Products in

          Orlu Imo State                                                                         60

2.       Mean responses of respondents on the Communication

          Network that could be adopted by Small and Medium

          in Marketing of Agricultural Products in Orlu Imo State         61

3.       Mean responses of respondents on the Storage/Warehouse

          facilities that could be adopted by Small and Medium

          in Marketing of Agricultural Products in Orlu Imo State         62

4.       Mean responses of respondents on the Advertising Media

that could be adopted by Small and Medium in Marketing of Agricultural Products in Orlu Imo State                                   63

5.       The t-test result of the mean responses of Farmers and

          Marketers on the Transportation Network System that could

          be adopted  by SME’s in Marketing of Agricultural Products

          in Orlu, Imo State, Nigeria                                                       65

6.       The t-test result of the mean responses of Farmers and

          Marketers on the Communication Network that could

          be adopted  by SME’s in Marketing of Agricultural Products

          in Orlu, Imo State, Nigeria                                                       66

7.       The t-test result of the mean responses of Farmers and

          Marketers on the Storage/Warehouse facilities that could

          be adopted  by SME’s in Marketing of Agricultural Products

          in Orlu, Imo State, Nigeria                                                       67

8.       The t-test result of the mean responses of Farmers and

          Marketers on the Advertising Media that could be adopted

          by SME’s in Marketing of Agricultural Products in Orlu, Imo

State, Nigeria                                                                           68


The major purpose of this study was to assess the marketing of agricultural products by small and medium scale enterprises in Orlu senatorial zone of Imo State, Nigeria.  The study adopted a descriptive survey research design.  Four (4) research questions were answered and four (4) hypotheses were tested at 0.05 level of significance.  The population of the study consists of 155 respondents made up of 106 registered marketers and 49 registered farmers.  No sample was drawn as the population size was small and manageable.  The research instrument was subjected to face validation by three experts.  Two from the Department of Vocational Teacher Education, University of Nigeria, Nsukka and one from the Department of Marketing, University of Nigeria, Enugu Campus.  The instrument was trial tested on 20 farmers and marketers, Cronbach alpha reliability was used to determine the internal consistency of the instrument and this yielded a reliability coefficient of 0.98.  The questionnaire was administered by personal contact and with the help of two research assistants. 145 copies out of the questionnaire administered were used for the study.  The data collected were analysed using the mean and standard deviation to answer the research questions while t-test analysis was used to test the hypotheses at 0.05 level of significance.  Based on the findings, it was concluded that the right choice of transportation and communication network should be adopted in marketing of agricultural products because it helps to inform and get the products to the final consumers at favourable time, place and terms.  Advertising media adopted are very important for marketing of agricultural products as such helped to attract new customers to the market, contributed to economic growth and expansion of job opportunities.  On the other hand right use of storage/warehouse facilities helped to preserve and improve the quality of products which led to increase in sales.  It was recommended that effective, reliable, durable and accessible storage/warehouse facilities be adopted based on the capital and product. There should be a committee setup to streamline on spending on advertising and what media to use to prevent additional burden on the price paid by consumers on products purchased.



Background of the Study

          Marketing involves a give and take process for the benefits of those concerned and the society at large.  Marketing is an exchange process that does not end when the goods and services are exchanged with money but continues after the deal is completed and even before it is thought of at the first instance.  Marketing, according to Iyanga (2008), is an integration of activities or variables and not just a single act.  These activities includes: information gathering, processing and application of decision making (marketing research), information dissemination (promotion), product planning and development, pricing and product distribution. Any other business entity alone does not make marketing.  Marketing therefore, is a total set of activities and not only a subset of a whole (Iyanga, 2008).  The author further stated that marketing is a business function, which involves planning, coordination, organization and control of the various resources/variables that make relationship functional.

American Marketing Association (1985) sees marketing as the process of planning and executing the conception, pricing, promotion and distribution of ideas, goods and services to create exchange that satisfy individuals and organizational objectives.  Marketing is also seen as a set of activities designed to discover new ways of satisfying wants and carrying out innovation on the best ways to meet such wants to the satisfaction of the customers and producers (Anyanwu, 2005). For this study, marketing is the process of discovering and translating consumer’s needs and wants into products and services, thereby creating and expanding demand for these products and services. Marketing can involve planning, processing, promotion and distribution of product be it consumer, manufactural, agricultural products. Agricultural marketing  on the other hand, according Iyanga, (2008) is the performance of all business activities involved in the flow of agricultural production, until they are in the hands of the consumers. The marketing of agricultural products begins at the farm when the farmer plans his production to meet the needs of consumers/users, continues by producing the products and distributing them to make sure they get to the final consumers (Iyanga, 2008). Some of these agricultural products which are raw materials that appear in their natural form include yam tubers, cassava tubers, palm oil, kernel, cocoa, rice, fruits and vegetables are considered in this study. The distribution of agricultural product embraces various preparations and processing in other to get the product to the potential and targeted customers (Hansen, 2007).

          Accordingly, Hansen (2007) identified Planning and buying decision as means of moving agricultural products in the marketing process which is influenced by the information gathered from customers.  Hansen also noted that selling is successful when the customer is satisfied with the products he buys, at a given price and in comperism with other services provided.  The need for continuity in the chain of marketing activities, that is, products moving towards the ultimate consumers and users, while information flows back to the producer is very important in the marketing process (Hansen, 2007).  Nnabuko (2000) noted that majority of agricultural products marketed were as a result of awareness created for consumers to know what is produced, and when, where and how to get these products. The author stated that transportation gives place and time utilities to products by making the products available, as at where and when needed. Nnabuko further noted that Storage or warehousing facilities help with the preservation of these products until they are needed.  As a result of these provisions, the needs of consumers are met through the marketing of agricultural products.  The attempt to satisfy the needs of the nation gave additional impetus to the growth of small and medium scale business (Osuala, 2004).

 Small and medium scale enterprise, according to the Central Bank of Nigeria in Chukwuma (2004), is any business whose annual sales volume and turnover ranged from N250, 000 to N1,000,000 and employs not less than 10 persons. Harris (2006), defined small and medium scale enterprise in terms of turnover and number of staff employed.  This is because the definitions and figures for small and medium scale enterprise vary and change as a nation develops.  According to Osuala (2004) the third National Development Plan (1978-80) considered small and medium scale enterprises as all manufacturing establishment employing not less than 10 people or whose investment in machinery and equipment does not exceed 60,000.00.  Harris (2006) noted that small and medium scale enterprises are the backbone of successful economies.  It is also the bedrock of any nation’s industrial take off especially in a typical developing country like Nigeria.  This is because small and medium scale enterprises provide more employment per unit of capital invested as they are generally more labour intensive.  Small and medium scale enterprises also increase the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of a nation and will in overall raise the standard of living of all people. For this study Small and Medium Scale Enterprises will be defined as any business that provides employment which leads to the marketing of agricultural product. It is important to note that the main criteria used throughout the world to describe Small and Medium Scale Enterprises include: number of workers employed, sales value, financial-strength, relative size, initial capital outlay, comparative with its past standards, independent ownership and type of industry (Harris, 2006).  This according to Harris will help in planning, decision-making on operation of the business, number of staff, kind of business to engage in or products to market etc.  This product may be expensive or inexpensive, essential or non-essential to human life and may satisfy individual wants or needs.

          A product is anything that is offered for acquisition, use and disposal that satisfies the needs of the target market.  According to Kotler (2009), a product is anything that can be offered to the market for attention, acquisition, use or consumption that might satisfy a want or a need. The products include physical objects, services, persons, place, organizations and ideas among others.  Products may be classified into Physical and non-physical products or services, durable and non-durable-products, agricultural and manufactured products, consumer and commercial products.  In this study, agricultural products are products of industrial and household farms that have not undergone any serious manufacturing processing.  Kotler (2009) stated that these products are food crops which are seasonal (annual crops) while their consumption takes place throughout the year. Kotler noted that a farmer who is an individual whose primary job function involved the production of livestock and crops is responsible for its up keep.  A farmer takes all the necessary steps to ensure proper nourishment of the items that he/she raises and then sells the items to consumers. 

A farmer might own the farm land or might work as a labourer on the land owned by others. In advanced economies, a farmer is usually a farm owner, while employees of the farm are farm workers.  A farmer also markets his products to an extent.  The marketer on the other hand is wholly responsible for the distribution and sales of these products to the customers when needed (Kotler, 2009).  Nnabuko (2008) observed that in marketing of agricultural products the choice of transportation system and communication network between the producers, marketers and consumers, storage/warehouse facilities and advertising media should be considered.  Transportation, according to Nnabuko, has to do with the movement of people and agricultural products from point of production to point of  consumption in the quantities required, at the time needed and at a reasonable cost. According to Nwankwo (2005), transportation is the movement of goods and passengers from one place, state, country and continent to another. Nwankwo emphasized that there are of course other considerations such as relative cost, efficiency, adequacy and viability that influence the choice of means of transportation used. As a result each type is competing against the others in order to provide a more acceptable service.

According to Staton (2003), transportation gives placed and time utilities to products by making them available where and when needed. He also noted that transportation has affected the mode of life in all parts of the world. It has created an interdependent world where no country nowadays can live apart from the rest.  Communication on the other hand deals with the exchange of information, thoughts, facts, opinions or emotions that require presentation and reception resulting in common understanding between parties which if not considered might end up affecting the production process of agricultural products (Owen, 2007). It is important to state that communication occurs whenever an individual assigns significance or meaning to an internal or external stimulus. The stimuli may be messages from a sales person or messages via the communication media about specific products. Burnett, (2004). According to Anyanwu, (2008), communication is the process of conveying a message to others and requires six elements: a source of message, a channel of communication; a receiver, the process of encoding and decoding, and feedback for communication to be effective. Crowther and Lindley (2006) identified how communication helps to promote productivity and stimulate business activities. The authors stated that communication enables producers, marketers and consumers to keep in touch with one another, and connects the various markets of the world through advertisement.

Advertising according to Ezirim (2006) is any paid form of non personal communication about an organization, person, goods services or idea by an identified sponsor through a medium or a combination of media with a view to generating sales. Advertising media on the other hand, makes the dissimilation advertised message to the target audience possible in different states (Smith, 2006). Onah (2009) identified some of the advertising media which can be used in marketing as: broadcast media – radio, television, cinema etc; Print media – newspaper, magazine, journals, catalogs; Outdoor media – bill bards, signs, posters etc. According to Baker (2003) advertising is the process of articulating the commercial messages (advertisements) and making them public through various media (advertise) by an identified sponsor. Ezirim (2006) described advertising as a four-part business which is made up of: Advertisers, who sometimes use advertising agencies, to send their message through the media (generally mass), to potential consumers/industrial users, of the message at least and often of the good or service advertised. 

          In recent time, the production of agricultural products in Imo State, Nigeria where farmers are concentrated with vast farmlands had contributed greatly in employment generation, and  the general economic development of the state. However, despite the aforementioned contributions of this sector to the economic development of the state, it is observed that food production is depleting, as most products perish easily due to delay in distribution to the urban areas, lack of storage facilities etc thereby reducing further production and causing a continuous stay in the vicious cycle of poverty prevailing in the state and society in general.

Statement of Problem