Estimation of Margins and Efficiency in the Ghanaian Yam Marketing Chain

The main objective of the paper was to examine the costs, returns and efficiency levels obtained by key players in the Ghanaian yam marketing chain. A total of 320 players/actors (farmers, wholesalers, retailers and cross-border traders) in the Ghanaian yam industry were selected from four districts (Techiman, Atebubu, Ejura-Sekyedumasi and Nkwanta) through a multi-stage sampling approach for the study. In addition to descriptive statistics, gross margin, net margin and marketing efficiency analyses were performed using the field data. There was a long chain of greater than three channels through which yams moved from the producer to the final consumer. Yam marketing was found to be a profitable venture for all the key players in the yam marketing chain. Net marketing margin of about GH¢15.52 (US$9.13) was obtained when the farmer himself sold 100tubers of yams in the market rather than at the farm gate. The net marketing margin obtained by wholesalers was estimated at GH¢27.39 per 100tubers of yam sold, which was equivalent to about 61% of the gross margin obtained. Net marketing margin for retailers was estimated at GH¢15.37, representing 61% of the gross margin obtained. A net marketing margin of GH¢33.91 was obtained for every 100tubers of yam transported across Ghana’s borders by cross-border traders. Generally, the study found out that net marketing margin was highest for cross-border yam traders, followed by wholesalers. Yam marketing activities among retailers, wholesalers and cross border traders were found to be highly efficient with efficiency ratios in excess of 100%. However, yam marketing among producer-sellers was found to be inefficient with efficiency ratio of about 86%.The study recommended policies and strategies to be adopted by central and local government authorities to address key constraints such as poor road network, limited financial resources, poor storage facilities and high cost of transportation that serve as impediments to the efficiency of the yam marketing system in Ghana.
This article is Published by Asian Economic and Social Society, 2012
Asian Journal Agriculture and Rural Development, Vol. 2, No. 2, pp. 226-234.