keywords: Melon, marketing, transaction, costs
This study assessed the transaction cost of melon marketing in Awe Local Government Area of Nasarawa State, Nigeria, with a view to evaluating the gross margin and determining the factors influencing the retail price of Melon in the study area. A multi-stage sampling technique was adopted to select 60 respondents for the study. Data were analyzed using descriptive, inferential, and Gross Margin analysis. The results on the socio-economic characteristics of the respondents revealed that majority (57%) of the sampled marketers were male. Also, the results revealed that larger proportion (23.0%) of the marketers were between the ages of 36 and 40 years with a mean age of the 38 years. Majority (77%) of the marketers were married, with larger proportion (30.0%) having marketing experience of between 6-10 years. The mean marketing experience was 13 years. Larger proportion (33.0%) of the respondents had between 6-10 persons as family size with a mean household size of approximately 11 persons. Majority (81.0%) had attended one form of education or the other. The effects of marketing cost on final price of melon in the study area showed an R2 value 0.685. However, the variables such as cost of loading, cost off-loading, distance from farm to market, quantity of melon transported and cost of transportation were positively related to the final price of marketing melon. Furthermore, the significant variables that influence the final price were; cost of loading, cost of off-loading, and distance from farm to market. Cost of loading and distance from the farm to market were significant at 1%. Also the coefficient for cost of off-loading was significant at 10%, The generated revenue from the sales of melon was N35,093.33, whereas the total costs incurred from the melon marketing was N32,645.0 with a net income of N2,448.30. The identified constraints include; poor feeder road (68.3%), price instability (66.7%), and low demand/supply (31.7%). It is recommended that government and stakeholders should help provide good infrastructure for efficient marketing such as good feeder roads that link the rural areas to major cities. Also there should be regular capacity building to empower the marketer to get skills for effective negotiations so as to reduce in transaction costs (loading, off-loading, security) and farm gate price will reduce final price.