AN Assessment of public relations among certified and non-certified cocoa marketers in Ondo State, Nigeria
PUBLIC RELATIONS AMONG CERTIFIED AND NON-CERTIFIED COCOA MARKETERS IN ONDO STATE, NIGERIA
Public relations (PR) are often ignored in agricultural marketing, and organizations with imperfect utilization of PR are usually badly managed, ineffective and generate high labor turnover. Therefore, this study identified the different types of adopted PR strategies, described the structure of the cocoa market, estimated the marketing margin, identified factors affecting PR strategies and outlined the major challenges hindering the use of PR among certified and non-certified cocoa marketers. A combination of purposive and random sampling techniques was used to select 120 respondents for the study. The analytical tools used to achieve the research objectives are descriptive statistics, Likert-scale, Herfindahl Index, marketing efficiency model, marketing margin and multiple regression analysis. The result revealed that the most frequently used PR strategy was phone calls. The Herfindahl Index values of 0.19 and 0.12 suggested that the structure of cocoa markets among certified and non-certified marketers was moderately concentrated and non-concentrated respectively. Moreover, the higher efficiency (122.6%) and marketing margin (18.44%) values for certified cocoa marketers revealed that they are more productive than non-certified marketers. Age, marketing margin, cost of spoilt cocoa beans and household size are important variables explaining the adoption of PR strategies among certified cocoa marketers. On the other hand, marketing margin, cost of spoilt cocoa beans and household size are important variables influencing the adoption of PR strategies among non-certified marketers. The most important factors hindering cocoa marketing are high costs of transportation among certified cocoa marketers, and commission among non-certified cocoa marketers. We recommend the use of mobile phone and training of marketers on the use of PR strategies and modern cocoa processing techniques. The challenges of erratic network performance, high airtime tariff and input subsidies should be addressed by the government to reduce wastage in the industry.
certified; cocoa; Herfindahl Index; marketing; public relations strategies; wholesalers
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