Value chain and marketing margins analysis of watermelon: An insight from Northern Uganda
Houessou, Jemima Alla
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Watermelon is one of the emerging market oriented agricultural products with potential of improving rural livelihoods and alleviating poverty. Consequently, watermelon is attracting attention and gaining a bigger market share as a cash crop. This paper analyzed the value chain and marketing of watermelon in Northern Uganda. Data was collected through a cross sectional survey of 300 watermelon value chain actors (100 producers, 100 wholesalers and 100 retailers). Data was analyzed using descriptive statistics, value chain mapping, ordinary least squares regression and gross margin analysis. Results shows that the watermelon value chain in Northern Uganda involves six actors embedded within eight differentiated channels. The producer-wholesaler-retailer-consumer channel was the dominant watermelon marketing channel, handling 77% of marketed watermelon per month. Marketing margin analysis shows that watermelon marketing is a profitable venture to all value chain actors, with producers having the highest marketing margins (98%) compared to wholesalers (58%) and retailers (64%). The study finds that watermelon marketing margins are significantly influenced by access to credit, access to marketing channels information and labour costs. Results of this study call for policy interventions that enable access to low-cost credit facilities for watermelon value chain actors. Additionally, there is need to improve the dissemination of watermelon marketing information to enable value chain actors make informed marketing decisions.