JABM Volume 6, Issue 1, (2013)

Buyers’ Preferences among Pepper Farmers in Sarawak

Author(s): Nitty Hirrawaty Kamarulzaman, Hilda Husin, Mohd Ghazali Mohayidin dand Jatie Enc

Keywords: Marketing channel preference, pepper, Sarawak, smallholder farmers


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Abstract: Pepper (piper nigrum) is a popular culinary spice besides being one of the most important spices traded internationally. Pepper contributes significantly to the agriculture sector as well as to the economy of Malysia. Sarawak is the main pepper-producing state accounting for 98% of the country’s annual production in 2011. Most of the pepper in Sarawak is being cultivated by smallholders who generally use different marketing channels to sell their produce. The Malaysian Pepper Board (MPB) is the sole government agency involved in the marketing of pepper in Sarawak; however, there are also private firms that are primarily profit- oriented buyers. From the farmers’ perspectives, selecting the best marketing channel is important to improve their pepper-marketing activities as well as to increase farm income. The aims of this study are to investigate the existing marketing channels for the pepper farmers, to determine factors that influence farmers’ preferences toward the marketing channel, and to compare their income based on their preferred marketing channel. Face-to-face interviews were conducted using structured questionnaires. Data were analysed using statistical analyses such as descriptive analysis, chi-square analysis, factor analysis, and t-test. The result revealed that farmers sold their produce using both the public channel through MPB as well as private middlemen. The farmers’ selection of marketing channels was influenced by several factors such as price, quantity, services, and distance.


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