An analysis of the functional characterisitcs and potential of periodic markets (Minada) in Mbala district

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Nyirenda, Kasonde Chilumba
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University of Zambia
A market is a physical place where goods and services are bought and sold, with buyers and sellers coming in contact with one another. They are classified according to their spatial and temporal specialisation, thus categorised as daily, periodic and special markets. Periodic markets happen once on fixed days of each week or month in smaller market centres which are insufficient to merit permanence. Four markets were selected and surveyed in Mbala District. Sampling of the markets was done by stratified and simple random methods. Respondents (traders) were selected using simple random sampling and judgmental sampling for buyers. The key informants were traditional leaders and local council officials. An eclectic approach was used to collect and analyse field data. Coded data was entered into Excel 2007 to generate descriptive statistics. This study was conducted to analyse the distribution, functions and potential of periodic markets in Mbala District. Market meetings were organised in their own spatial and temporal arrangement in order to achieve optimal benefits. Periodic markets in Mbala performed socio-economic roles; as such they are multi-functional institutions. Economically, they were points of exchange for local goods and services; points of collection, bulking and distributions of various goods and services; they created employment; provided alternative places for trading and the MAFF used them to monitor market prices for agriculture commodities. Periodic markets also performed some political and social functions. There effects included increased returns for the trader and taking various manufactured goods closer to the buyers. However, problems such as excessive beer drinking, sexual immorality, thefts and a threat to local food security were noticeable. Regression Analysis was used to test the two formulated hypotheses, results indicated that most traders regularly visited other periodic markets to sale and or buy because it was more rewarding. Patronage was negatively affected by distance and age; the farther the distance of a market centre and the older a person grew, the lesser was patronage. Recommendations included the rehabilitation and maintenance of feeder roads for the free flow of goods and services; to improve sanitary conditions in markets; to assist some traders with financial loans to increase sustainability; to regulate and discourage trade that threatened local food security, and to conduct further research and studies on periodic markets to understand them more.
Master of Science in Geography
Farm produce--Zambia--Mbala--Marketing.