An analysis of beef and bovine marketing systems in Pothwar Plateau of Punjab, Pakistan
This study examines the beef and bovine (cattle and buffalo) marketing systems in Pothwar Plateau of Punjab, Pakistan. A structure-conduct-performance approach was used to describe the organisation, structure and functioning of the beef and bovine marketing systems in the study area. The rearer's share in the consumer rupee was found to be 62.5 per cent, and the remaining 37.5 per cent represented the gross marketing margin. A negative price-age relationship was observed for both species of bovine animal. A price correlation coefficient of 0.95 was observed in the case of all cattle in the Channi and Taxila markets, whereas a correlation coefficient of 0.96 was observed in the case of all buffalo in the Taxila and Gujar Kahn bovine animal markets. However, these high correlation coefficients appeared not to be sufficient to determine spatial market integration and this needed to be assessed in the context of market structure and conduct. The carcass wholesalers concentration ratio (CR) was calculated as 32.78 per cent, depicting a weak form of oligopoly. It was further found that carcass wholesalers were earning excessive profits. Monopolistic market competition prevailed at beef retailing level. The daily per capita beef consumption for rural household consumers was estimated to be 19.28 grams and for the urban household consumers 24.28 grams. Overall only 27.8 per cent of consumers were satisfied with the existing beef quality. The government retail price control policy was identified as a source of operational and pricing inefficiencies. Meatless days were approved by 66.6 per cent of all household consumers and disapproved by 59.5 per cent at all catering levels. The derivation and introduction of grades and standards at the different stages of beef and bovine marketing emerged as a dire need for improved marketing efficiency. Reforms in the present beef pricing system also need to be made.