Grains are important food items amongst many households because of their nutritional values. Quite often, there are distinct disparities between the wholesale and retail prices of these commodities. This study therefore investigated the degree of integration and price communications in food grains markets. Data were collected from 240 food grains marketers who were randomly selected from the 4 divisions in Ogun State, Nigeria. Multiple regression model, supply elasticities and price correlation co-efficients estimates were done. For rice markets in Egba division of Ogun State, there were strong inter-relationships between the retail and wholesale prices of the commodities. Similarly for cowpea, the values of the regression coefficients are generally high. Mamu market, Ijebu division, recorded the highest regression coefficient value of 96% while Kuto market in Egba division recorded the least value of 56%. For maize, the regression results indicated low R2 values ranging between 43% in Lafenwa (Egba division) and 16% in Makun (Remo division). On the average, cowpea has the highest elasticities, followed by rice, while maize has the lowest. Thus, a 1% increase in the wholesale price of food grains resulted in 76.15, 75.77 and 59.49% increase for cowpea, rice and maize respectively. Generally, high price correlation co-efficient values were obtained for the pairs of retail prices of rice and cowpea. There should a stable agricultural policy that will ensure moderate wholesale prices, and by extension retail prices of food grains so that the average household consumption level of the commodities could be sustained at high levels.
Key words: Elasticity, food grains, integration, price communication, wholesale, retail prices.
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