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PRODUCT LIFE CYCLE MODEL OF COWPEA BASED PRODUCTS IN GHANA

By James Cyprian Okuk Nyankori, Veronica Wabukawo, Esther Sakyi-Dawson and Sam Sefa-Dedeh

Abstract

An exploratory market study of cowpea products in Ghana using data from case studies of consumers, personal interviews of processors and market surveillance of retail outlets indicated that the cowpea processing industry has low milling capacity, low production level, and few small operators most of whom have been in the business for less than six years. Cowpea flour, the main value added product, is typically sold in bulk or unbranded small packages through retail and wholesale outlets and directly to consumers including individuals, institutions and the catering industry. Although a high proportion of processors are aware of the new cowpea utilization technologies, only a low percentage have capacity expansion plans within the next two years. A large majority is uncertain and a small percentage has no expansion plans in the next two years. Cowpea products are widely consumed but are facing increasing competition from soybean especially in weaning mixes. However, there are several dishes using cowpea flour produced in the household and these provide a varied nutritious diet and have added desirable attributes which include easy cooking, availability, and favorable taste. The cowpea products industry is a nascent industry, apparently in stage two of the product life cycle, the introduction stage, which is characterized by a limited number of competing firms, low profitability, and high prices. The full impact of new utilization technologies will be realized over several years following substantial private capital investments in processing, marketing and strategic promotional activities.Industrial Organization,

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