Analyzing Costs and Returns of Roasting Green Maize by Small Traders in Kibaha Town

Cornel Swai, Kazungu Barnaba, Justine Kira


Roasted fresh green maize just harvested from farms, is one of the growing small business in Tanzania, to many towns. It is evident that, little has been addressed on the pros and cons of roasting green maize to small traders. This study therefore analyzed costs and returns of roasting green maize by small traders in Kibaha town. In particular, it documented the demographic characteristics of the small traders of roasted green maize, estimated the amount of green maize purchased, roasted and sold, and determined the returns from selling roasted green maize in Kibaha town. On the other hand, the study employed purposive and simple random sampling techniques in which 30 respondents interviewed to convene information pertaining the objective of the study. Demographical characteristics of the interviewed indicated that majority of the traders had at least basic knowledge and skills of trading with roasted green maize effectively. Most of those engaged in this trade were youth and there was still low participation of female - youth. Almost 70% of the interviewed traders had at least one-year experience of trading with roasted green maize that could be an aid to managing business undertakings successfully. Findings from the profit margin analysis demonstrated the potentials of the roasted green maize trade in income generation for the livelihood of street maize vendors of Kibaha town. The interviewed traders generated income at a positive profit margin of Tshs. 431,581.00 besides a monthly mean profit margin ratio of 0.30. The positive profit margin earned could be associated to lower start-up capital, low operation costs, and tax-free as the small traders paid no taxes in the trading with roasted green maize. Other reasons were the level of education and experience in the trade. Some of the challenges faced this trade include regular disturbances from health officers and security guards from Kibaha District Council, poor maize variety that tend to shrink when roasted on fire, and low customers during summer. It is encouraged that, small traders should apply modern tools to keep roasted green maize warm. Motivate small famers to consider externalities in the green maize farming and trading by subsidizing them and whenever necessary, set a minimum quota for green maize sales. Additionally, make further inquiry on the other type of maize products like dry maize and maize flour dealing by involving all actors including farmers, intermediaries, whole sellers, retailers, and customers of such products.

Keywords: Maize, Roasted green maize, Costs and Returns

DOI: 10.7176/JESD/10-22-04

Publication date: November 30th 2019

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