Examination of the functions of markets in the rural areas of Anambra state Nigeria (Published)
This study examined the functions of markets in the rural areas of Anambra state, Nigeria. This study was carried out to enable one find out the integrative functions of markets as central places in the rural areas of the state. The objectives of the study were to: identify the integrative functions of the markets in the state and identify the communities which are in functional contact with each other on the basis of goods and services provided in the markets. Stratified random sampling procedure was adopted to choose respondents in the study area. A structured questionnaire was constructed and administered to the respondents; the computation was done using centrality coefficient and functional indices. Three hundred and ninety – nine (399) questionnaires were administered to the respondents in the study area. The data collected were analyzed using Principal Component Analysis (PCA), Weighted Mean, Centrality Coefficient, Functional Indices and Nearest Neighbor Analysis; the Centrality Coefficient showed that the markets play essential roles in the socio-economic life of the people and that the markets were in functional contacts with each other. While the Nearest – Neighbor Analysis indicated that the markets were randomly distributed in accordance with the distribution of settlements in the study area. The Principal Component Analysis indicated that the major function of the markets in the study area was that they serve as centers for diffusion of innovation. The researchers concluded that markets are very important in the socio-economic space of an area and that their importance lies in the fact that they provide the channels of socio-economic linkages among the rural people and between the rural economy and the urban economy. The study recommended that the state government should encourage private investors to invest in market development by putting in place adequate logistic and administrative guidelines.
Keywords: central places, functional linkages, integrative functions, markets, rural areas