CASSAVA PROCESSING AND MARKETING OPTIONS FOR SUSTAINABLE AGRICULTURAL DEVELOPMENT IN ENUGU STATE (A CASE STUDY OF UDI L.G.A, ENUGU STATE)
1.1 BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY
Recognizing Nigeria’s tremendous Agricultural potentials, the government has accepted the view that the country should resolve to make agriculture the main source of living of the economy and to Enugu state. Agricultural development has to with the increase of the agricultural productivity to be able to generate substantial surpluses.
The issues of surpluses lead to the issue of marketing because when they engage in large production, and then there will be surpluses left out.
Production of surpluses should occur simultaneously with adequate processing and store it and make sure that the surpluses are waste.
We find out that the surpluses, if they are not appropriately processed, it may bring about increase in the harvest losses which reduces the productivity and income in the agricultural sector (RUSEP 2002).
Nigeria is currently the largest cassava producer in the world with estimated annual production of about 40 million metric tones. About 90% of this is however, consumed as food. Cassava is next to petroleum as major contributor to the Gross Domestic Product (GDP). The presidential initiative on cassava has set in motion the process of achieving on annual basis 5 billion dollars from export of cassava. This plan also involves building of the domestic productive capacity to an efficiently, profitable and sustainable satisfaction to the new market demand with the quality and quantity required to realize the objective. One of the strategies put in place to realize this noble objective is the establishment of 6-farmgate primary processing centers. However, lack of funds to procure essential processing machinery and equipment, which will create increase demand for cassava product, has been a problem.
Evidence has shown that cassava production has been increased from 1999 to date. (FMARD) 2004, However, post harvest system such as processing, packaging, marketing storage distribution and transportation have constrained sustainable cassava production in recent times. This has resulted into substantial losses, which complicate food insecurity status in terms of available calorie dietary consumption. Studies have shown that efficient marketing system stimulates agricultural production (Waurika and Ikpi 2005: Adesope et al, 2005).
However, marketing of cassava in Nigeria especially in Enugu state has been characterized with a lot of deficiencies. These deficiencies have constrained sustainable agricultural development in one way or the other. In Nigeria, several policy studies have been commissioned to identify potential contributions of agricultural marketing policy to agricultural development, these studies, however, failed to incorporate strategies for combating perennial constraints to effective and efficient food marketing in Nigeria.
Since sustainable food policy issues and options require different strategies for both domestic and international markets and different strategies for minimizing the problems confronting cassava marketing, it is important to identify strategies for minimizing constraints to food at the different levels, as well as incorporation of these strategies into food marketing policy framework. This study, therefore, investigated effectiveness of cassava marketing policy and its contribution to agricultural sector development in Nigeria, Enugu state in particular, the policy design and its potential contributions to agricultural development in Nigeria.
We have various sectors that will be discussed: problems associated with agricultural marketing in Nigeria and in Enugu particular, the potential of cassava marketing to economic development of Nigeria.
1.2 STATLEMENT OF PROBLEM
Agricultural marketing efficiency has been bedeviled by both external and internal market related factors. These factors are also peculiar to cassava marketing in Nigeria and Enugu in particular (FMARD 2004). The markets have served the economy well in the past but currently inadequate in the face of growing demand for products due to population growth and changing of dietary demand patterns. There is the inadequacy of transport service in rural areas. The Rural feeder roads are in a very bad condition. The entire rural communities rely mainly on human transport before they will talk of conveying their produce.
There is the problem of marketing information because the required data required are not available and even those that are available is not being managed properly to generate the required information to support decision making by the producers, consumers, government officials and other market participants.
There are no official or organized ways of transmitting price information in Nigerian’s agricultural markets; therefore there is no mechanism for coordinating production activities of the millions of farmers with the demand of millions of individual, corporate and institutional consumers. The paucity of data and information also limit forecasting planning farm management and marketing practices.
Another problem associated with the poor marketing for agricultural produce in Nigeria is the existence of an inefficient and inadequate storage system. As a result there is a substantial waste at the farm level and the poor storage system also contributes to price fluctuations in the agricultural markets whereby produce prices are low during harvest time’s adversely affecting farmer incomes. At times the price fluctuations are magnified by speculative activities in the face of scarcity of market information all in favour of marketers only further aggravating the poor economic position of farmers.
Another related problem is that of poor storage system in the low level of processing of agricultural produce in Nigeria, Enugu state in particular. In view of the low level of food processing in Nigeria for example the use of this activity in increasing effective supply of food as well as solve some nutritional problems of human beings is not possible.
There is also the limited nature of raw agricultural produce processing limits how this potentially flourishing agro-business can contribute to enhancing the economics value of food, improving farmers income by providing additional outlets for their produce, particularly in the harvest seasons when prices tend to be low, generating employment, enhancing the storage of food and other produce, and reducing dependence on imported processed food and other agro-industrial products.
In addition to problems associated with inadequacy of processing facilities for food and other agricultural produce in Nigeria, there is a such as irradiation and freeze dying to reduce rotting in particular and spoilage in general and thereby increasing effective agricultural supplies in the country.
Another economic problem associated with agricultural marketing in Nigeria, Enugu state to be precise has to do with the absence of standardization of products in the market place. Standardized system of grading and measurement, which enhances marketing efficiency, is not a feature of agricultural markets in Nigeria. Grades are determined arbitrarily by sizes, colour or smell. Measures come in various types of metal and plastic bowls, dishes, tins basket and calabashes. The use of weighing scales is limited which explains why prices are determined by haggling between sellers and buyers. In addition, sorting and packaging activities are not carried out further reducing the ability of using a sound marketing system to boost farmers’ income and ensure adequate protection of consumers in the country.
Agricultural produce supply and price instabilities characterized the Nigerian agricultural markets. By the nature of agricultural production in Nigeria and the limitation imposed by the marketing problems highlighted previously, farmers generally adjust current productions according to prevailing prices in the immediate past period or season. When the price of commodity is lower than expected in a particular season due to period to over supply into the market, farmers will cut back on production and supply less into the market the next period. This subsequent short supply in the next time leads to supply and price gyrations which follow a cobweb-like pattern which may be explosive depending on how elastic the supply side of the commodity market is. In summary agricultural processing and marketing have problems associated with them which include:
- Poor storage of the processed products which leads to its rottenness.
- Low level of food processing because of lack of processing machines.
- Poor market information system.
- Low market demand of value-added products by the consumers.
- Limited purchasing power of consumers.
- Stiff competition between the firms, in terms of location, quality of food and prices.
- Increasing costs of marketing functions irregular power supply which push the firm to source of alternative (generator) and this increases transaction cost.
1.3 OBJECTIVES OF THE STUDY
Objectives of study show the direction of research and what the study intends to achieve, hence Eze and Agbo (2005, p.26) believe that once they are achieved, the research problem will be showed. Consequently the research sets out to achieve the following goals:
1. To evaluate the cassava processing and marketing options for sustainable agricultural development in Nigeria and Enugu state in particular.
2. To examine the extent to which cassava processing and marketing has impacted on economic growth of Enugu state.
3. To evaluate the problems associated with cassava production and marketing in Enugu state Udi local Government Area in particular.
4. To examine the role of cassava processing and marketing in Agricultural development in Enugu state.
1.4 RESEARCH QUESTION
The following research questions served as road-maps that directed this research work:
1. Is cassava processing and marketing the only option for sustainable development in Nigeria and Enugu state in particular?
2. To what extent has cassava processing and marking impacted on the economic growth of Enugu state and Nigeria at large?
3. Is there any problem associated with cassava production and marketing in Enugu state Udi local Government Area in particular.
4. Does cassava processing and marking have any role to play in Agricultural development of Enugu state?
1.5 RESEARCH HYPOTHESIS
From the research questions, the following hypotheses were formulated:
H0: Cassava processing and marketing is the only option for sustainable development in Nigeria and Enugu state in particular.
H1: Cassava processing and marketing are not the only option for sustainable agricultural development in Nigeria and Enugu state in particular.
H0: Cassava processing and marking has a significant impact on the economic growth of Enugu state and Nigeria at large.
H1: Cassava processing and marking has no impact on the economic growth of Enugu state and Nigeria at large.
H0: There are problems associated with cassava production and marketing in Enugu state Udi local Government Area in particular.
H1: There are no problems associated with cassava production and marketing in Enugu state Udi local Government Area in particular.
Ho: Cassava processing and marketing have a significant role to play in Agricultural development of Enugu state.
H1: Cassava processing and marketing have no role to play in Agricultural development of Enugu state.
1.6 SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY
It is important to point out that during the completion of this project, it will be of immense significance to the following
RESEARCHERS: Other researchers on this topic or similar topic will find this work helpful as it will form a base of review of related literature and also a stepping-shine for future researchers.
ECONOMY: This work will help to improve the national output and thereby increase the national income. This is because of improvement in the efficiency and effectiveness of the operations as well as the overall success of the state, which will be achieved through adequate processing and marketing.
LAW MAKERS: The law makers will implement policies that will enhance the processing and marketing of cassava in Nigeria, The standard of corporations will be increased as a result of the knowledge acquired from this research work.
1.7 SCOPE OF THE STUDY
The study is on “Cassava processing and marketing Option for sustainable Agricultural development”. The researcher will restrict her work to Udi Local Government Area of Enugu state.
Any other reference to materials, place, items, activities, periods is just for purpose of clarity and vivid understanding of the topic and not within the scope.
1.8 LIMITATIONS OF THE STUDY
The following constraints faced the researcher and limited his efforts in elaborating the research work.
FINANCE: The researcher is a full time student and has been discouraged from traveling to or visiting all Udi Local Government Area and its Environs to collect data for her study due to lack of fund, she has therefore chosen very few households because of proximity and ease of contact to the community.
TIME: their is a limited time for this project work. It would have been desired for a longer time to exhaust the topic and extend the coverage but it is not possible.
PRESSURE OF ACADEMIC WORK: The researcher have been hindered by pressure of academic work from achieving the extensive research this work should have deserved.
1.9 DEFINITION OF TERMS
Cassava: The starchy root of a tropican American tree used
Processing: A series of action in to be done in other to achieve an end
Marketing: This means to advertise or promote something in
Other for the consumers to benefit from.
Agriculture: This is the science or practice of farming i.e.
Cultivating of the soil or rearing of animals.