Community Empowerment via Economic and Technical Assistance with Hybrid Plantain/Banana Enterprise Expansion Programme in Rivers State, Nigeria
This study examined implementation strategies, approaches, constraints and revenue generation potentials of hybrid plantain/banana enterprise expansion progamme in Rivers State – a community werment programme funded by USAID in Southern Nigeria. Forty contact farmers directly involved in the project were selected. Primary and secondary data were used. Data analyses involved qualitative techniques, descriptive statistics, Kolmogorov-Simirov test and gross margin analysis. Results showed that implementation strategies and approaches were tailored towards overcoming constraints to the success of the project. Forty-five and thirty two percent gains in income were made by processing hybrid plantain fruits into flour and chips instead of local cultivars. Farmers preferred workshops and services of extension agents to other channels of communication with respect to transfer of innovations. It was recommended among other things that community development programmes should work in line with established and prevalent cultural patterns to avoid lack of interest or poor acceptance and minimal support for the project.
Key words: Community empowerment; Hybrid Plantain/Bananas; Small-Scale Enterprise; Nigeria.