Economic sustainability of sheabutter production in Kwara state, Nigeria
Production of sheabutter has the economic potentials in sustaining income generation for rural dwellers. The potentials of shea nuts productivity could only be achieved when technical efficiency of the processing becomes relevant. The study examines the patterns, efficiency and productivity of processing harvested shea nuts/kernels. This study employs cross-section data that were collected from 160 shea nuts processors in Kwara State and production theory that form the basis of Stochastic Production Frontier (SPF) model were used to analyze the efficiency and productivity of shea nuts processing to sheabutter. The result reveals that the processors from improved technique produced 48kg and local processors produced 10kg shea butter each from 50kg shea nuts in a week. Hence, the technical efficiency of the improved shea nuts processors is higher compared to local processors. The quantity of shea nut and fuel are positively important to the production of sheabutter. However, the education contributes positively to the technical efficiency of the shea nuts processors. Even though, local shea nuts processor increase in output with help of family labour and labour efficiency through household size, but the quantity of shea nut is most important. Therefore, awareness and training exercise should be considered by National Centre for Agricultural Mechanization (NCAM) to extend the improved shea nuts processing technique to the rural sheabutter producers.
Key Words: Economic sustainability, Sheabutter production, Stochastic frontier model