Adoption of improved oil palm processing technology in Umuahia north local government area of Abia state, Nigeria
The significant roles played by oil palm production in the economy of Nigeria in the years prior to the advent of crude oil cannot be over-emphasized. The study assessed farm families' adoption of oil palm processing technologies in Umuahia North Local Government Area of Abia State, Nigeria. The sample comprised 120 farm families selected through stratified random sampling technique. Data were collected with structured interview schedule and analyses done with descriptive statistics (especially percentage, mean and ranking). It was found that a large percentage of the respondents were aware of the 5 improved oil palm processing technologies with friends and relatives as major source of information. Adoption was significant for 3 out of 5 technologies under study. The major constraints to improved oil palm processing technologies were high cost of equipment and maintenance, products' low quality and inadequate power supply. It was recommended that the cost of the equipment be subsidized by Government and credit facilities made more accessible to farmers. Research should develop semi-mechanized oil palm processing technologies that does not require power supply while farmers should form cooperatives with a view to pulling resources together to take advantage of these technology.
Key words: Processing, technology, oil palm, adoption, palm oil.