Improving rural women income through cocoyam value addition technologies in Abia State Nigeria
The study investigated how training and extension of technologies by the National Root Crops Research Institution (NRCRI) Umudike has empowered rural women to become entrepreneurs at various levels. Structured questionnaire was administered to 120 farmers in 2 agricultural zones of Abia (Ohafia and Umuahia). Data collected were analysed using linear regression model and t-test was used to test the hypothesis. The result revealed that the majority of the respondents were married (88%) while 12% were single and were reasonably aware of the technologies. However, on the utilization of the technologies, out of the 5 processing technologies, only 3 had high level of utilization, processing of cocoyam into cake ( x̄ =3.7) Bread ( x̄3.5 and Chin-chin ( x̄ =3.2). Also, a tangible impact was made in the livelihood of the respondents as there was a reasonable difference in income of the respondents after the training. The major challenges associated with the utilization were no extension agents to answer their questions ( x̄ =3.90) lack of commitment = ( x̄ =3.25 and marketing of product = ( x̄ =3.17) among others. It was therefore recommended that re-training and provision of market facilities should be intensified to enhance the utilization of the processing technologies and their impact among the respondents.
Keywords: Processing technologies, value addition and training