Technological Capabilities of Mill Operators in Palm Oil Processing Enterprise in Anambra State, Nigeria
The study examined the technological capabilities of mill operators in palm oil processing enterprise in Anambra State. Purposive and simple random sampling techniques were used to select three agricultural zones and a total sample of 48 mill owners/operators, respectively. Data were collected using modified enterprise level interview schedule and analyzed using percentage, mean score and factor analysis. The findings revealed that the majority (87.4%) of mill operators operated semi-automated oil mill system, had digester (97.9%), had no capability in terms of investment in equipment (75%), had no investment capability in human resource development (89.6%), acquired production (97.9%) and linkage (95.8%) capabilities. Lack of manpower ( x̄ = 3.19), market forces ( x̄ = 3.35), poor remunerations/profit ( x̄ = 2.69), lack of interactions ( x̄ = 3.42), seasonal scarcity of fruits ( x̄ = 3.54) and lack of fund for business expansion ( x̄ = 3.56) were the constraints to technological capabilities of the mill owners/operators. However, manpower, technical, personnel and infrastructural related factors influenced the development of technological capabilities of mill operators. Extension should liaise with oil palm processors for the dissemination of information on the existing new technologies, tools and knowledge in oil palm processing to minimize the drudgery in oil palm processing.
Keywords: Technological capabilities, palm oil, mill operators