Involvement of rural households in oil palm (Elaeis guineensis) fruits postharvest activities in Ondo State, Nigeria
The study assessed the involvement of rural households in oil palm fruits post-harvest activities (PHAs) in Ondo State, Nigeria. Specifically, examined their perception towards involvement in oil palm fruits PHAs; identified oil palm fruit PHAs respondents were involved in; determined their level of involvement in those activities and identified constraints associated with their involvement. A multi-stage sampling procedure was used to select 120 processors from selected 3 LGAs in Ondo State. Data were collected using structured interview schedule and summarized with percentages, means and standard deviations while correlation and chi-square analyses were used to draw inference on hypothesis. Results showed that the majority (63.3%) of the respondents had favourable perception towards involvement in oil palm fruits PHAs. The majority of the processors were mostly involved in marketing of palm oil (86.8%), storage of palm oil (80%) and packing of palm oil (60.8%). Also, more than half (61.7%) of the respondents had moderate level of involvement in oil palm fruit PHAs. Lack of modern processing unit (x̄ =2.96), inadequate access to credit facilities (x̄ =2.90), lack of adequate technology (x̄ =2.81) were the major constraints limiting respondents’ involvement in oil palm fruit PHAs. The result of correlation analysis showed that years of residence (r= -0.184), family size (r=0.200) and years of education (r=0.322) had significant relationship with respondents’ involvement in oil palm fruits PHAs. The study concluded that respondents had moderate involvement in oil palm fruits PHAs and recommended that the government at the grassroot should assist in providing modern processing and functional credit facilities.
Keywords: Oil palm fruits, Postharvest activities, Involvement, Rural households
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