Farmers’ preferences and perception influencing decision to grow bio-fortified provitamin A cassava
The study analysed farmers’ preferences and perception influencing decision to grow biofortified provitamin A cassava. Specifically, the study described the socio-economic characteristics of cassava farmers in the study area; identified sources of information on biofortified provitamin A cassava; ascertained farmers’ perception of the key attributes of biofortified provitamin A cassava; ascertained farmers’ preference for biofortified provitamin A cassava; analysed sio-economic determinants of willingness to grow bio-fortified provitamin A cassava, and, constraints that hinder farmers’ decision to grow bio-fortified provitamin A cassava. It was hypothesized that the socio-economic characteristics of farmers significantly influence the decision to grow bio-fortified provitamin A cassava. Structured questionnaire and interview schedule were used to elicit data from 90 cassava farmers in the study area. Data collected were analysed using descriptive and inferential statistics. The result revealed that farmers in the study area were mostly female, married, with a mean age of 50 years, mean years of formal education of 12 years, farming experience of 6 years and a mean household size of 6 persons. The sources of information on bio-fortified provitamin A cassava include agricultural extension agents, farmer groups and radio. The result also showed that farmers perceived bio-fortified provitamin A cassava to be able to make yellow Garri (Cassava granules); have low sugar content. The farmers preferred bio-fortified provitamin A cassava because of its low sugar content, ability to make yellow cassava granules (Garri) which makes it attractive for selling, and contain vitamin A which is necessary to reduce blindness. Poor access to information, poor access to bio-fortified provitamin A cassava stem, and high moisture content were some of the major constraints that affect the decision to grow bio-fortified provitamin A cassava by farmers’ in the study area. The study recommends that farmers should be given easy access to bio-fortified provitamin A cassava stems and extension agents should make more visits to cassava farmers to enlighten them on the benefits of growing biofortified provitamin A cassava.
Keywords: Cassava, Biofortified, provitamin A, Farmers, Imo State