Building Farmers’ Knowledge In Cassava Value Addition For Improved Rural Livelihoods In Abia State: Issues For Policy Consideration
AbstractAttempts by National Root Crops Research Institute, Umudike, Nigeria to add value to cassava have led to development of several products such as cake, bread, chin-chin from cassava in order to diversify its utilization. . The Institute embarked upon a rural empowerment campaign through promotion, popularization and training of rural households on the cassava value addition technologies. About 10 rural communities in
Abia State, Nigeria have benefited from this participatory training programme. A study was carried out in 2006 in Abia State to examine the effects of the training programme on the livelihoods of the rural households in the study area. A total of 150 respondents from
four Local Government Areas where the training workshops held were purposively sampled for the study. Data were collected with use of structured questionnaire and analyzed using means, percentages, tables and frequencies. Results indicated that use of acquired knowledge on cassava value addition has high influence on farmers’ livelihoods
in Arochukwu (3.02), but moderate influences on their livelihoods in Umunneochi(2.01), Umuahia(1.9) and Ukwa East(1.7) LGAs as evidenced by availability of different cassava food forms, earning of extra incomes, self employment, as well as poverty reduction in the house holds. There is therefore the need to explore and sustain this rural empowerment strategy by providing the necessary policy leverage and support that will
facilitate efforts and activities of government agencies to enhance the livelihoods of rural farmers.