Processing cassava into chips for industry and export: analysis of acceptance of technology among small holder processors in Imo State, Nigeria
The paper analyzed small holder processors‘ acceptance of the technology of processing cassava into chips for industry and export. The study was conducted in Imo State, Nigeria. A multi-staged random sampling technique was employed to select one hundred and Eighty (180) respondents across the three agricultural zones of the State who were interviewed with use of structured questionnaire. Data collected were analyzed with descriptive (such as frequency, percentage and means) and inferential statistics. Results of the study showed that more women(56.1%) were involved in cassava processing than men (43.9%) and that substantial proportion of the small holder processors were ageing ((59.1%) and no longer in the active age suitable for the rigors involved in cassava processing. Also, the level of income accruing from cassava processing to good proportion of respondents (35%) was considerably low (less than N2000/month). The study revealed a medium level of acceptance (3.52) of the technology among small scale processors in the area. Finally, the results of weighted least square regression analysis of influence of certain socio economic factors on small scale processors‘ acceptance of the technology revealed a significant F-Value of 8.295***which showed that goodness of fit was very appropriate. Again, an R2 values of 0.395 indicated that 39.5% of variation in observation was accounted for by the selected variables in determining the levels of acceptance of the technology in the study area. Specifically, the results revealed that a range of socio economic variables such as monthly income, educational status, and membership of cooperative societies facilitated acceptance of the technology while processing experience and primary occupation hindered its acceptance among the small scale processors in the study area. Thus, it is recommended that extension agents should be given all necessary supports to reach small holder processors with the relevant technical information regarding the industrial and export market potentials of the cassava chips processing technology and its product.
Keywords: Cassava chips, small holder processors, acceptance, industry and export