EMPIRICAL ANALYSIS OF PRODUCTIVITY AMONG AGRI-FOOD ENTERPRENEURS : EVIDENCE FROM RICE PROCESSORS IN EBONYI STATE, NIGERIA
Productivity has been identified to be abysmally low in many agri-food enterprises. This study is an attempt to
distil the factors that influence total factor productivity (TFP) among rice processors in Ebonyi State, Nigeria.
Data were collected with the use of a structured questionnaire, administered to one hundred and twenty
respondents, who constitute the sample size for the study. Data analysis estimated total factor productivity index
and presented descriptively and use of the ordinary least square regression model. It was observed that 51% of the
processors had productivity of 1.50 to 1.74 and the least (2%) from 1.00 to 1.24. An average value of 1.53 implies
that an average rice processor made about 53 kobo for every one naira invested. The double-log form was chosen
as the lead equation indicating coefficients of age, education, firm size, extension and credit directly related to
productivity, while gender, household size, capital inputs and experience were negative. The study therefore call
for policies aimed at training and re-training of rice processors and provision of credit at no or free interest rates to
improve productivity from the current average of 1.53 to avoid being in a productivity trap. This requires support
and incentive from government and other international donors to design programs for improved capacity of rice
processors. There is also need for free or affordable training to enable processors access and process information
on innovations on rice processing for enhanced productivity.