Commercialization of Orange Fleshed Sweetpotato and Food Security Status of Producing households in Benue State, Nigeria

  • C. S. Onwusiribe
  • J. K. Nmerengwa
  • I. N. Nwokeocha
Keywords: Commercialization, Orange fleshed, Sweetpotato, Food Security and Households

Abstract

The study analyzed commercialization of Orange Fleshed Sweetpotato (OFSP) and food security status of producing households in Benue State, Nigeria. Commercialization of OFSP and food security status of the producers is constrained by inadequate incomes to purchase food, instability of supply and demand, and natural and man-made disasters.  The study therefore, specifically described the socio-economic characteristics of the OFSP producing households, assessed the current level of commercialization among OFSP producing households, estimated the food security status of the producing households, analyzed factors that influenced commercialization of OFSP in the area and factors affecting food security of the OFSP producing households and deduced policy implication from the findings. The study adopted purposive and multistage sampling techniques in the selection of one hundred and eighty (180) respondents. The study made use of descriptive statistics, commercialization indices, food security indices, ordinary least square and probit regression analyses to analyze the objectives. The results showed that majority of the OFSP farmers were males (78.89%) whom were still strong and in their productive ages (38.81yrs), many of whom were literate (88.89%) with household sizes of 1 to 2 persons. Not many of the farmers had long years of marketing experience (62.22%). The average commercialization index was 57.91% with quantity of OFSP produced and sold as 4.13t and 3.19t respectively. Results showed that few of the OFSP farmers were food secure (46.11%) with monthly food expenditure of N27,554.22 compared to the food insecure (51.11%) counterparts with monthly food expenditure of N16,919.59.  The multiple regression estimate of the determinants of commercialization with exponential form as the lead equation showed the R2 value of 0.6429 with the coefficients of household size, quantity of OFSP produced and volume of credit had a direct relationship with level of commercialization and significant at 1% level.  The coefficients of membership of cooperatives and years of education also had a direct relationship with level of commercialization of OFSP and significant at 10.0% and 5.0% levels respectively. The probit regression estimates of the determinants of food security among OFSP farmers indicated that the coefficients of volume of capital had a direct relationship with the probability of being food secure and significant at 1.0% level as well as years of education and gender at 10.0% level. The coefficient of household size had an indirect relationship with the probability of being food secure and significant at 1.0% level. The results therefore called for policies aimed at provision of free and affordable education and training opportunities to the farmers.

Published
2021-12-31
Section
Articles

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eISSN: 0300-368X