Determinants of Level of Engagement in Oil Palm Processing among Rural Households in Southeast Nigeria
The study provided empirical evidence of the determinants of level of engagement in oil palm processing among rural households in Southeast Nigeria. The specific objectives were to; describe the socioeconomic characteristics of the respondents, ascertain the level of household’s engagement in processing of oil palm produce, and estimate the costs and returns from processing oil palm produce. The study made use of multi-stage random sampling procedure in selecting 540 respondents. Data for the study were collected with the use of structured questionnaire and analyzed with the use of both descriptive (frequency, percentage, mean and gross margin) and inferential statistics (regression model). Results show evidence of high level engagement in the processing of oil palm (3.67). F–statistics was significant at 1% indicating goodness of fit of the model used. The coefficients of household size (5%), level of education (5%), processing experience (5%), income (1%) and labour cost (1%) significantly influenced level of engagement in the processing of oil palm in Southeast Nigeria. The study concludes that rural households in the study area were highly engaged in the processing of oil palm processing as a profitable livelihood activity. It was therefore recommended that young and educated youths should be encouraged by government at all levels to engage in oil palm processing since the enterprise was dominated by rural households who were relatively young, active, experienced and educated.
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