Factors influencing cassava - pulp fermentation period for gari processing among cassava processors in southeastern Nigeria.
paper examined factors influencing cassava pulp fermentation period for gari processing among cassava processors in South-eastern Nigeria. Five out of nine states that constitute South-east Agro-ecological zone of Nigeria were purposively sampled on the basis of being notable for cassava production. From each sampled state and by simple random sampling technique, 64 cassava processors were selected evenly from across the agricultural zones of the state. This summed up to a sample size of 320 respondents from the entire study area. Using structured interview schedule, data on age of farmers, educational status, years of gari processing experience, marital status, membership of cooperative societies, etc were collected from the respondents. Data collected were analyzed with descriptive statistics and Probit model analysis. Result of probit model analysis at 5% significance level shows an R value 0.4728 indicating that 47.28% of factors affecting cassava-pulp fermentation practices in the study area were accounted for by the variables considered in this study. Marital status (2.236**) and respondents' cultural influences (1.960**) were positively related to long period fermentation of cassava-pulp among the respondents. On the contrary, socio-economic statuses (-2.466**) of the respondents were negatively related to long period fermentation of cassava-pulp among the respondents. It is therefore, recommended that awareness campaign should be mounted to sensitize cassava processors to the health risks associated with short period of fermentation of cassava-pulp during gari processing. Similarly, extension agents should use occasion of personal visits to farmers to educate them on the importance of adequate fermentation of cassava pulp during gari processing. Cultural groups and activities should be explored by extension agents and nutritionists in disseminating information on need for longer period of fermentation of cassava pulp during gari processing.
Keywords: Cassava-pulp, Fermentation, Gari Processing, Cyanide, Toxic