ECONOMIC ANALYSIS OF CASSAVA PROCESSING AND MARKETING KOGI STATE, NIGERIA.
This research work examined the economics of processed cassava products and marketing in Kogi East of Kogi State, Nigeria. Among other objectives the study sorts to: identify and describe different processing/marketing channels of selected the value added chain in cassava processing, and describe the constraints’ seriousness in cassava processing/marketing in the study area. A multistage purposive and random sampling technique was used to select 120 cassava processors/marketers who provided the relevant data for the study through a set of structured questionnaire administered to them. Descriptive statistics, multiple regression, profit function analysis and likert scale rating techniques were employed to analyse the data collected. Results of the study showed that, 66% of the respondents were of middle age between 31-50 years, predominantly females (73%). The majority (67%) of the respondents were married, 37% of the respondents had 5-10 years experience in processing/marketing, and 57% had large family size of about 5-10 persons. Also 55% of the respondents had between 4-6 persons of their family members directly assisting them in the processing/marketing activities. The study noted that about 50% of the respondents obtained capital from their personal savings while 54% of the respondents source their fresh cassava roots from the market. Additionally, 42% of the respondents had no formal education and 52% indicated that the initial capital they invested was between N20,000 – N39,000. The results also showed that majority (58%) of the respondents in garri processing adopted processing channel which comprised peeling-washing-grating- dehydration-fermentation and frying (referred to in the text as processing channel ‘1’) while majority (70%) cassava flour processors adopted the processing channel which comprised peeling-washing-soaking-sifting-dewatering-molding and drying (referred to in the text as processing channel ‘1’). For fufu processors, majority (88%) adopted the processing channel which comprised peeling-washing-r soaking-fermentation-sifting-dewatering-boiling and molding (referred to in the text as processing channel ‘1’). On marketing channels, majority (60%) and (53%) of garri and cassava flour marketers adopted marketing channels which comprised packaging- transportation-wholesaling-retailing and final consumers (referred to in the text as marketing channel ‘1’) while majority (57%) of the fufu marketers adopted marketing channel which comprised packaging-retailing and final consumers (referred to in the text as marketing channel ‘3’). The socio-economic factors that influenced output of cassava products were sex, level of education, amount of initial capital invested, family size, marital status and age of the respondents. The study also found out that 79.9% of total variability in the output of garri enterprise was explained by the stated socio-economic factors which influenced output of the garri product. Meanwhile, 62.7% and 81.1% of cassava flour and fufu enterprises profit were explained by the same factors respectively. Thus, the null hypothesis which stated that socio-economic factors of cassava processors/marketers do not have significant effect on the output of cassava products processed and marketed was rejected for the three enterprises at the 5% level of probability. In the garri enterprises, the combined effects of all the variables and fixed inputs in the profit function explained 78.9% of the variation in the maximum variable profit while the combined effect of the variable and fixed cost in the profit function in cassava flour and fufu processing/marketing enterprises, explained 80.1% and 84.4% respectively of the variation in the maximum variable profit. The null hypothesis which stated that output and input prices do not significantly affect profit of garri, cassava flour and fufu enterprises was rejected at 5% level of probability. Lack of capital for expansion, irregular power and water supply, fluctuation in prices of output and irregular shapes stood out as the most challenging constraints to the respondents in the cassava processing/marketing activities. The study among other things recommmended, provision of finance and infrastructural facilities such as road and supply of water and electricity to reduce cost of processing/marketing of the cassava products.