AN EXPLORATORY STUDY OF VALUE ADDITION INITIATIVES USED BY SWEET POTATO PROCESSORS IN KWARA STATE, NIGERIA
Keywords:Correlation, Initiative, Knowledge, Processing and Sweet potato
The study assessed the value addition initiatives used by sweet potato processors. A structured interview schedule was used in data collection. A multi-stage sampling technique was used to select 130 respondents. Data were analyzed using descriptive statistics and Pearson’s Product Moment Correlation. Results reveal that age, years of processing experience, household size and annual income were 30.38years, 5.8years, 4 persons and ₦118,876.94. Radio and family & friends were the most important source of information to processors while 52.3% and 56.9%. 90.8% of respondents had low knowledge on improved value addition initiatives. Furthermore, there was positive and significant correlation between knowledge level of sweet potato processors and their source of information (r =0.341, P<0.001). The major constraints were perishability of sweet potato, farmers’ low knowledge in sweet potato value chain, high cost of processing equipment, inadequate storage facilities and inadequate extension services. The study concluded that source of information, knowledge level and constraints influenced the processors practice of value addition to sweet potato. The study recommended the need for an aggressive promotion of value addition to sweet potato through trainings and workshops, organizing processors in groups association and linking them to reliable markets, provide more robust extension and agricultural support services to build the capacity of smallholder processors.
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