Appropriate Technology for Cassava Processing in Nigeria: User's Point of View

By Odebode, Stella O. | Journal of International Women's Studies, May 2008 | Go to article overview

Appropriate Technology for Cassava Processing in Nigeria: User's Point of View


Odebode, Stella O., Journal of International Women's Studies


Abstract

This study examined appropriate agricultural extension technological needs of users in cassava processing activities in Nigeria. Purposive sampling technique was used in selecting 160 participating and non-participating users making a total of 320 users in Oyo state. Data was collected with Interview Schedule and analysed using chi-square and t-test.

(58%) of women (users) use traditional processing equipments in cassava processing. Improved processing technologies used include vibrating sieve, abrasive peeler, motorised grater, drum drier, and screw -jack. Processed cassava products include "gaff", "lafun", starch, and "fufu". Significant relationships exist between the use of improved technologies for processing and age ([X.sup.2] = 6.15, p= 0.05), educational Status ([X.sup.2] = 5.80, p = 0.05), religion ([X.sup.2] = 12.20, p= 0.05) and type of technology utilized. Significant difference exists between mean adoption scores of participating and nonparticipating users (t = 6.53, p = 0.05). Problems encountered by the users include high cost of processing equipment, transportation difficulties, poor infrastructural facilities, shortage of labour, poor access to market, lack of fund and poor shortage facilities. Time-saving and simpler prototype processing equipment should be introduced to the users of cassava processing technologies during extension training.

Keywords: Food security, Appropriate Technology; Cassava Processors, Nigeria.

Introduction

Technology has made pertinent contributions to national progress and its usefulness has attained universal recognition both at national and international levels. In many developing countries including Nigeria, lack of appropriate technological and scientific knowledge application limits agricultural and economic progress. In order to keep pace with the rapid rate of food demand, that is attendant upon rapid population growth and help to improve the gloomy food situation and its consequences, continuous research in food production and efficient extension services is highly desirable.

In Nigeria, modern agricultural technology has contributed significantly to agricultural development and the gap between developed and developing countries in the area of agricultural production can be attributed largely to differences in the level of technological development, adaptation and transfer process. In developed nations, there is an advanced level of technical know-how and widespread application of technological innovations resulting in high productive capability in agriculture as well as in industry. This is not so in Nigeria where these technologies are not often available to farmers. Where they are made available, few farmers, usually excluding the users, which are usually women, have access to them (Adekanye, 1983).

Reasons adduced for this low level of access to and subsequent adoption of technological innovations particularly among users (women) include the lack of access to factors of production- land, labour, capital and limited authority for decision making (Odebode, 1997). Users also find such innovations difficult to maintain even when they are appropriate for local conditions due to lack of maintenance and skill training. Consequently, the levels of agricultural production in most developing countries remain low.

In Nigeria, users constitute more than 60% of the adult population resident in the rural areas of Nigeria (Odebode, 1997). They contribute significantly to nation-building economic growth through their roles in agricultural production, housekeeping and child welfare services. However, their traditional contribution to agricultural production has been rendered inefficient by the crude and inappropriate form of agricultural technologies frequently used (Olawoye, 1988). The result is a relatively low agricultural productivity, which is inversely proportional to the enormous labour intensive input. …

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