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FACTORS INFLUENCING ADOPTION OF RECOMMENDED PALM OIL PROCESSING TECHNOLOGIES
The influence of respondents‟ socio-economic characteristics along with other factors on adoption of the recommended palm oil processing
technologiesin Delta State, Nigeriawas investigated. This study was carried out in order to determine the specific factors that significantly influence adoption of recommended palm oil processing technologies in the study area. Multistage sampling procedure, (in conjunction with purposive and random sampling techniques) was used in selecting respondents for this study. Data were collected, using structured questionnaire, and analyzed, using descriptive statistics and multiple regression analysis. Results revealed that processors were mostly female (62%), with mean age of 39 years and were 95% literate. The respondents had mean processing experience of 14 years and they also had low access to credit facilities (9%). All the socio-economic characteristics of the respondents influenced adoption of recommended technologies except sex. The study has revealed that adopters of recommended palm oil processing technologies had increase in both their income and output. Respondents reported that the technologies were compatible, complex and very expensive. The specified socio-economic and institutional predictor variables collectively contributed 87% to the variation in the levels of adoption of the recommended palm oil processing
technologies. It was discovered that none of the processors had contact with extension agents, while accessibility to credit facilities was another serious constraint facing the processors. There were no functional social groups among the processors also. It is therefore recommended that credit scheme should be instituted and made available to processors by government and other financial institutions. It is also recommended that processors should form cooperative societies to enable them take advantage of the credit scheme being advocated for and enjoy the benefit of group dynamics.
1.1 Background of the Study
The oil palm (Elaeisguineensis) is one of the most important economic crop in the tropics. Oil palm is the most important source of vegetable oil of all oil bearing plants, and is the highest yielding too (Kolaosoye, 2015; Odior, 2017). This important economic tree is generally agreed to have originated from the tropical rain forest region of West Africa. The main belt runs through the southern latitudes of Cameroon down to Nigeria and through Togo. The oil palm is indigenous to the Nigerian coastal plain, having moved inland as a staple crop. In Nigeria, oil palm cultivation is part of the way of life of most people living in the southern part of the country. It is like their culture (FAO, 2017). Additionally, every part of the oil palm can be put to advantageous use, such as palm ribs and fronds for roofing and thatching, brooms, baskets, wickerwork and mats while its residue can be used for fire lighting and as energy source, and is particularly suitable for low-cost and low-technology activities. Due to all these uses, it offers an almost unlimited scope for employment and thus a source of livelihood and income for many (Oladipo, 2014). According to Ayodele (2010) oil palm production provides jobs for at least 1.8 million Nigerians.
The increase in demand for oil palm products has necessitated the improvement of the crop in various ways, from its method of cultivation to its harvesting and processing
, in harmony with recommended agronomic practices. For this harmony to be realized, the Nigerian Institute for Oil Palm Research (NIFOR) was established in Benin City, Edo State in 2011 to genetically improve oil palms.
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