Perceived Effect of Postharvest and Value Addition Technologies on Cocoa Farmers’ Productivity in Akwa Ibom State
AbstractThe study assessed the perceived effect of cocoa postharvest and value addition technologies in enhancing rural farmers’ productivity in Akwa Ibom State, Nigeria. Multistage sampling procedure was employed in the selection of 114 respondents. Data were generated using structured questionnaire and analysed using descriptive statistics such as frequencies and mean. Results reveal that proper harvesting (95.61%), pod breaking (97.37%), fermentation (96.49%), drying (96.49%), sorting as well as grading (93.86%), packaging and storage of cocoa beans (92.98%) were the technologies available to the farmers. They were not trained on how to make chocolate, cocoa powder and cocoa butter. There was high frequency in use of harvesting, pod breaking and drying packages and low frequency of use of fermentation and grading packages. The perceived effect of these technologies on the cocoa farmers’ productivity included reduction in quantity of waste (=3.73) improvement in quality of cocoa beans (=3.58) increased income (=3.09) increase in shelf life of produce, among others. Accessing and using these technologies were faced with such challenges as high cost of machines (100%), lack of technical knowhow (95.61%) and preference of manual processing (92.11%). The study concluded that postharvest and value addition technologies enhance farmers’ productivity. It is recommended that postharvest processes be mechanized, cost of machines for further processing and value addition to cocoa beans be subsidized and trainings on value addition be enhanced.
Keywords: Cocoa, Value addition, Technologies, Productivity.
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