Format: MS WORD | Chapter: 1-5 | Pages: 65-80 | .
PROBLEMS AND SOLUTION ON PRODUCTION AND PROCESSING OF CASSAVA
1.1 Background of the Study
Cassava (Manihot esculenta) is one of the world’s most important food crops. In Nigeria, as in most developing countries, it is one of the most important carbohydrate sources. The plant grows to a height of 1 to 3 m and several roots may be found on each plant. Although cassava leaves are sometimes consumed, the major harvested organ is the tuber, which is actually a swollen root. The plant is propagated mostly from stem cuttings. According to Tonukari (2004), cassava ranks very high among crops that convert the greatest amount of solar energy into soluble carbohydrates per unit of area. Among the starchy staples, cassava gives a carbohydrate production which is about 40% higher than rice and 25% more than maize, with the result that cassava is the cheapest source of calories for both human nutrition and animal feeding. A typical composition of the cassava root is moisture (70%), starch (24%), fiber (2%), protein (1%) and other substances including minerals (3%). A recent study on cassava shows that it accounts for about 70% of the total calories intake of more than half of the population (Nneoyi, et. al., 2008).
Since past years, cassava production and processing have been facing a lot of problems. Unfortunately, no supply chain structures exist for the commercialization of supplying cassava products as primary source of raw materials for agro-industries. At farm level, the production costs for cassava in Nigeria are high, relative to other countries, production is not oriented towards commercialization, but instead farmers produced and processed cassava as a subsistence crop (Ugwu, 2008). A major limitation of cassava production is the rapid post harvest deterioration of its roots which usually prevents their storage in the fresh state for more than a few days (Okezie and Kosikowski in Tonukari, 2004).
1.2 Statement of the Problem
The current trend in cassava production in Nigeria has put a lot of pressure on production of cassava. The Federal Government of Nigeria constituted a presidential initiative on cassava production and export aimed at raising the production level of cassava to 150 million metric tonnes by the end of 2010. The programme is also expected to assist the country realize an income of US$5.0 billion per annum from the export of 37.6 million tonnes of dry cassava products such as starch, cassava chips, adhensive and other derivatives. Apart from local demand, there is a high demand for cassava based products in foreign countries. However, the current supply of the cassava may not be able to satisfy foreign market demand (IFAD and FAO, 2005).
Some of the achievements already being recorded by the presidential initiative on cassava production and export were: organization of training workshop at the national centre for agricultural mechanization; development of equipment for the processing of various cassava products targeted for export market in collaboration with International Institute for Tropical Agriculture (IITA); production and distribution of 576,000 bundles of improved cassava cutting by the State Agriculture Development Projects (ADPs) to farmers; production/procurement of planting materials, such as breeds, foundation and certified stocks by the Root and Tuber Expansion Programme Management Unit (RTEPMU), NRCRI, Umudike and JITA; and collaboration with local communities to establish pilot cassava processing centres in each local government area of the cassava producing states for subsequent replication and adoption (Federal Republic of Nigeria, 2008).
In spite these recorded efforts made by different groups and individuals at federal, state and local government levels to increase and improve cassava production and processing in Nigeria. Has proposed increase yields translated into greater incomes of the rural farmers? It therefore becomes important to ascertain the factors constraining cassava production and processing in Enugu North Agricultural zone of Enugu State.
1.3 Objectives of the Study
The broad objective of the study is to ascertain the problems and solution on production and processing of cassava in Enugu North Agricultural zone of Enugu State, Nigeria. The specific objectives of the study included the following:
i. To ascertain constraints towards cassava production and processing.
ii. To determine the possible strategies for improving cassava production and processing in Enugu North Agricultural zone of Enugu State, Nigeria.
1.4 Research Questions
i. What are the constraints towards cassava production and processing?
ii. What are the possible strategies for improving cassava production and processing in Enugu North Agricultural zone of Enugu State, Nigeria.
1.5 Significance of the Study
This study will be of immense benefit to other researchers who intend to know more on this study and can also be used by non-researchers to build more on their research work. This study contributes to knowledge and could serve as a guide for other study.
1.6 Scope of the Study
This study is on problems and solution on production and processing of cassava. The study will be conducted in Enugu North Agricultural zone of Enugu State, Nigeria.
1.7 Limitations of the study
Financial constraint: Insufficient fund tends to impede the efficiency of the researcher in sourcing for the relevant materials, literature or information and in the process of data collection (internet, questionnaire and interview).
Time constraint: The researcher will simultaneously engage in this study with other academic work. This consequently will cut down on the time devoted for the research work.