Perspective of Policy Interventions in Rice and Cassava Value Chain Among Women in Nigeria

Perspective of Policy Interventions in Rice and Cassava Value Chain Among Women in Nigeria

Eleojo Grace Adejo (Kogi State University, Anyigba, Nigeria), Olusola Jamiu Saliu (Kogi State University, Anyigba, Nigeria) and Patrick Emmanuel Adejo (Kogi State University, Anyigba, Nigeria)
Copyright: © 2020 |Pages: 24
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-7998-2599-9.ch008
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Abstract

The study investigated trends in rice grain and cassava tuber value addition through processing. Among the staple foods in Nigeria, rice and cassava have gained special prominence and priority attention by the government in terms of their production and value addition. The result indicated that the rice and cassava value chain is affected by different policy regimes. It was also found that women in the north central of Nigeria participated actively in rice and cassava value addition with some challenges. It is recommended that women processors of these commodities should have access to productive resources that can help add value to these commodities, training women on improved value added technologies and innovations by both public and private organizations, and most importantly, making these innovations and technologies affordable, adoptable, and adaptable will go a long way to boost their value added on these commodities through processing.
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Introduction

Nigeria is the world’s largest cassava producer and Africa’s largest rice importer until the recent embargo on importation of rice by the Federal Government Nigeria which has triggered local rice production and consumption. The development of an improved value chain on these crops will result in investment on additional processing facilities so that marketable surpluses can be pushed to women processors and farmers to reduce post-harvest losses thereby increasing farm income. Value addition can help farmers to claim part of the unexplored profit going unclaimed in the manufacture of food, fiber and industrial or other product from agricultural produce (Kehinde & Aboaba, 2016). Therefore, value addition in the production and processing of rice or cassava implies all the activities, processes or strategies and distribution of rice which in one way or the other contribute to benefit/ utility maximization (Ugwu, Mgbakor & Chitor, 2014). Under the Agricultural Transformation Agenda (ATA), the Government of Nigeria has expressed its determination to end the era of food imports, particularly rice, and develop cassava and rice value chains to produce and add value to these selected products and create domestic and export markets for farmers (FAO, 2018). Recently, Agricultural Promotion Policy (APP) was put in place to building on success from the ATA and has the following four key areas; food security, import substitution, job creation, and economic diversification (Odunze, 2019). However, diversification and transformation of the economy of Nigeria can only be actualized by initiating a business environment right from the farm to the other stages of the value chain especially the area of processing raw commodities into preservable and consumable forms.

It is on this premise that the study focus on the analysis of value addition through the processing of rice and cassava by women farmers in the country. On this note, the following specific objectives abound:

  • 1.

    Review the trends in rice and cassava production in three policy regimes in the country;

  • 2.

    identify the indigenous and improved value addition technologies adopted by women farmers on the selected crops within these policy regimes;

  • 3.

    identify constraints militating against value addition activities in Nigeria.

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Significance Of The Study

The importance of women participation in the post-harvest management of crops cannot be over emphasized. Especially in recent times, when the concept of value addition in the agricultural sector of Nigerian economy has been given priority by both government and non-governmental organizations towards improving the income of the rural communities particularly among the women folk.

Nigeria has a highly diversified agro-ecological condition which makes it possible for the production of a wide range of agricultural products. Despite Nigeria’s potential competitive advantage of favorable agro-ecological and natural conditions in several agricultural commodities (including roots and tubers, cereals and legumes, tree crops and livestock), past and present agricultural policies and programmes have not been able to adequately and significantly address the constraints faced by small-scale farmers (Onwualu, 2012). Small-scale farmers in Nigeria are still confronted with, among other problems, poor access to modern inputs and credits, poor agricultural infrastructure, inadequate access to markets, land and environmental degradation (Mgbenka & Mbah, 2016).

Agriculture is a sector with room for significant productivity improvements, especially through agro-industry and agro-processing, given that the African market has accounted for 50% of growth in processed food exports from African countries since 2000 (Spore, 2018).

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