Training Needs Assessment of Palm Oil Processors in Ijebu North Local Government Area, Ogun State

Training Needs Assessment of Palm Oil Processors in Ijebu North Local Government Area, Ogun State

Titilope Omolara Olarewaju (Forestry Research Institute of Nigeria, Nigeria), Felix Oaikhena Idumah (Forestry Research Institute of Nigeria, Nigeria), Agatha Itohan Oseghale (Federal University of Technology, Minna, Nigeria), Lucy Adeteju Orumwense (Forestry Research Institute of Nigeria, Nigeria), Olugbenga Simeon Oke (Forestry Research Institute of Nigeria, Nigeria) and Elizabeth Funmilayo Okedeji (National Open University of Nigeria, Nigeria)
Copyright: © 2020 |Pages: 11
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-7998-2599-9.ch009
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The study assessed training needs of palm oil processors in Ogun State, Nigeria. A well-structured questionnaire was used to elicit information from 90 palm oil processors. The data was analyzed using both descriptive and inferential statistics. Majority of the respondents were young, married, and experienced in palm oil processing. Women are mostly involved in palm oil processing using manual method of processing with oil palm fruits sourced more from family farms. Respondents require training for manual and mechanized processing methods. Socioeconomic factors have significant influence on different stages of palm oil processing. Poor extension service, high cost of labour, and processing machine were the most perceived constraints to palm oil processing in the study area. The study therefore concludes that there is need for training in oil palm processing. Extension service providers should intensify efforts in this regard so as to boost the palm oil supply both within and outside the country.
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The oil palm sub-sector of Nigeria agriculture presented itself as a potential productive sector that could be used to diversify the economy after years of neglect. The non-participation of Nigeria in oil palm plantation development until the late 2000 and government policy on plantation development are most certainly reasons for Nigeria losing her leading position to Malaysia whose total production are export oriented (Green, 2003). Nigeria oil palm production fell, and by 1999 only 10% of the total value of the country’s annual exports remains (Bello et al., 2015). In the past, the Nigerian government had tried to implement large-scale oil palm plantations, most of which resulted in complete failures. The Cross River State palm projects of the 1960′s and the 1990′s European Union funded “Oil palm belt rural development programme” was abandoned in 1999 and reactivated in 2003 and the state governor’s intention to privatize it was announced in 2010 (WRM, 2010).

Nigeria has been “the second largest recipient of World Bank palm oil sector projects, with six projects over the 1975 to 2009 period (WRM, 2010). The palm oil from the eastern region of the country was described as being of the highest quality and the people took pride in the work of their hands. The people were so good at it that the Malaysians like the three wise oriental kings followed the scent of the palm oil to Imo state to learn the fine art of palm oil production. However, with the crude mineral oil boom, laziness and indolence took the place of hard work and dignity of labour. Agriculture suffered a setback as it was relegated to the back burner. Between 2003 and 2005 Nigeria lost her leading place in palm oil export to Malaysia and Indonesia and regained it temporarily between 2005 and 2008. In 2004, according to a report by Friends of the Earth-Netherlands, Indonesia cultivated oil palm plantations which covered 5.3 million hectares of land. These plantations generated 11.4 million metric tons of palm oil with an export value of US$ 4.43 billion and brought in $42.4 million to the Indonesian treasury (Butler, 2006). Beyond this problem, there has been a steady decline in the Nigeria’s domestic supply of palm oil.

Oil palm is appreciated by most people in the Southern part of Nigeria because of its level of utilization. Oil palm gives the highest yield of oil per unit area, compared to any other oil producing plant when processed, and it produces two distinct oils: palm oil and palm kernel oil which are of great importance in the industrial market (FAO, 2002).The two oils were once very vital to Nigeria’s export trade, as Nigeria was a leading producer of oil palm products in the world (Ibitoye et al., 2011). Loss of foreign earning as well as local scarcity is now confronting the nation due to varying quality and drudgery involved in processing of palm fruits. Processing method generally accounts for low quantity and poor quality of palm oil. Although palm oil processing methods include manual and mechanized methods, manual method of processing is more prevalent among small scale processors and these small-scale processors are responsible for the bulk of palm oil processed in Nigeria (Olagunju, 2008). Majority (80%) of palm oil processors comes from dispersed smallholders who harvest semi-wild palm fruits and use manual processing techniques, a processing technique that is labour intensive and highly inefficient, with a low palm oil extraction rate and high free fatty acid content that can be up to 30% in some instances (Orewa et al., 2009; Ugwu, 2009).

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