ANALYSIS OF FOOD SAFETY AMONG DRIED FISH SELLERS
1.1 BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY
Value chain seems to be the keyword in recent agricultural debate often in conjunction with rural economic development and agric-business production (Entwicklung and Raum, 5/2005). According to Hoeffler, (2008) Value chain (V.C) can be described as a sequence of productive process from the provision of specific inputs for a particular product to primary production, transportation, processing, marketing and trading to the final consumer. It can also be seen as a sequence of activities that goods passes through, with value being added in each stage and actors are connected along these chains of producing, transforming, processing and bringing these goods and services to the end consumers (Fries et al, 2004). In agricultural production, value chain (V.C) is a very important concept or tool if productivity is to be maximized (Webber and Labaste, 2010) and these apply for both crop and livestock production in agriculture it also treats enterprises not as a singular entity, but as part of an integrated chain of economic functions and linkages across geographical boundaries. The concept of value chain through it analysis (value chain analysis V.C.A) also emphasizes on diverse interrelationship among market opportunities, constraints and directives at various level of the supply chain and at different levels of influence from which specific value addition takes place.
Contemporary events around the world have shown increasing concerns for the 75 percent or more people inhabiting the rural areas, this is justified by the high correlation that exists between rural living and poverty with this situation particularly aggravated in developing countries (World Bank, 1994). Nigeria as an example, is a country which agriculture is usually in the hands of many rural dwellers, and these concepts of value chain is lagging behind, this was credited in the works of (Ehinomen and Oladipo, 2012), which the Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN) in a survey carried out as part of its membership operational audit in January 2010, it recorded that of the 2780 registered members, a total of 839 (30.2%) manufacturing firms closed their factories in 2009, this was due to their inability to cope with the challenges posted by the harsh operating environment in Nigeria.
According to Eurostat, (2012) it was stated in value terms, that the EU-27’s crop output grew by 9.1 percent in 2011 to EUR 203,330 million and animal output increased by 9.9 percent to EUR 154,057 million and recently there has been a remarkable interest in livestock production. The intake of protein in Nigeria stands at 3.5g per caput per day (Ironkwe and Amefule, 2008) and this is far less than the 35g per caput per day recommended by the World Health Organization (W.H.O), this shortage of animal protein consumption is partly due to the high cost of conventional meat sources like cattle, goat, sheep (Tewe, 1999), it is therefore necessary to search for a cheaper alternative source of meat to meet the ever increasing demand for animal protein.
Pig (Sus scrofa), for instance is an animal which most livestock farmers are interested in producing in many part of the Nigeria Livestock industry, pigs have been recommended as a good alternative source of cheap, high quality animal protein that suits escalating human population like Nigeria, this makes the pig industry in Nigeria a very important arm of the livestock sub-sector in the overall agricultural sector in the economy. The interest in porcine production is based on the fact that pigs have relatively low cost of production and their growth rate is fast (Osaro, 1995), they also have short generation interval, high production potential, high prolificacy and high carcass yield, they adapt easily to environmental condition (ILCA, 1992), they are good converter of food waste to valuable products, their annual growth rate (3.8%) is higher than that of the human population (2.30-2.80%) (Ironkwe and Amefule, 2008), they also require relatively small space requirement (Babatunde and Fetuga 1990). They also elaborated that pigs are also being used for many purpose which include meat production, Cooking fat and in the production of bristle e.t.c. Pig production in Nigeria can be classified into 3 major categories based on the system of production these categories include extensive, semi-intensive and intensive system of production (Ikani and Dafwang). In the extensive system of pig production, the pigs are reared in the backyard of the farmers were they are allowed to fend for themselves, feeding on garbage and kitchen wastes. While in the semi-intensive system the farmers are interested in making economic gains and then more input are applied to add value to the products. Under this system the pigs are kept in pens and are fed both on kitchen wastes and concentrates, drugs and other things necessary for the development of the pigs are also taken into consideration. The intensive system which is not very common in Nigeria requires strict monitoring of every parameters in the production process, it is highly capital intensive, the farmers also relies fully on artificial feed (concentrate)given in their right proportion, vaccines, drugs, and every other things needed without depending on nature for any of these. This system is also called the CLOSED system of production (Devandra and Fuller, 1989).
In Nigeria today, the most common of this system production is the semi-intensive system, because of the medium capital outlay needed to start the venture (Ajala and Osuhor,2004,). It has been observed that some farmers producing pigs at the semi-intensive level, dispose (sell) their pigs when they are young (as piglet) to serve as new stocks in other farms, replace their stock or to start-up a new farm, most farmers also sell live pigs and only few sell slaughtered pig (pork meat) (ILRI 10,2011). But for profit to be maximized in pig production in Nigeria today there is still the urgent need for more value addition in pig production (Webber and Labaste, 2010). These value can be added to the final product in the production sequence as follow:- young piglets been sold or reared to maturity, slaughtered, sorted, then processed into various product (like bacon, sausages e.t.c were necessary), packaged, preserved to be sold later for future use (Bettina et al, 2006).The value of the final products that passes through this sequence will always be more than the initial value of the product (pig) itself, these will of course produce greater gain in the enterprise and greater employment of labour (Kula et al 2006).We can see from here that this will have an overall effect in the Nigeria economy, those who do not like the pig need to be educated on the advantages of pig production for local and international market in order to enhance its contribution to the Nigeria economy (Seye, 2012).
Information and communication are essential ingredients needed for effective transfer of technologies that are designed to boost agricultural production. For farmers to benefit from such technologies they must first have access to them and learn how to effectively utilize them in their farming systems and practices (Ariyo et al, 2013).This should be the function of agricultural extension agencies all over the world. These extension agencies make use of different approaches, means and media in transferring improved agricultural technologies to the end users (farmers). Mass media methods in agricultural information dissemination generally, are useful in reaching a wide audience at a very fast rate. They are useful sources of agricultural information to farmers and as well constitute methods of notifying farmers of new developments and emergencies. They could equally be important in stimulating farmers’ interest in new ideas and practices (Ani et. al. 1997). Common sources of agricultural information sources that have been used are the extension services, radio, television, magazines, newspapers and face-to-face communication. According to Statrasts, (2004) this information sources is seen as an institution or individuals that create or bring about message and the characteristics of a good information source are relevance, timelessness, accuracy, cost effectiveness reliability, usability exhaustiveness and aggregation level. Lately research institutions have embraced the modern sources of information such as Internet especially online database, journals and articles that have made information more readily accessible, accurate and timely. These modern sources have been used within research institutions and extension service units but their effectiveness in availing information to farmers have been criticized. It is thought that the modern sources of information have social, education, economic, cultural and technical constraints which limit their effectiveness in disseminating agricultural information to farmers (Bashir, 2008). It is important to disseminate agricultural information to ensure farmers have adequate knowledge and skills to address their needs and sustain production. Research institutions have a responsibility of ensuring that the information they disseminate is packaged in a way that makes it easy for the end-users to understand and to use appropriate dissemination channels that would make the information accessible to the end-users (Ghobrial and Musa, 2006).
Hence, the information supply from extension, research, education and others sources has become managed by agricultural organizations, and especially disseminated to farmers so that they can make better decisions to take advantage of market opportunities and to manage continuous changes in their production systems (Demiryurek,2010). This value chain addition sequence in pig production is either lagging behind in pig production in Nigeria or it is not put into practice maximally (UNIDO, CBN, 2010), this could be as a result of lack of proper orientation of these information sources on value chain addition in pig production.
1.2 STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM
There is growing realization that farmers can increase their income substantially, if they process and add value to their produce and information technology sources has become critical in improving the operational efficiency of the business activities to gain competitive advantage and many companies have used these information technologies (IT) as a means to achieve this objective (Lin and Shao 2006).Agriculture, which is production oriented is a field that is always in need of right information and at the right time (Dileepkumar, 2013), this means that both crop and livestock farmers should always be linked to the right information needed in the production process by adequate information sources. Agricultural information can also be seen as an important factor which interacts with the other production factors such as land, labour, capital and managerial ability, the productivity of these other factors can arguably be improved by the relevant, reliable and useful information and knowledge (Demiryurek, 2010).
Proper information needs is the life wire in every business venture in the world, which has been identified as an important and crucial variable in the developmental process (Banmeke and Ajayi, 2006). The right to information for success when not supplied can lead to the failure of any venture and these can be ascertain according to the findings of (Maningas et al, 2000), that information within the hands of the farmers means empowerment through control over their resources and decision-making processes. There is also the need to increase the level of communication between all stakeholders who have a role to play in enhancing agricultural production. Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) can help farmers improve decision-making, help agricultural planners with their work and support extension officers to help farmers better. However, current sources of information are limited, inaccurate and untimely (Horne and Stür, 2005).
The performance of Nigerian agriculture so far indicates that the farmers have neither used nor absorbed most of the technologies being introduced to them (Akande, 1999). This appears to be the case considering the findings of Yayock and Misari (1990) which showed that there existed a wide gap between farmers’ improved technology yields and farmers’ traditional technology yields. The achievement of high agricultural productivity depends on the availability and access to appropriate agricultural information.
The problem to lack of or minimal value chain addition observed in pig production in Nigeria could be linked to information technologies and information sources (information revolution) affecting competiveness (Porter and Miller, 1985). Part of the reason why farmers do not engage in value addition is that, historically the extension services has been focused on improving production and productivity (Gebremedhi et al, 2006) and abandoned the farmers after the harvest. This is why various stakeholders of agriculture need to critically analyze the information sources that are available and accessible to pig farmers and how effective they are in influencing the overall production is the direction of value addition to the final product, also the information needs of the farmers, the structure of the organizations involved in these activities are issues that need to be explored generally (Demiryurek et al, 2008) in pig production specifically.
The problem of value chain addition is a great one and emphasis on it cannot be too much at this time in the economy of this nation. This study here will provide answers to some of the questions that borders on value chain information sources in pig production in Edo and Delta states, Nigeria.
Some of the specific questions this research is poised to answer are:-
What are the socio-economic characteristics of pig farmers in the study area?
What are the information sources about value chain addition that are available and preferred by the farmers’?
How frequent do these farmers’ have access to the information sources?
What are the farm inputs used by the farmers’ and how are they sourced?
Are the farmers aware of value chain technologies, if so, are these technologies been adopted at the different value chain stages from production, processing to the marketing stage of the pigs?
What are the farmers’ perception of value chain and the level of participation of this value chain in the various stages?
What is the level of knowledge about value chain about the pig farmers’?
What constraints farmers’ to the adoption of value chain technologies?
What are farmers’ limiting factors to the access of value chain technologies sources?
What are the constraints farmers’ faces in pig production?
1.3 OBJECTIVES OF THE STUDY
The general objective of this study is the assessment of value chain information sources in pig production in Edo State and Delta states, Nigeria. To achieve this, the following specific objectives were considered:
examine the socio-economic characteristics of the pig farmers in the study area;
ascertain respondent’s available and preferred information sources about value chain;
ascertain respondent’s access to the information source;
identify the farm inputs available to respondents and how they are been sourced;
ascertain respondent level of awareness and adoption of value chain practice;
ascertain the farmer’s level of participation and the level of perception in which V.C. is practiced more
identify respondent’s level of knowledge about value chain (V.C.);
determine the constraints in sourcing value chain technologies.
identify the challenges to the adoption of value chain principles/ technologies.
identify the constraints in pig production.
1.4 RESEARCH HYPOTHESIS
The hypothesis of the study was stated in the null form and the following hypotheses were tested.
H0: There is no significant relationship between the socio-economic characteristics of the respondents and the respondents’ level of knowledge about the value chain (V.C.).
H0: There is no significant relationship between the constraints to the adoption of the V.C. principles and the V.C. practices that these pig farmers have adopted.
1.5 JUSTIFICATION/SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY
This study is necessitated by the urgent need to reduce food wastage in the country in dire need of food for her populace through value chain addition (V.C.A), in agricultural production generally and in livestock production specifically.
The study is directed to review the role of value chain addition in the socio-economic development of pig farmers in Edo state and Delta state respectively. In a developing country like Nigeria were much effort is needed to smuggle or rescue her citizens beyond the poverty border line, the significance of the study research cannot be over emphasized.
It is expected that the findings that would be gotten form the study will be beneficial to the entire socio-economic profile of pig farmers in the study area and it will be helpful to policy makers, extension agencies, extension workers and various governmental and non-governmental organization (N.G.O).
This study is also of present day relevance to encourage the efficient use of available information sources and other forms of information communication technologies (ICTs) to diffuse important knowledge in value chain addition of products, to improve the socio-economic status of the pig farmers in Edo and Delta states. Essentially, this study will hopefully add to the available liter atures useful for academic research and other related research topics.
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