The Status Of Processing And Preservation Of Cereals In Nigeria

Project and Seminar Material for Food Science and Technology (FST)

The Status Of Processing And Preservation Of Cereals In Nigeria


The objectives of this study were to; described the status of cereal processing and preservation in Kaduna State.

This study utilized data collected from the large farm inputs – output survey conducted in 2000/2001 cropping season by the International Institute for Tropical Agriculture (IITA), Ibadan in collaboration with Kaduna State Agricultural Development Project (KADP). The survey was conducted in 13 local government areas of Kaduna state. The data on prices and output of cereal were collected from KADP for a period of 15 years (1990 – 2004). Other sources of secondary data were Premier Seed, Kaduna state Farmers Supply Company (FASCOM), and SARO Agrochemicals. The analytical tools used include descriptive statistics, farm budgeting technique and Multiple Regression Analysis.

The result of the socio-economic analysis shows that 44% of the farmers were between the ages of 41 and 50 years, but the average age was 46 years. While 41% had no formal education, 14% of the educated ones was through vocational schools. Average household size was 10 people and only 14% of the farmers belonged to farmers’ cooperative societies.

The study recommended that input subsidy, training of farmers, and credit facilities to boost sustainable cereal processing and preservation system in Kaduna State.

Chapter One


1.1 Background Of The Study

Of all the plant on which man has depended for his food, cereal grains are by far the most important. Since recorded history, cereal grains are the seed by cultivated grasses that include wheat, corn, 0at, barley, rye, rice, sorghum and millet.

There are a number of reasons why cereal have been important in man’s diet. They can be grown in areas with diverse climatic and soil conditions. They give yield peracre (0.4ha) as compared to most other crops and once harvested, their excellent storage stability combined with their high nutritive valuers make them most suitable for storage.

They are easy to be packaged and transported and can be used to produce a large variety of high desirable foods both for man and animals.

Cereal grains are the most important source of the world’s total food. The grains are eaten in many ways, sometimes as a paste or other preparation of the seeds more often milled and further processed into flour, starch, oil, bran, syrup, sugar, etc. They are also used to feed the animals that provide us with meat, eggs, millet, butter, cheese and a host of other foods. Cereal grains are preserved in ways which make them to last long for processing.

The total area under cereal cropping in Nigeria was estimated to be 3.0 million hectare (Lamarde, 1994). Traditionally, production ranged from 0.4 – 1.7 tonnes per hectare, but with improved methods and improved inputs, the yield could be up to 4 – 5 tonnes per hectare (Lamarde, 1994). Cereal is the most important cereal in Nigeria and is grown either as a vegetable at the backyard or on the farm (Kehinde,1997).

Throughout Nigeria, the selling of roasted and boiled cereal is a thriving business that provides employment for hundreds of thousand of young girls and women. Though the nature of employment is part time and seasonal, it nonetheless provides an important source of livelihood for the hawkers. Cereal is also widely processed into a variety of food drinks such as pap and “Kunu”.

In addition, cereal is used in making cakes such as ‘masa’. However, the predominant use of cereal in Northern Nigeria is for making ‘tuwo’. It is also the main source of energy in livestock and poultry feeds. The growing plant can be cut and made into silage or hay for the feeding of cattle and other ruminants. Thus, cereal processing and preservation gives employment to people and provides food and drinks for man and feeds for poultry and livestock.

1.2 Statement Of The Problem.

The year 2000 was set as a target date for the attainment of food self sufficiency by all African countries in the action plan agreed upon in Lagos, Nigeria (Salih, 1994). However, roughly 5 years after the deadline, little or nothing had been achieved. This failure is evident by the excess capacity in the agro industrial sector; rapid increase in food prices and the gradual resort to food importation among others.

Rapid growth in agriculture is essential for broad based economic growth, but acceleration in agricultural growth requires sound use of science and technology embodied in improved seed, fertilizer, agrochemical and other agronomic practices. However without an efficient and cost effective supply of these inputs at the farm gate, science based growth in agricultural productivity cannot be achieved. Furthermore, with the phased withdrawal of subsidies and privatisation, the input markets remained underdeveloped and fragmented and farmers do not receive good quality inputs and pay unreasonable high prices despite the fact that the private sector in Nigeria has a potential to supply agricultural inputs in a cost effective manner (IFDC, 2001).

One of the problems cited as constraining the production of cereal in Nigeria is stagnant production technology among Nigerian farming community, majority of who are small-scale producers. The reason for this could be attributed to resource productivity as studies have confirmed inefficiency in resource utilisation in both food and cash crops in Nigeria (Olagoke, 1999 and Olayide,1979).
Furthermore, the extent to which inputs supply and productivity relates to a shortfall in food demand and supply in Nigeria is not clearly understood. At the same time, the impact of factors such as the policy environment, and the availability of markets for the disposal of farm outputs is not often considered despite the fact that such factors make farmers to work harder and thus, produce higher outputs.

This study attempts to analyse the productivity of agricultural inputs in food crop production by taking the cereal crop as a case study.

1.3 Research Questions

  1. What are the status of cereal farmers in Kaduna State?
  2. What are the inputs – outputs levels in cereal processing and preservation?
  3. What are the costs and returns in cereal processing and preservation?
  4. To what extent do the prices of Agricultural inputs affect Cereal output?

1.4 Objective Of The Study.

  1. Describe the status of cereal farmers in Kaduna state.
  2. Estimate the inputs-output levels in cereal processing and preservation in Kaduna state.
  3. Determine the costs and returns and hence profitability of cereal processing and preservation in Kaduna State.
  4. Determine the effects of input prices on cereal processing and preservation in Kaduna state.

1.5 Hypothesis.

  1. Cereal processing and preservation in the state is not profitable (i.e GM=0), where GM= gross margin from the production
  2. The input prices have no effect on the level of cereal processing and preservation in the state (i.e bi≠0), where b is the regression co-efficient of the input variable.

1.6 Justification Of The Study.

Policy makers have been making frantic efforts to attract people into farming. This study is expected to provide valuable benchmark information to these new entrants on resource productivity and profitability in cereal processing and preservation so as to enable them consider its production as a viable option. As for farmers who are already cultivating the crop, the study will go a long way in providing information on ways of boosting production. In order to increase the production of cereal, sound micro and macroeconomic farm policies are needed. These require prior to their formulation, an understanding of the input prices and output relationship in cereal processing and preservation. This will obviously go a long way in generating employment opportunities for thousands of Nigerians, improve the food security status of Nigerians and most importantly, improve export and generate additional foreign exchange for the country.

Chapter Five

Summary, Conclusions And Recommendations

5.0 Summary

The broad objective of this study was to carry out an status of processing and preservation of cereal enterprise in the state. The specific objectives were to describe status of cereal farmers, determine the input – output levels, estimate costs and returns in cereal processing and preservation as well as the effects of input prices on cereal output.

The result of the socio-economic analysis showed that 44% of the farmers were between the ages of 41 and 50 years. The average was 46 years while 40% had no formal education. The average household size was 10 people while about 53% of the farmers have been producing cereal for over 25 years. Membership of Co-operative Societies was poor as only 14% of the farmers belonged to farmers Co-operative Societies. Access to bank credits was very poor with only 40% of the farmers being able to obtain bank credit.

Furthermore, it was observed that most of the farmers did not receive training on input use and application as was reflected by low percentage of people receiving training. The average inputs level wages were below recommended rates. The results of Gross Margin analysis showed that it was N13,944/ha. Fertilizer was the most prominent cost item, and it accounted for 59% of the total cost of production in the state.

In determining the effects of the input prices on cereal output in the state, the linear regression model gave the best fit to the data. The result indicates that about 59% of the variations in cereal output was accounted for by the prices of input included in the model. The prices of fertilizers and herbicides had significant effects (P= 0.05) on cereal output which suggests that they are important determinants of cereal output. The prior of seeds and herbicides were negative, suggesting that they have inverse effects on output while the price of fertilizer was positive, suggesting positive effect on output. However, the correlation result showed that all the prices have negative relationship with the output.

5.1 Conclusion

This study concluded that cereal processing and preservation in the state was profitable even though inputs levels were below the recommended rates. The input prices generally had been on the increase and this has shown weak inverse relationship with the output.

5.2 Recommendations

  1. To overcome the low participation of farmers in co-operative societies and avail themselves of the opportunities therein, farmers need to be encouraged especially now that most of the State Agricultural Programme are implemented through co- operative societies.
  2. The low input utilization by farmers may have risen from low level of education and lack of trainings on input utilisation. There is need for more training of farmer by the extension workers who need to be given greater attention by government.
  3. The percentage of farmers using credit requires that farmers should be assisted to obtain bank credit by reducing the administrative bottlenecks associated with bank loans.
  4. Government at all levels should subsidise agricultural inputs, particularly fertilizersandherbicidestoenablefarmerstouseoptimumamount.Toensurethat farmers benefit from such subsidy, government should device means for effective fertilizer distribution to reduce the negative activities of middle men.

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