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PROBLEMS AND PROSPECTS OF ESTABLISHING A SMALL SCALE GARRI PROCESSING FACTORY AT UGBENE IN ABAKPA, ENUGU
With the coming of the colonial masters in 18th century, a lot of other varieties of food were introduced to theNigeria populace. These include rice, beans, millet, corn, garri gaborn, plantain and garri.
Cassava inNigeriacan also serve as a source of foods such as Abacha, Garri, Pounded foofoo. Before the introduction of garri, yam was the major staple food consumed by our rural dwellers in Southern part ofNigeria. Later, pounded cassava foofoo is now competing with yam inNigeria. Early seventies (70’s), garri has gained prominence as the most staple food consumed by both the urban and rural dwellers.
There is no gain saying the fact that cassava, which can be converted into a variety of food items ranging from garri to pounded foofoo is a must dominant food crop inNigeria. There is no doubt, therefore, that there is adequate supply and a strong demand for cassava processing industries inNigeria.
For the purpose of this study, therefore, we shall at the outset, look at the problem inherent in establishing small scale garri processing industry with particular reference to Ugbene in Abakpa, East Local Government Area of Enugu State. It is actually true that the Federal Government of Nigeria through various programmes initiated has shown concern over the establishment of cottage industries inNigeriabut these programme initiatives were more often than not still born due to the number of problems which we may wish to throw a little light on.
I n proposing establishment of a garri processing industry in Ugbene, one has to bear in mind the fact that majority of our rural dwellers are financially handicapped and are therefore in capable of providing the much needed initial capital for the purchase of machinery and materials needed for the setpoff of this project.
Another problem associated with this capital-intensive project is the issue of total lack of infrastructural facilities, which include among others good roads, electricity, water etc.
It is to be borne in mind that Ugbene inEnuguis a rural area that is jost revolving into an urban area because of high rate of rural urban drift. Until such a time when the area begins to enjoy these amenities the idea of establishing a garri processing industry, these may look unpromising.
The acid test for the measurement of the efficiency of any market outfit that is, its profit margin and acceptability by the Nigerian populace or individuals or customers who patronize the products of such a market oriented outfit.
In this regard, we have to consider the availability of cultivatable land in the area, as the garri processing industry cannot depend entirely on those customers who would bring their product for processing. The industry must be prepared to engage in cultivation and planting of cassava in order to survive the test of time.
In every trade the services of professionals cannot just be warned off easily. There must be trained and equipped hands who would be able to manage the factory and offer the professional and technical expertise ranging from maintenance of plant and machinery to development and training of skills. It is common knowledge that most Nigerian enterprises are manned by mediocre and opportunists and fortune sectors. This has given rise to high rate of failure in our industrial endeavours. This has to be taken note of in considering the establishment of a garri processing industry at Ugbene.
However, small the industry may be, it has to make use of banking facilities and therefore the proximity or nearness of a bank is another factor that has to be looked into. The industry must be in a position to make available such services like advances, loans and other forms of credit facilities offered by the bank.
So far for the problems, the future does not look all that bad. With the present scheme of things and the Federal Government renewed efforts towards this venture nation wide, we may have a sigh of relief. As part of government efforts, it has directed through the Agricultural Credit guarantee Scheme that all commercial banks lay aside six (6) percent of their portfolio to be loaned to farmers. Over N100m is now provided for large and small scale farmers through commercial bank (Ijere 1992).
As for technical assistance the industries Development Centres, form the base for providing supporting services to small scale industries.
Apart from providing such services, government is also prepared to make land available to small scale industries in their renewed efforts to promote development of cottage industries.
Industrial layouts have been laid out in most environs including Ugbene for such endeavours.
We shall not mince words in saying that Ugbene is fast growing in population and as a result there is ready market for its products. It today boasts teeming population which depend mostly on cassava and other allied. Meanwhile, Nigeriacontinued to supplement their annual food requirement through the importation. Consequently, food import bills have soared from about N72m in 1973 to N2.0 billion in 1981 and rising astronomically to N5.1 billion in 1992. Nigeria imported 6.8 percent of its total national food requirement in 1976.
To arrest the declining trend in agricultural prochretion, Operation Feed the Nation (OFN) programme was introduced by Obasanjo and was launch in 1976 to achieve the following:
I) Mobilize the nation towards self-sufficiency and self-reliance in food production.
II) To encourage, stimulate and facilitate the utilization of our indigenous resources in food production. The programme ran its courses with nothing concrete to show but rather a worsening food situation during the period of the programme.
In 1981, the Federal Government also launched another agricultural programme called the Green Revolution (GR) and Obasanjo introduced this programme. The main objective of the Green Revolution (GR) like OFN was the attainment of Self-reliance and Self-sufficiency in food requirement. Like its predecessors, the programme also failed. In 1986, the Federal Military Government established the National Directorate of Employment (NDE) and this programme were introduced by Babangida and was meant to achieve other objectives, this is to reduce the level of unemployment in the country, and its aim, is to encourage school leavers to engage in agriculture.
To conclude this segment we can confidently say that the problems associated with this endeavour are not insurmountable. The prospects so far outweigh the problem. In the subsequent chapters, we shall through our research, find the proms and cons of the endeavour.
1.1 BACKGROUND TO THE STUDY
In study, Mr. U. C. Anyanwa garri processing factory reveals what is the problems and prospects of garri processing factory at Ugbene in Abakpa, Enugu, East and why all the efforts aimed at increasing food production has not yielded desired result.
Mr. U. C. Anyanwa’s factory is situated atNo. 17 Ugbene Road, Near Liberty Bus Stop, Abakpa,Enugu. He started the business operation as far back as 1974. The initial take off capital was eighteen thousand naira (N18,000.00) including land and building.
1.2 OBJECTIVES OF THE STUDY
The main objectives of the study among other things are as follows:
- To assess some of the agricultural policies of the government especially in the area of cassava production.
- To establish the causes of failure of these policies to achieve the aims for which they were implemented.
- To determine the extent to which garri processing satisfies the need of the people.
- To examine the problem militating against adequate garri processing at Ugbene in Abakpa inEnuguand in the country.
- To examine the prospects of adequate garri processing and general market potential.
- To suggest ways of increasing garri processing in the country.
1.3 SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY
This topic is very important in so many respects:
- Meanwhile, its findings will explain why food production, especially garri processing, is still small relative to food requirement of Nigerians. In spite of the government effort to increase food production the level of its output continues declining. The research findings will be useful to the government in formulating future policies that will be very effective in addressing the problem.
- Furthermore, these research findings will be useful to food producers in the country. In examining the process of garri processing including the techniques used in this difficult activity. The findings will therefore make the processors see the need to adopt modern techniques of garri processing. This will not only increase their output but also their income, and subsequently the standard of living.
- Again, the research findings will establish the prospects of garri processing in the country. Given the potentials market of this food stock in the country, the findings will be useful to investors and potential investors in the industry. The rising population and the consequent increasing number of consumers will ensure an effective market for the product as will be shown by the research findings. In the other hand, exporters will see the need to encourage garri processing in the country in order to increase the level of its output. This will in turn boost the economy of this nation. To conclude, other students who may wish carry out a related study in the future can use the findings, the data and information in this study will provide material for such studies.
1.4 SCOPE AND LIMITATION OF THE STUDY
The scope of this study covers garri processing industry at Ugbene in Abakpa,Enugu. Moreover, for practical purpose, a sample of the population is shown. The study is concentrated on Mr. U. C. Anyanwa Processing industry. The researcher encountered some limitations in carrying out this study.
First of all, there is scarcity of up-to-date data on garri processing activities in the country. Information on the past studies was inadequate. Consequently, the researcher used the data generated through pilot survey.
Second instance, the researcher encountered financial constraints. If he had much money at his disposal, he could have made this study more extensive by enlisting the assistance of other numerous garri processors in and outsideEnuguState.
Thirdly, the major constraints of the researcher are the inability of the respondent to supply needed information in the questionnaire. Others are nonchalant attitude of the respondents to the researcher. Meanwhile, the researcher employed persuasion and conviction to elicit answers.
In conclusion, there is a lot of time constraints. The study was carried out at a time when other academic work, placed much demand on the researcher. Consequently, the researcher also shared the available time between the study and other academic work. Hence, limited time was used in carrying out the study.
1.5 RESEARCH HYPOTHESIS
The following hypothesis are formulated based on the research objectives:
- Hypothesis I:
Ho: Inadequacy of capital does not militate against establishment or
expansion of agrri processing industries.
Hi: Inadequacy of capital militate against the establishment or
expansion of garri processing industries.
- Hypothesis II:
Ho: The government does not give adequate incentive for the
establishment or expansion of garri processing industries.
Hi: The Government gives adequate incentive for the establishment and expansion of garri processing industries.
- Hypothesis III:
Ho: There are no prospects for the establishment and expansion of garri processing industries at Ugbene, Abakpa, Enugu Metro polis.
Hi: There are prospects for the establishment and expansion of garri processing industries at Ugbene, Abakpa, Enugu Metropolis.