1.1. BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY
Nigeria is the current leading cassava (Manihot esculenta Crantz) producing country in the world, but almost all the cassava produced are used for human consumption with, less than 5% used in industries (FAO, 2010a; Bokanga & Otoo, 2011; Ajao & Adegun, 2009). Cassava is consumed in boiled, baked and fried forms, in addition to various other products that are obtained from fermenting the crop. Normally cassava is processed before consumption so as to detoxify, preserve and modify them (Oyewole & Sanni, 2010; Obadina et al., 2009). The main cassava food products of considerable domestic importance in Nigeria are gari, lafun and fufu. Gari is the most known form in which cassava is eaten especially in the West Africa sub region (Ofuya & Akpoti, 2013; Ogiehor, 2010). Gari is processed by peeling the cassava root, washing, grating, followed by solid state fermentation, pulverizing and roasting (Oyewole & Sanni, 2010). Gari is a granulated, white or yellowish product; the colour depends on production methods. Gari is usually dehydrated staple food with a great swelling capacity and can soak up to four times its volume in water. As a shelf stable food it can be consumed as processed or cooked. It can also be eaten directly without cooking by soaking in water either with a variety of additives such as sugar, groundnut, fish, meat and stew or without prior to consumption (Ajao & Adegun, 2009). It can also be made into a stiff gel by mixing with hot water (Oyewole, 2011). In Nigeria, the consumption pattern varies according to ecological zones and is widely accepted in both rural and urban areas. The various forms of consumptions as snack (refreshing light meal when soaked in cold water and eaten with coconut, banana, smoked fish or peanut) and as major meal (when made into thick paste called “eba” and eaten with various types of African soups) make it the most popular diet amongst the rich and the poor, with acceptability cutting across the various socio-economic and multi ethnic groups in Africa (Ogiehor, 2010; Ogiehor & Ikenebomeh, 2012). Gari production is laborious and cumbersome. Production methods vary from one locality to another resulting in products of non uniform quality. Gari produced in Nigeria are usually packaged and stored in hessian bags. It is usually sold from open containers, polyethylene sheets or on a mat using small measures which makes it become subjected to post-process contamination. It has been recognized that certain bottleneck exists particularly in the packaging of products emanating from cassava roots. In line with this, the solution to the problem of packaging had been suggested to be polyethylene bag (Charles et al., 2015). Polyethylene is widely used as a storage material because of its good mechanical properties and low cost. However these qualities have been overshadowed by its high non-biodegradable nature, leading to waste disposal problems, particularly in short-term packaging applications (Sailaja & Chanda, 2016). The producers of gari go about the storage and packaging of this product in a non-scientific way (Oyelade et al., 2016) using hessian bags and transparent plastic polyethylene sheets. An advantage of the plastic film is that the product is visible and thus makes the checking of the content easier. The products may however look alright from outside, while its quality may be musty and completely bad when it is touched. This is an indication that faulty storagecan conveniently undo all that a food processor has attempted to accomplish by the most meticulous method of manufacturing practice (Fedrica, 2016). Gari which is hygroscopic in nature is a major constraint to its keeping quality. The use of hessian bags by the local producers of gari for its packaging is due to the fact that the material is cheap, readily available and durable. The appropriate storage methods also have ease of bulk storing and movement of products with little or no attention paid to the quality of products stored. The bag is not moisture resistant or airtight and as such gari which is naturally hygroscopic makes the use of hessian bag grossly inadequate. Gari preserved in hessian bag in a humid atmosphere can soak sufficient moisture making them vulnerable to microbial growth. The absorption of moisture by dehydrated products generally leads to microbial growth, change in color, odor and taste, caking, etc, thereby reducing the quality and market value of products. The presence of fungal and other microbial growths in gari may lead to food poisoning when consumed. The shelf-life of stored gari will largely depend on the temperature, relative humidity, moisture content and thus the water activity (aw) of the material when packed, for they determine the rate of microbial and physico-chemical deterioration (Igbeka, 2008, Ijabadeniyi 2007). Hence, the necessity to examine the economics of appropriate storage methods to effectively provide complete protection of the dehydrated products against moisture, light, air, dust, micro flora foreign odour and animal pests. The storage materials also should provide strength and stability required to maintain the original properties of products through storage, handling and marketing. The objective of this work is to evaluate the economics of appropriate storage methods of garri in patani L.G.A
1.2. STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM
Garri is the most popular form in which cassava (Manihot esculenta Crantz) is consumed by several millions of people in the African continent, especially in the West Africa sub region (Ofuya and Akpoti; 2013; Ogiehor, 2010). Garri production is laborious and cumbersome. Production methods vary from one locality to another resulting in products of non-uniform quality. Post process handling practices such as spreading on the floor, display in open bowls in the market and sales points and the use of various packaging materials to haul finished products from rural to urban areas may exacerbate contamination. Considering the cumbersome nature of production process, there is need for appropriate storage soa s to have the finished products to cities where large buyers live, the importance of garri in dietary intake and the need to meet the increasing international demand, the evaluation and identification of adequate storage materials that will keep the overall quality of garri during distribution and at the point of consumption becomes imperative. This work was designed to evaluate the economics of appropriate storage methods of garri.
1.3 AIMS OF THE STUDY
The major aim of the study is to examine the economics of appropriate storage methods of gari in Nigeria. Other specific objectives of the study include;
1.4 RESEARCH QUESTIONS
1.5 RESEARCH HYPOTHESES
H0: There is no significant impact of appropriate storage methods on availability of garri in the study area
H1: There is a significant impact of appropriate storage methods on availability of garri in the study area
H0: There is no significant relationship between appropriate storage methods and availability of garri in the study area.
H1: There is a significant relationship between appropriate storage methods and availability of garri in the study area.
1.6 SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY
This research work is necessary as it will guide processors and the potential processors in the adoption of appropriate storage methods that will make for delivery of high quality and sustainable quantity of garri to the consumers. Knowledge of a more viable method will also help in the proper allocation and re-allocation of resources which will enhance efficiency and productivity. It is hoped that the findings would be a guide to agricultural engineers in the choice, design and fabrication of storage tools and equipment suitable. This study will help processors to understand the costs and returns accrued to them, how the returns can be improved leading to a better standard of living thereby alleviating poverty. It will also bring into lime light health implications and dangers associated with various storage methods. Finally, the empirical findings and suggestions based on the study will be of help to policy makers and to interested research scholars as useful reference point.
1.7 SCOPE AND LIMITATION OF THE STUDY
The study is restricted to economics of appropriate storage methods of garri in Patani L.G.A in delta state.
LIMITATION OF THE STUDY
Financial constraint: Insufficient fund tends to impede the efficiency of the researcher in sourcing for the relevant materials, literature or information and in the process of data collection (internet, questionnaire and interview)
Time constraint: The researcher will simultaneously engage in this study with other academic work. This consequently will cut down on the time devoted for the research work.
1.8 DEFINITION OF TERMS
Storage: Is the act of safekeeping of the quantity and quality of an agricultural material so as to prevent them from deterioration for a specific period of time beyond their normal shelf life.
Garri: is a staple food prepared from the roots of cassava (Manihot esculenta Crantz).
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