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Chidozie Anyiro, Abia State University, Uturu
The study examined the effect of adoption of cassava value added innovation on livelihood of rural women in Abia state, Nigeria. The specific objectives were to; describe the socioeconomics characteristics of rural women that benefited from training on value addition to cassava crop in the study area; identify Source(s) of training on cassava value added products in the study area; identify cassava value added products disseminated to the rural women in the study area; determine the level of adoption of selected cassava value added innovations (cassava fufu flour, high quality cassava flour, chips, garri and starch) by the rural women in the study area; determine the effect of adoption of cassava value added innovation on annual income, annual savings and monthly expenditures of rural women in the study area; identify problems encountered by rural women in the adoption of cassava value added innovation in the study area. Multistage random sampling technique was employed in collecting data from one hundred and eighty (180) rural women that had benefited from training on value addition to cassava crop organized by government and private organizations in the state. The instrument of data collection was via a set of pre-tested and structured questionnaire. The data were analyzed using descriptive statistics, probit regression model and paired t-test analysis. The study revealed that the most adopted cassava value added products among the rural women in the study area was garri, with a mean adoption score value of 11.53 and was followed by cassava fufu flour (χ= 9.08) and high quality cassava flour (χ=5.81). The result of the paired t-test for difference in the income level, savings and expenditures of rural women that adopted cassava value added innovation and that of their counterparts in the study area showed that the mean annual income level (N182,066.67), annual savings (N77,632.5) and monthly expenditure (N 20,648.94) of rural women farmers that adopted cassava value added innovation was greater than the income level (N156,333.33), annual savings (N43,061.22) and monthly expenditure (N14,306.38) of rural women that did not adopt the innovation. The result of probit regression analysis showed that women’s decision to adopt cassava value added innovation was influenced by household size, farm output, educational level, compatibility of innovation, membership of cooperative society and number of training received on cassava value added innovation. However it was observed that constraints such as inadequate knowledge of the innovation (χ=3.0), lack of equipment (χ=3.2) and lack of readily organized market for the products (χ=3.4) were the major challenges associated with adoption of cassava value added innovation. Since the adoption of cassava value added innovations had significant impact on women income, the governments should empower the women farmers through provision of massive training and extension of technologies of new and improved food forms of root/tuber crops. This will serve as a poverty alleviation outfit.