The influence of value addition on the profitability of cassava production among farmers in Alito Sub-County, Kole District
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The study aimed at assessing the influence of value addition to the profitability of cassava production among farmers in Alito sub-county, Kole District. The specific objectives were to: i) identify the various methods of cassava value additions and cassava value added products in the area. (i) determine the influence of income attributed to cassava value additions in the area. (ii) assess the constraints facing cassava value addition in the study area. A total of 60 respondents were involved in this study and out of these 43.3% were male and 56.7% were female. These were selected by random sampling so as to avoid selection bias in the study. Data was collected using a structured questionnaire and key informants interviews guides. This data was coded and entered into SPSS (version 16.0) computer software for analysis. Quantitative data was analyzed using simple descriptive and linear regression model which was used to analyze the extent to which value addition can influence the profitability of cassava production. Results show that age of the farmer significantly influences the gross margin realized from cassava with a P value = 0.007. A unit change in the age of the farmer reduces the gross margin 0.191 per unit. Age has a negative relationship with the gross margin. Household size significantly explains the variation in the profitability of cassava enterprises (P=0.003).Therefore, a unit increase in the number people in a household reduces the profitability of the cassava enterprise by 0.141 per unit. This may be due to the fact that a large family size consumes more food reducing on the quantity of cassava sold. Cassava value addition has a significant impact on the profitability of cassava enterprises (P = 0.042). Adding value to cassava increases the gross margin by 230.777 Uganda shillings therefore it has a positive relationship with the gross margin. Access to training has a positive significant relationship with the gross margin and this influences the variation in the gross margin (P = 0.005). Farmers who have access to training and increase on their profitability by 0.097 per unit. The challenges that cassava farmers face during value addition of cassava with the majority of the farmers have limited knowledge at 48.3% followed by inadequate machines used for cassava processing at 46.7% and rainy season at 5% least affects them in the drying process of cassava causing damage in form of rotting. It is recommended that government intervention modernizing smallholder cassava cultivation and the small-scale processing through improved technology, provision of extra extension services for knowledge and skills, subsidizing of farm inputs at affordable costs to reduce total costs and encouraging investors to increase on the technology for value addition.