Rural Women Entrepreneurial Skills in Maize Value Addition in Abeokuta Metropolis, Nigeria
- Processing machines, Rural women, Entrepreneurial skills, Maize, Value addition, Livelihood.
Maize is a common staple food for human consumption and livestock feeds. It provides employment and means of livelihood for women in both rural areas and urban centres in Nigeria. However, the entrepreneurial skills of women engaged in its value addition have not been fully enhanced. This study was conducted to look into rural women entrepreneurial skills in maize value addition in Abeokuta metropolis of Ogun State, Nigeria. Two hundred and ten respondents were selected using snow ball sampling technique. Data were analyzed with chi-square. Results revealed that fifty percent of the respondents were 31 - 40 years of age and 60% had spent 6 – 10 years in maize processing. Most (85.7%) of the respondents’ added value to maize by converting it to popcorn, 80.0% turned it to corn cake and 52.9% processed it to kokoro. Majority (88.6%) of the respondents acquired entrepreneurial skills through fellow processors and 62.9% got it from friends and neighbours. Serious constraints identified by 95.7% and 88.6% of the respondents were scarcity of raw materials during off season and ineffective preservation methods respectively. Results of chi-square revealed that significant association existed between sources of entrepreneurial trainings for the rural women and value addition at p < 0.05. The study concluded that value addition of maize is very low in the study area. It is hereby recommended that extension service providers should pay more attention to the maize processors in terms of entrepreneurial trainings for better processing and value addition of maize.