CHAPTER SIX: INSTITUTIONS IN MICRO AND SMALL AGRO – ALLIED PROCESSING ENTERPRISES: IMPLICATIONS FOR POVERTY ALLEVIATION IN EBONYI STATE, NIGERIA.

6.0             Summary, Conclusion and Recommendation
6.1             Summary:
The research on institutions in Micro/Small Agro-Allied processing Enterprises and implications on Poverty Alleviation in Ebonyi State was carried out.  Two hundred and sixty-four (264) respondents out of 270 targeted respondents, from nine (9) Local Government Areas of the state supplied the data and information.  The collection of data for the study was through the use of structured questionnaires/interview schedules distributed to micro/small processors of Cassava, Rice, Oil Palm Fruits enterprises and project officers in some selected Banks.  Related Government Ministries, Parastatals, Agencies and Non Governmental Organisations (NGOs) also supplied information.  Data analysis involved the use of descriptive statistics, cross-tabulation, multiple regression model, likert scale technique, impact assessment model and use of factor analysis.  The major findings of the research include:


i.          The related institutions in Agro-Allied Micro/Small Processing Enterprises in the State comprised Government Ministries, Parastatals and Agencies.  Non Governmental Organisations, Community Based Organisations, Business and Processing Associations and International Donor Agencies assisted micro/small agro-processing enterprises in the State.

Some Banks were interviewed through their project officers to ascertain their role in agro-processing enterprises.  Twenty percent (20%) of the banks had less than 10% of their loanable fund for micro/small agro processing while 40% had between 51 – 70%, with a mean of 37%.  The first category of banks were the commercial banks while those that allocated higher percentage of their loanable fund were the Agricultural Cooperative and Rural Development Banks (ACRDB), Community and Micro Finance Banks.  However only 8% of the funds for agro-processing enterprises was actually disbursed due to lack of satisfactory collaterals by the processors.

Socio-economic attributes of the Entrepreneurs show that none of them was less than 20 years.  Majority of them 44% was in the age bracket 41 – 50 years with a mean age of 44 years.  There was no significant difference between the ages of the processors in the three enterprises.  Majority 44% had between 6 – 10 persons in their household with a mean of 9 persons and there was no significant difference between the family size of the processors in the three enterprises.  Ninety-two percent (92%) of the processors were married.  Majority 31% had between 1 – 6 years of schooling while 14% did not go to formal school.  Mean level of education was nine (9) years with significant difference in the three enterprises.  Rice processing enterprises had more people who had primary and secondary school education, followed by Cassava processors and lastly by those in Oil Palm Fruit processing.   Majority of the processors 85% spent between 1 – 2 years in acquiring skill with 2 years as the mean.  There was a significant difference in the years of skill acquisition for the three enterprises.  Some processors in Cassava processing did not have any formal training while 3% and 5% of the Oil Palm Fruit and Rice processors stayed more than four (4) years respectively to acquire skill before starting their own enterprise.  Thirty-nine percent (39%) spent between 6 – 10 years in processing.  Mean years in processing is 12 years with no significant difference in the enterprises.  Enterprise characteristics indicate that 64% and 36% of male and female processors respectively were engaged in micro/small agro-processing enterprises and there was a significant difference between the genders engaged in the three enterprises.

Ninety-five percent (95%) of the respondents live in the rural areas while 5% live in urban setting or township.  Majority of the entrepreneurs 46% had farming as their primary occupation.  Majority of the enterprises 34% had been in existence for a period between 6 – 10 years with a mean of 11 years.  Out of the 264 processors, 28% registered their businesses while 72% did not.  None of the entrepreneurs registered with Corporate Affairs Commission while 55% and 23% registered with Local and State Government respectively.  Majority of the processors 58% started their business with their own capital saved over the years.  Thirty-one percent (31%) obtained loan while 69% of the respondents did not.  Out of those who obtained loan, 35% and 65% accessed loan from formal and non formal sources respectively.  There was no significant difference between those who obtained loan in the three enterprises.  It was equally observed that there was no significant difference between those who obtained loan either from formal or informal credit sources.  Majority 49% of those who obtained loan, got between N51,000 – N100,000 with a total mean of N72,972 with no significant difference between the amount of loan obtained by the three processing enterprises.  Majority 53% of the processors lived in rural areas where there were no banks.  Fifty-six percent (56%) did not belong to any organisation while 27% belonged to only one organisation and this was in the majority with a mean number of one (1).  There was no significant difference in the number of organisations processors belonged to.

They belonged to farmers associations, local processing groups, community based organisations etc.  Majority of the processors 53% had between N10,000 – N50,000 as the size of their working capital with a mean size of N68,936.  There was a significant difference in the size of working capital, with Rice processing ranking highest (N85,762) followed by Cassava processing (N74,029) and Oil Palm Fruit processing (N43,059).  Forty-three percent (43%) of the processors had between N11,000 – N30,000 as their monthly revenue with total mean revenue of N33,379.  There was a significant difference in the three enterprises with Rice processors having the highest mean monthly revenue of N45,633 as against N30,109 and N23,900 for Cassava and Oil Palm Fruit processors respectively.  Majority of those who had processing equipment 31% had equipment which have lasted between 11 – 15 years with mean years of usage of 9 years.  Majority 45% of the processors had equipment which cost between N10,000 – N50,000 with a total mean of N86,915 for the three enterprises.  There was a significant difference in the cost of equipment with Rice processing having the highest N138,338, followed by Cassava processing N79,030 while Oil Palm Fruit processing had N37,249.  It was observed that 45% of the processors engaged 4 – 6 workers with mean number of employee of 4 persons.  There was no significant difference in the number of workers in the three enterprises.  Sixteen percent (16%), 87%, 35%, and 33% of the processors had no fulltime, apprentice, casual workers and unpaid workers respectively.  Mean number of fulltime, apprentice, casual and unpaid workers was 1, less than 1, 1 and 2 persons each respectively.  This implies that they were very few apprentices.  Out of the 264 processors, 66 representing 25% received assistance for enterprise development.  Out of this, 44% got loans and grants while 12% and 4% had access to acquisition/allocation of Business land space and processing equipment respectively. 

ii.         The coefficient of determination (R2) resulting from regression analysis on the influence of socio-economic characteristics of the respondents on the amount of financial resources obtained from both formal and informal credit institutions was 76% and considered a good fit.  The F – test value of 3.868 was statistically significant at 99% (0.008) level of confidence.  Durbin – Watson value of 1.309 showed no sign of autocorrelation and from inter-correlation matrix, there was no serious problem of multicollinearity.  The relationship between the socio-economic characteristics of the processors and the amount of financial resources (credit) obtained from credit institutions shows that years spent in school was significant at 10% but had negative influence.  Working capital and value of enterprise were significant at 10% and 5% respectively with positive influence.  Inter-correlation matrix showed that Age of Entrepreneur and length of years in processing had 76%.  This is expected considering the fact that the length of years in business would normally reflect on the age of the enterprise owner.

In the second regression analysis, the dependent variable was level of Assistance received from Government and Non-Governmental Organisation (NGOs) in percentages while the dependent variables were the same socio-economic characteristics as in the first regression analysis.  Non of the functional forms proved a good fit and all the variables were not significant.  Consequently a stepwise regression selection was adopted.  Result obtained gave a coefficient of determination (R2) of 86%.  The F – value of 84.739 was significant at 99% (0.000) level of confidence.  Gender of enterprise owner and working capital were significant at 5% and 1% respectively but with negative influence.

Number of workers and value of enterprise had positive influence and were significant at 5% and 1% respectively.  Other variables were not significant for getting assistance from Government agencies and Non Governmental Organisations (NGOs).  Inter-correlation matrix showed that working capital of enterprise and value of enterprise had 87% while age of equipment and length of years in business had 70%.  It should be expected because the higher the working capital, the higher the value of enterprise and the higher the age of equipment, the more the number of years in business.

iii.       On the influence of institutions on the establishment and development of processing enterprises, results showed that 52% of the roads were not accessible during the rainy seasons, 50% of the processors had no regular water supply while 58% did not have electricity in their communities.  Thirty-two percent (32%) reported that their health facilities were not functional while 16% did not have health facilities at all in their communities.  Ninety-five percent (95%) and 53% did not have telephones and banks respectively in their localities.  Seventeen percent (17%) agreed that they had mechanized processing equipment while 15% had equipment tool repairers.  Fifty-three percent (53%) had enough land for farming and processing, 93% and 67% reported that they had functional primary and secondary schools respectively in their communities.  Many facilities that were available were not functional.  Thirty-two percent (32%) and 94% of the processors provided their own electricity and water due to inadequate supply of these amenities by Government.

Likert scale analysis showed that Banking Institutions and Electricity supply had little or no influence on the establishment and development of micro/small Agro-Allied Processing Enterprises in the State.

iv.        In testing the hypothesis to ascertain if there were any significant difference in the levels of access to institutional facilities by male and female processors, it was shown that there was significant difference between male and female processors in their educational status, source of loan, membership of processing associations, acquisition of land, availability of raw materials, mechanization of equipment, ownership of bank account and registration of enterprise.  There was no significant difference between the genders in credit acquisition, membership of cooperatives, adequacy of processing equipment, access to training, application to bank for credit and availability of market for product disposal.  Thirty-seven percent (37%) of female entrepreneurs suggested that for the improvement and expansion of their enterprises, that credit be provided by Government, 34% and 19% asked for Government’s assistance with favourable policies and improved/mechanized equipment that are female friendly respectively, while 5% suggested that adequate training and skill acquisition be extended to them.

v.         Thirty-three percent (33%) of the processors affirmed that they experienced low performance in their business and attributed one of their major problems as low capital outlay with 22%.  Other reasons for low performance included high cost of raw materials 16%, competition arising from modern products 10%, lack of skill for new processing methods, high cost of labour, multiple taxes by Government had 9% each.  Other reasons included low demand for product 8%, general poor infrastructure 7% and malfunctioning amenities 5%.  However, 66% agreed that the following factors influenced the growth of their business and they included high demand for product 26%, easy access to input and output market 13% and 11% respectively, cheap labour 9%, improved equipment (technology) 8%, easy access to cheap capital 7%, low input cost 6% and improved extension services 3%.  Due to improvement in their enterprises, 40% injected more capital into their businesses, 29% acquired more improved equipment, 3% hired more labourers, 4% opened more braches while 2% diversified into more products.

Influence of the enhanced income on family and business showed that 19% fed well, 18% used it for their children’s school fees, 15% for hospital bill while 10% fulfilled their social obligations.  The least they could achieve was to save money in bank and build/renovate house(s) which had 3% and 2% respectively.  It was observed that Rice processing had the most impact on their families and business, which was followed by Cassava and Oil Palm Fruit processing.  Thirty percent (30%) impacted on their neighbourhood by the sale of their product to the public, 24% created employment, 22% purchased diesel/petrol/engine oil from sellers, while patronage on spare part dealers and equipment repairers had 5% each respectively.  It was observed that the effect of business on self-esteem of the entrepreneurs was very low.  The level of processing was not sufficient to give impetus to their self image.  Thirty-three percent (33%) helped the less privileged, 28% contributed to community development, 25% became richer while 9% particularly female entrepreneurs participated in decision making in their families.  Less than 2% was active in politics.  In comparison with the contributions of other people in the society, their business did not boost their self worth.  Their contribution to their communities was negligible and unnoticed, therefore they lacked self-esteem.

vi.        In testing hypothesis III to know respondents’ perception of the relationship between access to institutional facilities and implication on poverty reduction, all the facilities were highly significant.  To determine the degree of acceptance, a Likert Scale Analysis showed that creation of friendly access to credit had the first position.  Improvement on safety and security, Improvement in Public Transport Service, Quality of Infrastructure, Provision of Vocational Training Opportunity, Improvement in Attitude of local officials followed in descending order of importance.  Provision of Permanent market Stores, Improvement in the performance of National Directorate of Employment (NDE), National Poverty Eradication Programme (NAPEP), Creation of Industrial Estate for Small Scale Entrepreneurs and Reduction of Taxes were at the tail end of the priority list.  It therefore becomes imperative that there be improvement in these facilities in order to reduce the poverty level in the State.

vii.      Varimax rotated factor matrix identified six factors as hindrance to micro/small agro-processing enterprises development:  There are as follows:
·        Inappropriate and High Cost of Equipment which include inappropriateness of Equipment to available infrastructure, production need, workers’ skill and high cost of equipment
·        The second inhibiting factor is Sustainability and Business Environment issue which has variables such as high cost of getting justice, long time of getting justice, Non availability of training, lack of labour, scarcity of raw materials and tenure insecurity.
·        Socio-infrastructural issue has to do with physical infrastructure and social amenities.  There include high cost of infrastructure, poor availability of infrastructure, poor healthcare delivery and high cost of public transport.
·        Economic or financial issue deals with lack of fund and high cost of credit.
·        Marketing issue has variables such as lack of market network information, competitions, inadequate business space and increasing cost of rental.
·        Government Policy issue includes tax collectors’ harassment/demand for gratification, inconsistency of Government Policies, too many taxes/high taxes and non linkage to relevant bodies.

6.2             Conclusion:
Ebonyi State is agrarian in nature and there is need for industrial development of the food sector to cope with the ever-increasing population and poverty reduction among the rural people.  Agricultural production without concomitant processing, preservation and storage leads to waste.  It therefore becomes imperative to develop viable micro/small agro-allied processing enterprises and achieve sustainable increase in value addition of those crops with comparative advantage in the State.  However, a gap in knowledge seems to exist on the performance of institutions to the establishment and development of micro/small agro-allied processing enterprises in the State.  The research has tried to bridge the gap by examining the influence of institution to the development of these enterprises.

The study attempted to assess some effects of institutions on the performance of micro/small agro-allied processing enterprises and their impact on poverty reduction.  The study has equally identified constraints to enterprise survival and proffered suggestions to both Government and Processors.  The constraints militating against effective performance of the enterprises were viewed in two dimensions – constraints resulting from the socio-economic status of the processors and Government’s inability in the provision of basic infrastructure and conducive environment for enterprise growth and poverty alleviation.  These constraint constitute serious issues and it is expected that strict adherence to the suggestions would transform Ebonyi State micro/small agro-processors from subsistence level to commercially or business oriented entrepreneurs that could meet the requirement in terms of quantity and quality of their products for national and international markets.

Consequently, this would enhance their socio-economic status with multiplier effect on the livelihood indices of the rural populace thereby reducing the rate of rural – urban migration and alleviating poverty in the State.  This obviously is a right step in the direction of rural development and poverty reduction and is in line with the realization of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and the Seven Point Agenda of the State Government.

The result of this study will be used for advocacy concerning the need to improve institutional performance to agro-processing development and linkage with farm production for its sustainability.  The result is expected to aid Government Policy Makers, Research Scholars, Financial Institutions, Industrialists and Rural Development Experts formulate the best policies for economic and industrial development of the State.

6.3             Recommendations:
Based on the findings and conclusion, recommendations are divided into two broad parts; Recommendation to Government and to Agro-Allied Processors.

6.3.1       Recommendation to Government:
a.       The most important problem of the agro-processors was lack of finance.  As a result, it is recommended that Government should empower Nigerian Agricultural Cooperative and Rural Development Bank (NACRDB), Micro-Finance Institutions and Agencies like National Poverty Eradication Programme (NAPEP), National Directorate of Employment (NDE), Small and Medium Enterprises Development Agency of Nigeria (SMEDAN) etc for enhanced efficiency and improve support for Agro-Allied Processors.  The Micro Finance Institutions and NACRDB should have branches in every Local Government Areas for easy access to the processors.  There should be less stringent collateral requirements for credit acquisition from these banks to ensure greater economic empowerment of the processors.
b.      Government should provide basic infrastructure – good roads, regular and sufficient supply of electricity, potable water supply, efficient telecommunication services and enabling environment to attract investors in agro – allied processing enterprises and to stop rural – urban migration of the youths.  Institutions involved include Government Ministries – Works and Transport, Public Utilities, Rural Development etc and International Donor Agencies (UNIDO, IFAD, UNDP etc).
c.       Maintenance of security of life and property, political stability and good governance should be enforced.  There should be due process in execution of Government policies and programmes so as to deliver Democracy dividends.  Incentives and subsides should be extended to agro-processors to make it attractive to investors and youths for continuity and sustenance of agro-processing enterprises.  Prompt and full payment of counterpart fund by Government in externally assisted programmes should be encouraged.
d.      There should be Linkage programmes with experts in local indigenous technologies and International Agencies for assistance in fabrication and maintenance of processing equipment.  Research should be geared towards the fabrication of equipment that are female friendly to avoid total dependence on male labour for survival by female processors.  Environmental friendly technologies that are sustainable – resource conserving and cost – effective should be introduced by institutions of Higher learning and centres of industrial research.
e.       Government should build Business Support Centres and clusters to enhance standardization of products and acceptance in International Market.  There should be enough market network and information for inputs and outputs through appropriate institutions like Ministry of Commerce and Industry and Ministry of Agriculture.  Enhancement of Agro Processors access to information on Business start-up and expansion should be encouraged.  Human resources development in MSME should involve incorporation of entrepreneurial and industry skills in the curriculum of secondary and tertiary institution for increased functional linkage between academia and industry.  Emphasis should be on linkage between farm production and processing through various Government Programmes on food security in the country.
f.        Establishment of functional healthcare delivery system that meet standard National guideline should be emphasized and creation of awareness of preventive interventions (Family Planning, Malaria and HIV/AIDS) be enforced.  Health is wealth and prevention is better than cure.  All forms of traditional practices against Women Empowerment in Agro-processing should be eliminated (Access to Finance and inheritance of land).

For efficient and accelerated development in Agro-allied processing enterprises in the State, Government should set up an Agency for Food Processing, Marketing and Distribution.  Emphasis should be on credit, skill acquisition, industrial management and marketing.

6.3.2       Recommendation to Processors:
a.       Processors should acquire basic education in order to adhere to proper record keeping of account and activities to avoid business failure.  This will definitely impact positively on their socio-economic characteristics thereby improving their processing enterprises.
b.       Processors should employ skilled labours and treat their enterprises as business for profit maximaxition instead of household concerns for subsistence.  Unskilled and semiskilled labour should be retrained to acquire the necessary skills for optimum performance.
c.       They should form genuine and functional cooperatives to benefit from government programmes and equally assist each other through group formation, they should employ marketing strategies such as good packaging, advertising as well as liaison with related Government Ministries and Agencies for international Market outlet.

6.4             Suggested Areas for further Research:
The following areas are suggested for further study:
1.                  Financial Institutions’ involvement in Agro-Processing Enterprises:  Implication on Poverty Alleviation in Nigeria.
2.                  Private Sector’s Involvement in Fabrication of Agro-Processing equipment:  Implication on Poverty Alleviation in Nigeria.
3.                  Private Sector’s Linkage with National and International Market for micro/small agro-allied products:  Implication on Poverty Alleviation in Nigeria.


Table I:                  Inter – Correlation Analysis of some Socio-Economic Characteristics of Entrepreneurs with Amount of Loan obtained from Financial Institutions.

Legend
X1      =
Amount of Loan obtained = y
X2      =
Income from Enterprise
X3      =
Age of Entrepreneur
X4      =
Years of Schooling
X5      =
Distance from Formal Credit Institution
X6      =
Number of Informal Credit Organisation
X7      =
Number of Organisations Entrepreneur belongs to
X8      =
Working Capital of Enterprise
X9      =
Length of Years in Processing
X10     =
Age of Equipment
X11     =
Number of Workers
X12     =
Years of Skill Acquisition
X13     =
Value of enterprise excluding land
Table II:                Inter – Correlation Analysis of some Socio-Economic Characteristics of Entrepreneurs with the level of Assistance from Government and Non Governmental Organizations

Legend
X1      =
Assistance from Government Agencies and Non Government Organisations (NGOs) = (y)
X2      =
Income from Enterprise
X3      =
Age of Entrepreneur
X4      =
Gender of Entrepreneur
X5      =
Years of Schooling
X6      =
Distance from Formal Credit Institution
X7      =
Number of Informal Credit Organisation
X8      =
Number of Organisations Entrepreneur belongs to
X9      =
Working Capital of Enterprise
X10     =
Length of Years in Processing
X11     =
Age of Equipment
X12     =
Number of Workers
X13     =
Years of Skill Acquisition
X14     =
Value of enterprise excluding land


Department of agric – economics, extension and management faculty of agriculture and natural resources management ebonyi state university abakaliki

Research questionnaire:
Topic:  Institutions in Micro and Small Agro-Allied Processing Enterprises:  Implications for Poverty Alleviation in Ebonyi State – Nigeria.

Please tick () in the box where appropriate and list freely in others as indicated.

Section A:
Socio-economic characteristics of Respondents.
Name of Community/Village: ………………………………………………
Name of Local Government Area: ………………………………………….
Name of Zone: ………………………………………………………………


4.            Educational Qualification: ……………………………………………...
5.            How many years did you spend in School? ……………………………

6.            What is your occupation?
a.      Farming            (b)  Non farming                   specify ………………...
c.      Both                  (d)  Others specify ……………………………………….

7.            What is your major processing enterprise?
a.      Cassava processing          (b) Rice processing           (c) Palm Oil processing

8.      How long have you been in agro-processing?
         …………………………………………………………………… Years

9.      How long did you spend in acquiring the skill of processing?
         …………………………………………………………………… Years

10.       What are the sources of your capital at the inception of this enterprise?
a.      Own capital                  (b)  From relation                 (c) From friends
d.      From Bank                   (e)  Others specify ………………………………….

11.    Have you obtained any loan for your enterprise?
a.      Yes                                (b)  No

12.    If yes where was the source
a.      Formal (Bank) (b)  Informal Source

13.    How much did you obtain?  Specify in N ………………………………..

14.    How many informal credit organisations are in your community?
         Specify ……………………………………………………………………

15.    Is there any bank in your community/L.G.A?
a.      Yes                                (b)  No

16.    If yes, how far is it from your home?
a.      Less than 1km (b)  1 – 2km               (c) 3 – 4km                (d) 5 – 6km
e.      More than 7km            specify ……………………………………………...

17.    Do you belong to any professional organisation?
a.      Yes                                (b)  No

18.    If yes, how many do you belong to?  Specify ……………………………

19.    How much do you have as your working capital?
a.      Less than N20,000.00            (b)  N21,000.00 – N40,000.00
c.      N41,000.00 – N60,000.00                 (d)  N61,000.00 – N80,000.00
e.      N81,000.00 – N100,000.00   (f)  More than N100,000.00
         Specify ……………………………………………………………………

20.    How much is the total value of your enterprise excluding land?
a.      Less than N100,000.00                      (b)  N100,000.00 – N200,000.00
c.      N201,000.00 – N300,000.00 (d)  N301,000.00 – N400,000.00
e.      N401,000.00 – N500,000.00 (f)  More than N500,000.00
         Specify ……………………………………………………………………

Section B:
Influence of institutions on the establishment and development of processing enterprises

26.    Do you have motorable roads in your community?
a.      Yes                                (b)  No

27.    Are the roads usable during rainy seasons?
a.      Yes                                (b)  No

28.    Where is your source of water?
a.      Pipe borne water                     (b)  Borehole             (c)  Stream
d.      Rain water                                (e)  Any other Specify ……………………….

29.    How far is your source of water from your home?
a.      Less than 1km             (b)  1 – 2km                           (c)  3 – 4km
d.      More than 5km

30.    Is the water supply adequate for processing?
a.      Yes                                (b)  No

31.    Do you have electricity in your community?
a.      Yes                                (b)  No

32.    Do(es) your equipment operate with electricity?
a.      Yes                                (b)  No

33.    If yes is the power supply regular?
a.      Yes                                (b)  No

34.    If No, what is your alternative source of power supply?
         Specify ……………………………………………………………………

35.    Which of the following are means of information gathering method in your community?
a.      Church                          (b) Town Crier                      (c)  Telephone
d.      Print media (news paper)
36.    Is there any landline telephone in your area?
a.      Yes                                (b)  No

37.    Which of the following GSM lines are available in your community?
a.      MTN          (b) GLOBACON           (c) MTEL           (d) V.MOBILE/CELTEL
e.      RAINBONET     (f) Others specify ………………………………….

38.    Do you have any hospital or health centre in your area?
a.      Yes                                (b)  No

39.    How far is your home to the hospital?    Specify ………………………...

40.    How many hectares of land do you have? ……………………………..ha

41.    How many hectares of land did you cultivate last cropping season?
         ………………………………………………………………...………….ha

42.    What is the area of land you are using for your enterprises?
a.      Less than 10m2                        (b) 11 – 15m2                        (c) 16 – 20m2
d.      More than 20m2, specify …………………………………………………

43.    What type of land ownership does your enterprise have?
a.      Freehold (owned by you)                  (b) On lease               (c)  Rent
d.      Others, specify ……………………………………………………………

44.    Did you encounter any difficulty in the acquisition of the land for your enterprise?
a.      Yes                                (b)  No

45.    If yes, what were the obstacles?
a.      High cost of land                     (b) Delays in processing document
c.      Delays in release of land due to communal ownership of land

46.    Is there any primary school in your area?
a.      Yes                                (b)  No

47.    How far is it from home?
a.      Less than 1km             (b) 1 – 2km                (c) 2 – 3km
d.      4 – 5km                         (e) More than 5km, specify ………………….
48.    Do you have any Secondary/Technical/Commercial school in your area?
a.      Yes                                (b)  No

49.    If yes how far is it from your home?  Specify ……………………………

50.    Do you have any higher institution in your area?
a.      Yes                                (b)  No

51.    Have you received any type of training relating to your enterprise?
a.      Yes                                (b)  No

52.    Are you a member of any functional co-operative?
a.      Yes                                (b)  No

53.    If yes, which of the following do you belong to?
a.      Age Grade Group                    (b) Town Union Organisation
c.      Social Club                  (d) church Group                 (e) Market Organisation
f.       Farmers/Processors Organisation                 (g) Any other, specify ………….

54.    Mention the name of any agro-allied processing association you belong to…………………………………………………………………………..

55.    Has your association had any form of government assistance?
a.      Yes                                (b)  No

56.    If yes, what form of assistance have you received?
a.      Training            (b) Repairs/maintenance                 (c) Equipment/machinery
d.      Land-Business space     (e) Financial       (specify in N….........……)
f.       Others, Specify …………………………………………………………...

57.    If no, why? ………………………………………………………………..

58.    Has you association had any micro-credit from banks?
a.      Yes                                (b)  No

59.    If yes, how much, specify ………………………………………………...


60.    If no, why?
a.      There is no bank in the community
b.      Has never applied to any bank
c.      Has applied but did not succeed
d.      Any other reason, specify ………………………………………………...

61.    What benefit do you derive from your association?
a.      Increased knowledge of marketing techniques
b.      Increased sales/patronage
c.      Protection against fraudulent practices
d.      Increased knowledge of modern technology to enhance
processing/marketing.
e.      Improved security over life and business
f.       Others, specify ……………………………………………………………

62.    Where do you source your input?
a.      From own farm                        (b) Purchase from others                (c) Both
d.      Others, specify ……………………………………………………………

63.    Do you have enough raw materials for processing?
a.      Yes                                (b)  No

64.    What problem(s) do you face in sourcing raw materials/input?
a.      High cost of input/raw material
b.      Irregularity of supply of input/raw material
c.      Poor quality of input/raw material
d.      High and unpredictable foreign exchange
e.      Others, specify ……………………………………………………………

65.    Where do you sell your products?
a.      In the local market             (b) To middlemen             (c) In the urban market
d.      Contract                        (e)Others, specify …………………………………..

66.    Major buyers and nature of market for your products:….
67.    What is the main source of competition in the market where you sell?
a.      Domestic firms                        (b) Imports
c.      Foreign competition in export market                     (d) None
e.      Others, specify ……………………………………………………………

68.    What problems do you face in marketing your product?
a.      High transportation cost                    (b) Competition
c.      Lack of storage facilities                   (d) Distant market
e.      None                 (f) Others, specify …………………………………………

69.    Are you satisfied with the price you sell your products?
a.      Yes                                (b)  No

70.    If no, why?
a.      There is always glut due to many processors
b.      Buyers complain of low quality product                (c) processing cost is high
d.      Transportation cost is high                (e) Others, specify …………………….

71.    Do you package your products for international market?
a.      Yes                                (b)  No

72.    If no, give reasons:
a.      Quality of product is not for international market
b.      No standardisation of project                       (c) No idea of such market

73.    Do you have enough market to dispose all your products?
a.      Yes                                (b)  No

74.    If no why?
a.      Supply is higher than demand                      (b) Buyer’s price is low
c.      No transportation service to convey products to urban markets
d.      Other reasons, specify ……………………………………………………
75.    Which of these taxes do you pay?
a.      Local Government Tax              (b) Market Tax             (c) Haulage Tax
d.      Produce Tax                 (e) Income Tax              (f) Others specify …………...

76.    Do you have all the equipment you need for your processing operations?
a.      Yes                                (b)  No


77.    Are your equipment mechanised?
a.      Yes                                (b)  No

78.    If no, why?  Specify ……………………………………………………...

79.    How do you acquire your Equipment/Tools?
a.      Through local fabricators                  (b) Purchase from dealers
c.      Supplied by government                    (d) Any others, specify ……………….

80.    Are there equipment/tool repairing mechanics in your community?
a.      Yes                                (b)  No

81.    If no, how do you maintain your equipment?
a.      Call mechanics from town                 (b) Carry equipment to town
c.      Repair by self              (d) Any others, specify ……………………………..
82.    Do you have any account with a bank?
a.      Yes                                (b)  No

83.    If yes, which bank? ……………………………………………………….
         …………………………………………………………………………….

84.    If you do not have an account, tick your reason(s)
a.      Banks are far from home                   (b) Banks waste a lot of time
c.      There is too much documentation
d.      Do not have enough money to open an account
e.      Late loan disbursement                      (f) High interest rate
g.      Lack of security

85.    What was your starting capital and how much credit have you invested in the last 12 months?

86.    Have you every applied to a bank for credit?
a.      Yes                                (b)  No
         What collateral (security) did you offer for the loan……………………...
87.    If yes, how do you see the attitude of banks in lending to small firms like yours?
a.      Very hostile                 (b)  Indifferent                      (c)  Very helpful
d.      Others, specify…………………………………………………………….

88.    If you got the loan, how long did it take you to get it?................................

89.    Is your enterprise registered?
a.      Yes                                (b)  No

90.    If no, why did you not register?
a.      Did not know I had to register                      (b) Too complicated to register
c.      Too expensive to register                              (d) Tax reasons
e.      No one will fine out                (f) Others, specify …………………………...

91.    If yes, who are you registered with?
a.      Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC)
b.      State Government                   Specify……………………………………….
c.      Local Government                  Specify ………………………………………
d.      Union/Association                  Specify ………………………………………
e.      Others, specify ……………………………………………………………

92.    What was the amount type and time taken for registration?

97.    How do you rate government rules, laws or policies, which materially affect your business?
a.      highly predictable                   (b) Fairly predictable
c.      Fairly unpredictable               (d) Highly unpredictable
e.      Completely unpredictable

98.    How do you perceive government’s stance on announced major policies?
a.      Always stick to policies                     (b) Mostly stick to policies
c.      Frequently stick to policies   (d) Sometimes stick to policies
e.      Seldom stick to policies                     (f) never stick to policies

99.    Are you usually informed or consulted during the process of developing new rules or policies, which affect your business?
a.      Always              (b) Mostly                 (c) Frequently           (d) Sometimes
e.      Seldom              (f) Never

100. In case of important change in laws, rules or policies affecting your business, does government take into account concerns voiced by you or your business association?
a.      Always              (b) Mostly                 (c) Frequently           (d) Sometimes
e.      Seldom              (f) Never

101. Have you received any assistance from any agency or NGO?
a.      Yes                                (b)  No

102. If yes, which agency or NGO? …………………………………………
103. What form of assistance have you received from the Agency/NGO?
a.      Training                        (b) Repairs and maintenance
c.      Equipment/Machinery                       (d) Land-Business spaces
e.      Financial           (specify amount in Naira) ………………………………...
f.       Others, specify…………………………………………………………….

Section three
For Female Entrepreneurs only:
104. Who is the head of your family?
a.      Husband                       (b) Self                       (c) Son           (d) Daughter

105. Can you read and write?
a.      Yes                                (b)  No

106. From where did you get money for your business?
a.      Own saving           (b) From Husband              (c) From friends and relations
d.      Loan from co-operative organisation                      (e) Loan from bank
f.       Loan from money lenders/traders                   (g) Others, specify……………

107. Which is your preferred source of credit?
a.      Formal                          (b) Informal

108. Give reasons………………………………………………………………

109. What problem do you encounter in getting loan from bank(s) in your area as a woman?
a.      Do not have acceptable collateral
b.      Banks always demand consent of husband
c.      Cost of loan is too high             (d) Officials demand financial gratification

110. Do you make use of modern processing equipment in your enterprise?
a.      Yes                                (b)  No

111. If yes, can you operate the equipment?
a.      Yes                                (b)  No

112. If no, why? ………………………………………………………………..

113. How did you get the land for your processing?
a.      Family land                              (b) Acquired land

114. If purchase, was it difficult for you to buy land as a woman?
a.      Yes                                (b)  No
115. Do you belong to any women co-operative/association?
a.      Yes                                (b)  No

116. In what ways has the association helped you?
a.      Creation of loan scheme for members
b.      Provision of subsidised processing equipment
c.      Provision of subsidised transportation                   (d) market for products

117. Do you receive extension services?
a.      Yes                                (b)  No

118 What type of services do you receive?
a.      Training                        (b) Linkage to financial organisation for credit
c.      Subsidy on repair of equipment           (d) Linkage to equipment fabricators
e.      Linkage to market                   (f) Any other, specify………………………...

119. List the problems you encounter as a woman in running your business?
…………………………………………

120. Suggest ways you can improve and expand your enterprise: …………….
         …………………………………………………………………………….

Section four
Effect/Influence of Institutional performance on enterprise development and Poverty Alleviation:
121. Has your enterprise grown since inception?
a.      Yes                                (b)  No

122. If no, what factor(s) do you consider as the cause of stagnation?
a.      High cost of raw materials                 (b) Low demand of products
c.      Multiple taxation from the government                  (d) High labour cost
e.      malfunctioning of amenities for processing (e.g. electricity)
f.       Low capital outlay                  (g) Lack of skills for new processing methods
h.      competition arising from modern project
i.       General poor infrastructure  (j) Others, specify…………………….

123. How would you describe the growth of your enterprise?
a.      Acquired more improved machines/equipment/tools
b.      Hire more labour                     (c) Opened more branches
d.      Injected more capital     (e) Diversified into more products
         specify ……………………………………………………………………
f.       Others, specify ……………………………………………………………

124. Which of the following factors may have influenced the growth of your enterprise?
a.      Easy access to input markets                 (b) Easy access to output markets
c.      Easy access to cheap capital      (d) Cheap labour supply
e.      High demand for product                       (f)  Low input cost
g.      Improved skill through training             (h) Improved Technology
i.       Others, specify …………………………………………………………..

125. Due to increase in your income, what have you done as a result of your enhanced status?
a.      Pay children’s school fees                (b) Pay hospital bills
c.      Feed family adequately                     (d) Buy household properties
e.      Acquire more processing equipment               (f) Build/Renovate house(s)
g.      Purchase more land for expansion   (h) Save more money in the bank
i.       Expand farming area              (j) Invest in other business
k.      Fulfil social obligations                     (l) Other benefits, specify……………    

126. How has your business improved the lives of people around your area?
a.      Create employment – hired/regular staff   
b.      Patronise spare part dealers
c.      Purchase petrol/diesel, engine oil from sellers
d.      patronise equipment repairers (mechanics)
e.      Sale of products to the public
f.       Purchase of input from farmers
g.      Any other, specify ………………………………………………………..

127. has your business increased your self-esteem in the community?
a.      Yes                                (b)  No

128. If yes, how?
a.      participate in decision making in the family (Female Entrepreneur)
b.      Contribute to community development
c.      Control more resources than before (Richer)
d.      Active in political activities
e.      Help the less privileged in the society
f.       Any other, specify………………………………………………………...

129. Due to expansion of your business, is there improvement in market network?
a.      Yes                                (b)  No
130. If no, why?  Specify ……………………………………………………...

131. Are there improved transport services for the evacuation of your products to places of higher demand?
a.      Yes                                (b)  No

132. If yes, how?
a.      Provision of mass transit buses by government
b.      Middlemen buy directly from processors
c.      Processors have buses as co-operatives
d.      Any other means, specify…………………………………………………

section five
Constraints to Institutional performance in Micro/Small Agro-Allied Processing Enterprises.

Please if the answer to the question below is yes then tick () accordingly.


Department of agric – economics, extension and management faculty of agriculture and natural resources management ebonyi state university abakaliki

Research questionnaire for project officer (bank)

Topic:  Institutions in Micro and Small Agro-Allied Processing Enterprises:  Implications for Poverty Alleviation in Ebonyi State – Nigeria.

Please respond to the questions listed below by ticking and/or supplying answers/information as demanded.  Your response will be treated with utmost confidence it deserves.  Thanks.

1.           How long has your bank been in this area?
…………………………………………………………………………........

2.           What percentage of the total loanable fund goes to the Micro/Small Agro-Processing Enterprises?
………………………………………………………………………….......

3.           Out of this, what percentage has been given to prospective entrepreneurs in the past two years?
………………………………………………………………………….......

4.           What percentage of these loans has been accessed by women entrepreneurs?
………………………………………………………………………….......

5.           What is the minimum and maximum amount for this category of entrepreneurs?
………………………………………………………………………….......

6.           How long does it take to obtain loan from your bank/agency?
…………………………………………………………………………........

7.           What is your interest rate for agro-processors?
…………………………………………………………………………........

8.           What is your period of repayment?
…………………………………………………………………………........
9.           Do you experience high default rate from borrowers?
(What %) ……………………………………………………………….......

10.       What are the requirements for granting loan to interested agro-
processors? ……………………………………………………………..……………
11.       Are the conditions the same for women entrepreneurs?
a.            Yes                             (b)  No

12.       If the answer to question 11 is No, please state the difference and reasons ……………………………………………………………
13.       Does your bank exhaust the whole amount allocated to micro/small entrepreneurs every year?
a.            Yes                             (b)  No

14.       If No, what percentage is given out on average basis every year?
N ……………………………………………………………………….........

15.       Are you encouraged by the response of entrepreneurs in obtaining credit from your bank?
a.            Yes                             (b)  No

16.       Are the conditions for obtaining credit easily met by the processors?
a.            Yes                             (b)  No

17.       If No, list the conditions which are not easily met by them: ………
18.       Did your bank encounter problems in establishing your office in this community?
a.            Yes                             (b)  No

19.       If yes, what were the difficulties? ……………………………………….....
…………………………………………………………………………........
20.       Are you willing to lend to entrepreneurs in the rural areas?
a.            Yes                             (b)  No

b.            Do you create awareness for loan disbursement in your bank?
a.            Yes                             (b)  No

21.       Do you accept an unregistered land in the rural areas as collaterals?
a.            Yes                             (b)  No

22.       If No, why? ……………………………………………………………........

23.       State the constraints you encounter in the course of your work as a Project Officer: …………………………………………………………...................
………………………………………………………………………….......

24.       Suggest/Recommend measures to improve the conditions of providing financial assistance to micro entrepreneurs: ………………………….......
……………………………………………………………………

25.       Has your bank performed any social responsibility to the community?
a.            Yes                             (b)  No

26.       Recommend ways of enabling your bank to be very effective in the discharge of her duty as regards improving the financial status of borrowers: ……………………………………………………………….......
……………………………………………………………………….............
 

Chapter six

6.0             Summary, Conclusion and Recommendation

6.1             Summary:
The research on institutions in Micro/Small Agro-Allied processing Enterprises and implications on Poverty Alleviation in Ebonyi State was carried out.  Two hundred and sixty-four (264) respondents out of 270 targeted respondents, from nine (9) Local Government Areas of the state supplied the data and information.  The collection of data for the study was through the use of structured questionnaires/interview schedules distributed to micro/small processors of Cassava, Rice, Oil Palm Fruits enterprises and project officers in some selected Banks.  Related Government Ministries, Parastatals, Agencies and Non Governmental Organisations (NGOs) also supplied information.  Data analysis involved the use of descriptive statistics, cross-tabulation, multiple regression model, likert scale technique, impact assessment model and use of factor analysis.  The major findings of the research include:

i.          The related institutions in Agro-Allied Micro/Small Processing Enterprises in the State comprised Government Ministries, Parastatals and Agencies.  Non Governmental Organisations, Community Based Organisations, Business and Processing Associations and International Donor Agencies assisted micro/small agro-processing enterprises in the State.

Some Banks were interviewed through their project officers to ascertain their role in agro-processing enterprises.  Twenty percent (20%) of the banks had less than 10% of their loanable fund for micro/small agro processing while 40% had between 51 – 70%, with a mean of 37%.  The first category of banks were the commercial banks while those that allocated higher percentage of their loanable fund were the Agricultural Cooperative and Rural Development Banks (ACRDB), Community and Micro Finance Banks.  However only 8% of the funds for agro-processing enterprises was actually disbursed due to lack of satisfactory collaterals by the processors.

Socio-economic attributes of the Entrepreneurs show that none of them was less than 20 years.  Majority of them 44% was in the age bracket 41 – 50 years with a mean age of 44 years.  There was no significant difference between the ages of the processors in the three enterprises.  Majority 44% had between 6 – 10 persons in their household with a mean of 9 persons and there was no significant difference between the family size of the processors in the three enterprises.  Ninety-two percent (92%) of the processors were married.  Majority 31% had between 1 – 6 years of schooling while 14% did not go to formal school.  Mean level of education was nine (9) years with significant difference in the three enterprises.  Rice processing enterprises had more people who had primary and secondary school education, followed by Cassava processors and lastly by those in Oil Palm Fruit processing.   Majority of the processors 85% spent between 1 – 2 years in acquiring skill with 2 years as the mean.  There was a significant difference in the years of skill acquisition for the three enterprises.  Some processors in Cassava processing did not have any formal training while 3% and 5% of the Oil Palm Fruit and Rice processors stayed more than four (4) years respectively to acquire skill before starting their own enterprise.  Thirty-nine percent (39%) spent between 6 – 10 years in processing.  Mean years in processing is 12 years with no significant difference in the enterprises.  Enterprise characteristics indicate that 64% and 36% of male and female processors respectively were engaged in micro/small agro-processing enterprises and there was a significant difference between the genders engaged in the three enterprises.

Ninety-five percent (95%) of the respondents live in the rural areas while 5% live in urban setting or township.  Majority of the entrepreneurs 46% had farming as their primary occupation.  Majority of the enterprises 34% had been in existence for a period between 6 – 10 years with a mean of 11 years.  Out of the 264 processors, 28% registered their businesses while 72% did not.  None of the entrepreneurs registered with Corporate Affairs Commission while 55% and 23% registered with Local and State Government respectively.  Majority of the processors 58% started their business with their own capital saved over the years.  Thirty-one percent (31%) obtained loan while 69% of the respondents did not.  Out of those who obtained loan, 35% and 65% accessed loan from formal and non formal sources respectively.  There was no significant difference between those who obtained loan in the three enterprises.  It was equally observed that there was no significant difference between those who obtained loan either from formal or informal credit sources.  Majority 49% of those who obtained loan, got between N51,000 – N100,000 with a total mean of N72,972 with no significant difference between the amount of loan obtained by the three processing enterprises.  Majority 53% of the processors lived in rural areas where there were no banks.  Fifty-six percent (56%) did not belong to any organisation while 27% belonged to only one organisation and this was in the majority with a mean number of one (1).  There was no significant difference in the number of organisations processors belonged to.

They belonged to farmers associations, local processing groups, community based organisations etc.  Majority of the processors 53% had between N10,000 – N50,000 as the size of their working capital with a mean size of N68,936.  There was a significant difference in the size of working capital, with Rice processing ranking highest (N85,762) followed by Cassava processing (N74,029) and Oil Palm Fruit processing (N43,059).  Forty-three percent (43%) of the processors had between N11,000 – N30,000 as their monthly revenue with total mean revenue of N33,379.  There was a significant difference in the three enterprises with Rice processors having the highest mean monthly revenue of N45,633 as against N30,109 and N23,900 for Cassava and Oil Palm Fruit processors respectively.  Majority of those who had processing equipment 31% had equipment which have lasted between 11 – 15 years with mean years of usage of 9 years.  Majority 45% of the processors had equipment which cost between N10,000 – N50,000 with a total mean of N86,915 for the three enterprises.  There was a significant difference in the cost of equipment with Rice processing having the highest N138,338, followed by Cassava processing N79,030 while Oil Palm Fruit processing had N37,249.  It was observed that 45% of the processors engaged 4 – 6 workers with mean number of employee of 4 persons.  There was no significant difference in the number of workers in the three enterprises.  Sixteen percent (16%), 87%, 35%, and 33% of the processors had no fulltime, apprentice, casual workers and unpaid workers respectively.  Mean number of fulltime, apprentice, casual and unpaid workers was 1, less than 1, 1 and 2 persons each respectively.  This implies that they were very few apprentices.  Out of the 264 processors, 66 representing 25% received assistance for enterprise development.  Out of this, 44% got loans and grants while 12% and 4% had access to acquisition/allocation of Business land space and processing equipment respectively. 

ii.         The coefficient of determination (R2) resulting from regression analysis on the influence of socio-economic characteristics of the respondents on the amount of financial resources obtained from both formal and informal credit institutions was 76% and considered a good fit.  The F – test value of 3.868 was statistically significant at 99% (0.008) level of confidence.  Durbin – Watson value of 1.309 showed no sign of autocorrelation and from inter-correlation matrix, there was no serious problem of multicollinearity.  The relationship between the socio-economic characteristics of the processors and the amount of financial resources (credit) obtained from credit institutions shows that years spent in school was significant at 10% but had negative influence.  Working capital and value of enterprise were significant at 10% and 5% respectively with positive influence.  Inter-correlation matrix showed that Age of Entrepreneur and length of years in processing had 76%.  This is expected considering the fact that the length of years in business would normally reflect on the age of the enterprise owner.

In the second regression analysis, the dependent variable was level of Assistance received from Government and Non-Governmental Organisation (NGOs) in percentages while the dependent variables were the same socio-economic characteristics as in the first regression analysis.  Non of the functional forms proved a good fit and all the variables were not significant.  Consequently a stepwise regression selection was adopted.  Result obtained gave a coefficient of determination (R2) of 86%.  The F – value of 84.739 was significant at 99% (0.000) level of confidence.  Gender of enterprise owner and working capital were significant at 5% and 1% respectively but with negative influence.

Number of workers and value of enterprise had positive influence and were significant at 5% and 1% respectively.  Other variables were not significant for getting assistance from Government agencies and Non Governmental Organisations (NGOs).  Inter-correlation matrix showed that working capital of enterprise and value of enterprise had 87% while age of equipment and length of years in business had 70%.  It should be expected because the higher the working capital, the higher the value of enterprise and the higher the age of equipment, the more the number of years in business.

iii.       On the influence of institutions on the establishment and development of processing enterprises, results showed that 52% of the roads were not accessible during the rainy seasons, 50% of the processors had no regular water supply while 58% did not have electricity in their communities.  Thirty-two percent (32%) reported that their health facilities were not functional while 16% did not have health facilities at all in their communities.  Ninety-five percent (95%) and 53% did not have telephones and banks respectively in their localities.  Seventeen percent (17%) agreed that they had mechanized processing equipment while 15% had equipment tool repairers.  Fifty-three percent (53%) had enough land for farming and processing, 93% and 67% reported that they had functional primary and secondary schools respectively in their communities.  Many facilities that were available were not functional.  Thirty-two percent (32%) and 94% of the processors provided their own electricity and water due to inadequate supply of these amenities by Government.

Likert scale analysis showed that Banking Institutions and Electricity supply had little or no influence on the establishment and development of micro/small Agro-Allied Processing Enterprises in the State.

iv.        In testing the hypothesis to ascertain if there were any significant difference in the levels of access to institutional facilities by male and female processors, it was shown that there was significant difference between male and female processors in their educational status, source of loan, membership of processing associations, acquisition of land, availability of raw materials, mechanization of equipment, ownership of bank account and registration of enterprise.  There was no significant difference between the genders in credit acquisition, membership of cooperatives, adequacy of processing equipment, access to training, application to bank for credit and availability of market for product disposal.  Thirty-seven percent (37%) of female entrepreneurs suggested that for the improvement and expansion of their enterprises, that credit be provided by Government, 34% and 19% asked for Government’s assistance with favourable policies and improved/mechanized equipment that are female friendly respectively, while 5% suggested that adequate training and skill acquisition be extended to them.

v.         Thirty-three percent (33%) of the processors affirmed that they experienced low performance in their business and attributed one of their major problems as low capital outlay with 22%.  Other reasons for low performance included high cost of raw materials 16%, competition arising from modern products 10%, lack of skill for new processing methods, high cost of labour, multiple taxes by Government had 9% each.  Other reasons included low demand for product 8%, general poor infrastructure 7% and malfunctioning amenities 5%.  However, 66% agreed that the following factors influenced the growth of their business and they included high demand for product 26%, easy access to input and output market 13% and 11% respectively, cheap labour 9%, improved equipment (technology) 8%, easy access to cheap capital 7%, low input cost 6% and improved extension services 3%.  Due to improvement in their enterprises, 40% injected more capital into their businesses, 29% acquired more improved equipment, 3% hired more labourers, 4% opened more braches while 2% diversified into more products.

Influence of the enhanced income on family and business showed that 19% fed well, 18% used it for their children’s school fees, 15% for hospital bill while 10% fulfilled their social obligations.  The least they could achieve was to save money in bank and build/renovate house(s) which had 3% and 2% respectively.  It was observed that Rice processing had the most impact on their families and business, which was followed by Cassava and Oil Palm Fruit processing.  Thirty percent (30%) impacted on their neighbourhood by the sale of their product to the public, 24% created employment, 22% purchased diesel/petrol/engine oil from sellers, while patronage on spare part dealers and equipment repairers had 5% each respectively.  It was observed that the effect of business on self-esteem of the entrepreneurs was very low.  The level of processing was not sufficient to give impetus to their self image.  Thirty-three percent (33%) helped the less privileged, 28% contributed to community development, 25% became richer while 9% particularly female entrepreneurs participated in decision making in their families.  Less than 2% was active in politics.  In comparison with the contributions of other people in the society, their business did not boost their self worth.  Their contribution to their communities was negligible and unnoticed, therefore they lacked self-esteem.

vi.        In testing hypothesis III to know respondents’ perception of the relationship between access to institutional facilities and implication on poverty reduction, all the facilities were highly significant.  To determine the degree of acceptance, a Likert Scale Analysis showed that creation of friendly access to credit had the first position.  Improvement on safety and security, Improvement in Public Transport Service, Quality of Infrastructure, Provision of Vocational Training Opportunity, Improvement in Attitude of local officials followed in descending order of importance.  Provision of Permanent market Stores, Improvement in the performance of National Directorate of Employment (NDE), National Poverty Eradication Programme (NAPEP), Creation of Industrial Estate for Small Scale Entrepreneurs and Reduction of Taxes were at the tail end of the priority list.  It therefore becomes imperative that there be improvement in these facilities in order to reduce the poverty level in the State.

vii.      Varimax rotated factor matrix identified six factors as hindrance to micro/small agro-processing enterprises development:  There are as follows:
·        Inappropriate and High Cost of Equipment which include inappropriateness of Equipment to available infrastructure, production need, workers’ skill and high cost of equipment
·        The second inhibiting factor is Sustainability and Business Environment issue which has variables such as high cost of getting justice, long time of getting justice, Non availability of training, lack of labour, scarcity of raw materials and tenure insecurity.
·        Socio-infrastructural issue has to do with physical infrastructure and social amenities.  There include high cost of infrastructure, poor availability of infrastructure, poor healthcare delivery and high cost of public transport.
·        Economic or financial issue deals with lack of fund and high cost of credit.
·        Marketing issue has variables such as lack of market network information, competitions, inadequate business space and increasing cost of rental.
·        Government Policy issue includes tax collectors’ harassment/demand for gratification, inconsistency of Government Policies, too many taxes/high taxes and non linkage to relevant bodies.

6.2             Conclusion:
Ebonyi State is agrarian in nature and there is need for industrial development of the food sector to cope with the ever-increasing population and poverty reduction among the rural people.  Agricultural production without concomitant processing, preservation and storage leads to waste.  It therefore becomes imperative to develop viable micro/small agro-allied processing enterprises and achieve sustainable increase in value addition of those crops with comparative advantage in the State.  However, a gap in knowledge seems to exist on the performance of institutions to the establishment and development of micro/small agro-allied processing enterprises in the State.  The research has tried to bridge the gap by examining the influence of institution to the development of these enterprises.

The study attempted to assess some effects of institutions on the performance of micro/small agro-allied processing enterprises and their impact on poverty reduction.  The study has equally identified constraints to enterprise survival and proffered suggestions to both Government and Processors.  The constraints militating against effective performance of the enterprises were viewed in two dimensions – constraints resulting from the socio-economic status of the processors and Government’s inability in the provision of basic infrastructure and conducive environment for enterprise growth and poverty alleviation.  These constraint constitute serious issues and it is expected that strict adherence to the suggestions would transform Ebonyi State micro/small agro-processors from subsistence level to commercially or business oriented entrepreneurs that could meet the requirement in terms of quantity and quality of their products for national and international markets.

Consequently, this would enhance their socio-economic status with multiplier effect on the livelihood indices of the rural populace thereby reducing the rate of rural – urban migration and alleviating poverty in the State.  This obviously is a right step in the direction of rural development and poverty reduction and is in line with the realization of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and the Seven Point Agenda of the State Government.

The result of this study will be used for advocacy concerning the need to improve institutional performance to agro-processing development and linkage with farm production for its sustainability.  The result is expected to aid Government Policy Makers, Research Scholars, Financial Institutions, Industrialists and Rural Development Experts formulate the best policies for economic and industrial development of the State.



6.3             Recommendations:
Based on the findings and conclusion, recommendations are divided into two broad parts; Recommendation to Government and to Agro-Allied Processors.

6.3.1       Recommendation to Government:
a.       The most important problem of the agro-processors was lack of finance.  As a result, it is recommended that Government should empower Nigerian Agricultural Cooperative and Rural Development Bank (NACRDB), Micro-Finance Institutions and Agencies like National Poverty Eradication Programme (NAPEP), National Directorate of Employment (NDE), Small and Medium Enterprises Development Agency of Nigeria (SMEDAN) etc for enhanced efficiency and improve support for Agro-Allied Processors.  The Micro Finance Institutions and NACRDB should have branches in every Local Government Areas for easy access to the processors.  There should be less stringent collateral requirements for credit acquisition from these banks to ensure greater economic empowerment of the processors.
b.      Government should provide basic infrastructure – good roads, regular and sufficient supply of electricity, potable water supply, efficient telecommunication services and enabling environment to attract investors in agro – allied processing enterprises and to stop rural – urban migration of the youths.  Institutions involved include Government Ministries – Works and Transport, Public Utilities, Rural Development etc and International Donor Agencies (UNIDO, IFAD, UNDP etc).
c.       Maintenance of security of life and property, political stability and good governance should be enforced.  There should be due process in execution of Government policies and programmes so as to deliver Democracy dividends.  Incentives and subsides should be extended to agro-processors to make it attractive to investors and youths for continuity and sustenance of agro-processing enterprises.  Prompt and full payment of counterpart fund by Government in externally assisted programmes should be encouraged.
d.      There should be Linkage programmes with experts in local indigenous technologies and International Agencies for assistance in fabrication and maintenance of processing equipment.  Research should be geared towards the fabrication of equipment that are female friendly to avoid total dependence on male labour for survival by female processors.  Environmental friendly technologies that are sustainable – resource conserving and cost – effective should be introduced by institutions of Higher learning and centres of industrial research.
e.       Government should build Business Support Centres and clusters to enhance standardization of products and acceptance in International Market.  There should be enough market network and information for inputs and outputs through appropriate institutions like Ministry of Commerce and Industry and Ministry of Agriculture.  Enhancement of Agro Processors access to information on Business start-up and expansion should be encouraged.  Human resources development in MSME should involve incorporation of entrepreneurial and industry skills in the curriculum of secondary and tertiary institution for increased functional linkage between academia and industry.  Emphasis should be on linkage between farm production and processing through various Government Programmes on food security in the country.
f.        Establishment of functional healthcare delivery system that meet standard National guideline should be emphasized and creation of awareness of preventive interventions (Family Planning, Malaria and HIV/AIDS) be enforced.  Health is wealth and prevention is better than cure.  All forms of traditional practices against Women Empowerment in Agro-processing should be eliminated (Access to Finance and inheritance of land).

For efficient and accelerated development in Agro-allied processing enterprises in the State, Government should set up an Agency for Food Processing, Marketing and Distribution.  Emphasis should be on credit, skill acquisition, industrial management and marketing.

6.3.2       Recommendation to Processors:
a.       Processors should acquire basic education in order to adhere to proper record keeping of account and activities to avoid business failure.  This will definitely impact positively on their socio-economic characteristics thereby improving their processing enterprises.
b.       Processors should employ skilled labours and treat their enterprises as business for profit maximaxition instead of household concerns for subsistence.  Unskilled and semiskilled labour should be retrained to acquire the necessary skills for optimum performance.
c.       They should form genuine and functional cooperatives to benefit from government programmes and equally assist each other through group formation, they should employ marketing strategies such as good packaging, advertising as well as liaison with related Government Ministries and Agencies for international Market outlet.

6.4             Suggested Areas for further Research:
The following areas are suggested for further study:
1.                  Financial Institutions’ involvement in Agro-Processing Enterprises:  Implication on Poverty Alleviation in Nigeria.
2.                  Private Sector’s Involvement in Fabrication of Agro-Processing equipment:  Implication on Poverty Alleviation in Nigeria.
3.                  Private Sector’s Linkage with National and International Market for micro/small agro-allied products:  Implication on Poverty Alleviation in Nigeria.




Table I:                  Inter – Correlation Analysis of some Socio-Economic Characteristics of Entrepreneurs with Amount of Loan obtained from Financial Institutions.

Legend
X1      =
Amount of Loan obtained = y
X2      =
Income from Enterprise
X3      =
Age of Entrepreneur
X4      =
Years of Schooling
X5      =
Distance from Formal Credit Institution
X6      =
Number of Informal Credit Organisation
X7      =
Number of Organisations Entrepreneur belongs to
X8      =
Working Capital of Enterprise
X9      =
Length of Years in Processing
X10     =
Age of Equipment
X11     =
Number of Workers
X12     =
Years of Skill Acquisition
X13     =
Value of enterprise excluding land
Table II:                Inter – Correlation Analysis of some Socio-Economic Characteristics of Entrepreneurs with the level of Assistance from Government and Non Governmental Organizations


Legend
X1      =
Assistance from Government Agencies and Non Government Organisations (NGOs) = (y)
X2      =
Income from Enterprise
X3      =
Age of Entrepreneur
X4      =
Gender of Entrepreneur
X5      =
Years of Schooling
X6      =
Distance from Formal Credit Institution
X7      =
Number of Informal Credit Organisation
X8      =
Number of Organisations Entrepreneur belongs to
X9      =
Working Capital of Enterprise
X10     =
Length of Years in Processing
X11     =
Age of Equipment
X12     =
Number of Workers
X13     =
Years of Skill Acquisition
X14     =
Value of enterprise excluding land


Department of agric – economics, extension and management faculty of agriculture and natural resources management ebonyi state university abakaliki

Research questionnaire:
Topic:  Institutions in Micro and Small Agro-Allied Processing Enterprises:  Implications for Poverty Alleviation in Ebonyi State – Nigeria.

Please tick () in the box where appropriate and list freely in others as indicated.

Section A:
Socio-economic characteristics of Respondents.
Name of Community/Village: ………………………………………………
Name of Local Government Area: ………………………………………….
Name of Zone: ………………………………………………………………


4.            Educational Qualification: ……………………………………………...
5.            How many years did you spend in School? ……………………………

6.            What is your occupation?
a.      Farming            (b)  Non farming                   specify ………………...
c.      Both                  (d)  Others specify ……………………………………….

7.            What is your major processing enterprise?
a.      Cassava processing          (b) Rice processing           (c) Palm Oil processing

8.      How long have you been in agro-processing?
         …………………………………………………………………… Years

9.      How long did you spend in acquiring the skill of processing?
         …………………………………………………………………… Years

10.       What are the sources of your capital at the inception of this enterprise?
a.      Own capital                  (b)  From relation                 (c) From friends
d.      From Bank                   (e)  Others specify ………………………………….

11.    Have you obtained any loan for your enterprise?
a.      Yes                                (b)  No

12.    If yes where was the source
a.      Formal (Bank) (b)  Informal Source

13.    How much did you obtain?  Specify in N ………………………………..

14.    How many informal credit organisations are in your community?
         Specify ……………………………………………………………………

15.    Is there any bank in your community/L.G.A?
a.      Yes                                (b)  No

16.    If yes, how far is it from your home?
a.      Less than 1km (b)  1 – 2km               (c) 3 – 4km                (d) 5 – 6km
e.      More than 7km            specify ……………………………………………...

17.    Do you belong to any professional organisation?
a.      Yes                                (b)  No

18.    If yes, how many do you belong to?  Specify ……………………………

19.    How much do you have as your working capital?
a.      Less than N20,000.00            (b)  N21,000.00 – N40,000.00
c.      N41,000.00 – N60,000.00                 (d)  N61,000.00 – N80,000.00
e.      N81,000.00 – N100,000.00   (f)  More than N100,000.00
         Specify ……………………………………………………………………

20.    How much is the total value of your enterprise excluding land?
a.      Less than N100,000.00                      (b)  N100,000.00 – N200,000.00
c.      N201,000.00 – N300,000.00 (d)  N301,000.00 – N400,000.00
e.      N401,000.00 – N500,000.00 (f)  More than N500,000.00
         Specify ……………………………………………………………………



Section B:
Influence of institutions on the establishment and development of processing enterprises

26.    Do you have motorable roads in your community?
a.      Yes                                (b)  No

27.    Are the roads usable during rainy seasons?
a.      Yes                                (b)  No

28.    Where is your source of water?
a.      Pipe borne water                     (b)  Borehole             (c)  Stream
d.      Rain water                                (e)  Any other Specify ……………………….

29.    How far is your source of water from your home?
a.      Less than 1km             (b)  1 – 2km                           (c)  3 – 4km
d.      More than 5km

30.    Is the water supply adequate for processing?
a.      Yes                                (b)  No

31.    Do you have electricity in your community?
a.      Yes                                (b)  No

32.    Do(es) your equipment operate with electricity?
a.      Yes                                (b)  No

33.    If yes is the power supply regular?
a.      Yes                                (b)  No

34.    If No, what is your alternative source of power supply?
         Specify ……………………………………………………………………

35.    Which of the following are means of information gathering method in your community?
a.      Church                          (b) Town Crier                      (c)  Telephone
d.      Print media (news paper)
36.    Is there any landline telephone in your area?
a.      Yes                                (b)  No

37.    Which of the following GSM lines are available in your community?
a.      MTN          (b) GLOBACON           (c) MTEL           (d) V.MOBILE/CELTEL
e.      RAINBONET     (f) Others specify ………………………………….

38.    Do you have any hospital or health centre in your area?
a.      Yes                                (b)  No

39.    How far is your home to the hospital?    Specify ………………………...

40.    How many hectares of land do you have? ……………………………..ha

41.    How many hectares of land did you cultivate last cropping season?
         ………………………………………………………………...………….ha

42.    What is the area of land you are using for your enterprises?
a.      Less than 10m2                        (b) 11 – 15m2                        (c) 16 – 20m2
d.      More than 20m2, specify …………………………………………………

43.    What type of land ownership does your enterprise have?
a.      Freehold (owned by you)                  (b) On lease               (c)  Rent
d.      Others, specify ……………………………………………………………

44.    Did you encounter any difficulty in the acquisition of the land for your enterprise?
a.      Yes                                (b)  No

45.    If yes, what were the obstacles?
a.      High cost of land                     (b) Delays in processing document
c.      Delays in release of land due to communal ownership of land

46.    Is there any primary school in your area?
a.      Yes                                (b)  No

47.    How far is it from home?
a.      Less than 1km             (b) 1 – 2km                (c) 2 – 3km
d.      4 – 5km                         (e) More than 5km, specify ………………….
48.    Do you have any Secondary/Technical/Commercial school in your area?
a.      Yes                                (b)  No

49.    If yes how far is it from your home?  Specify ……………………………

50.    Do you have any higher institution in your area?
a.      Yes                                (b)  No

51.    Have you received any type of training relating to your enterprise?
a.      Yes                                (b)  No

52.    Are you a member of any functional co-operative?
a.      Yes                                (b)  No

53.    If yes, which of the following do you belong to?
a.      Age Grade Group                    (b) Town Union Organisation
c.      Social Club                  (d) church Group                 (e) Market Organisation
f.       Farmers/Processors Organisation                 (g) Any other, specify ………….

54.    Mention the name of any agro-allied processing association you belong to…………………………………………………………………………..

55.    Has your association had any form of government assistance?
a.      Yes                                (b)  No

56.    If yes, what form of assistance have you received?
a.      Training            (b) Repairs/maintenance                 (c) Equipment/machinery
d.      Land-Business space     (e) Financial       (specify in N….........……)
f.       Others, Specify …………………………………………………………...

57.    If no, why? ………………………………………………………………..

58.    Has you association had any micro-credit from banks?
a.      Yes                                (b)  No

59.    If yes, how much, specify ………………………………………………...


60.    If no, why?
a.      There is no bank in the community
b.      Has never applied to any bank
c.      Has applied but did not succeed
d.      Any other reason, specify ………………………………………………...

61.    What benefit do you derive from your association?
a.      Increased knowledge of marketing techniques
b.      Increased sales/patronage
c.      Protection against fraudulent practices
d.      Increased knowledge of modern technology to enhance
processing/marketing.
e.      Improved security over life and business
f.       Others, specify ……………………………………………………………

62.    Where do you source your input?
a.      From own farm                        (b) Purchase from others                (c) Both
d.      Others, specify ……………………………………………………………

63.    Do you have enough raw materials for processing?
a.      Yes                                (b)  No

64.    What problem(s) do you face in sourcing raw materials/input?
a.      High cost of input/raw material
b.      Irregularity of supply of input/raw material
c.      Poor quality of input/raw material
d.      High and unpredictable foreign exchange
e.      Others, specify ……………………………………………………………

65.    Where do you sell your products?
a.      In the local market             (b) To middlemen             (c) In the urban market
d.      Contract                        (e)Others, specify …………………………………..

66.    Major buyers and nature of market for your products:67.    What is the main source of competition in the market where you sell?
a.      Domestic firms                        (b) Imports
c.      Foreign competition in export market                     (d) None
e.      Others, specify ……………………………………………………………

68.    What problems do you face in marketing your product?
a.      High transportation cost                    (b) Competition
c.      Lack of storage facilities                   (d) Distant market
e.      None                 (f) Others, specify …………………………………………

69.    Are you satisfied with the price you sell your products?
a.      Yes                                (b)  No

70.    If no, why?
a.      There is always glut due to many processors
b.      Buyers complain of low quality product                (c) processing cost is high
d.      Transportation cost is high                (e) Others, specify …………………….

71.    Do you package your products for international market?
a.      Yes                                (b)  No

72.    If no, give reasons:
a.      Quality of product is not for international market
b.      No standardisation of project                       (c) No idea of such market

73.    Do you have enough market to dispose all your products?
a.      Yes                                (b)  No

74.    If no why?
a.      Supply is higher than demand                      (b) Buyer’s price is low
c.      No transportation service to convey products to urban markets
d.      Other reasons, specify ……………………………………………………
75.    Which of these taxes do you pay?
a.      Local Government Tax              (b) Market Tax             (c) Haulage Tax
d.      Produce Tax                 (e) Income Tax              (f) Others specify …………...

76.    Do you have all the equipment you need for your processing operations?
a.      Yes                                (b)  No


77.    Are your equipment mechanised?
a.      Yes                                (b)  No

78.    If no, why?  Specify ……………………………………………………...

79.    How do you acquire your Equipment/Tools?
a.      Through local fabricators                  (b) Purchase from dealers
c.      Supplied by government                    (d) Any others, specify ……………….

80.    Are there equipment/tool repairing mechanics in your community?
a.      Yes                                (b)  No

81.    If no, how do you maintain your equipment?
a.      Call mechanics from town                 (b) Carry equipment to town
c.      Repair by self              (d) Any others, specify ……………………………..
82.    Do you have any account with a bank?
a.      Yes                                (b)  No

83.    If yes, which bank? ……………………………………………………….
         …………………………………………………………………………….

84.    If you do not have an account, tick your reason(s)
a.      Banks are far from home                   (b) Banks waste a lot of time
c.      There is too much documentation
d.      Do not have enough money to open an account
e.      Late loan disbursement                      (f) High interest rate
g.      Lack of security

85.    What was your starting capital and how much credit have you invested in the last 12 months?
86.    Have you every applied to a bank for credit?
a.      Yes                                (b)  No
         What collateral (security) did you offer for the loan……………………...
87.    If yes, how do you see the attitude of banks in lending to small firms like yours?
a.      Very hostile                 (b)  Indifferent                      (c)  Very helpful
d.      Others, specify…………………………………………………………….

88.    If you got the loan, how long did it take you to get it?................................

89.    Is your enterprise registered?
a.      Yes                                (b)  No

90.    If no, why did you not register?
a.      Did not know I had to register                      (b) Too complicated to register
c.      Too expensive to register                              (d) Tax reasons
e.      No one will fine out                (f) Others, specify …………………………...

91.    If yes, who are you registered with?
a.      Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC)
b.      State Government                   Specify……………………………………….
c.      Local Government                  Specify ………………………………………
d.      Union/Association                  Specify ………………………………………
e.      Others, specify ……………………………………………………………

92.    What was the amount type and time taken for registration?

97.    How do you rate government rules, laws or policies, which materially affect your business?
a.      highly predictable                   (b) Fairly predictable
c.      Fairly unpredictable               (d) Highly unpredictable
e.      Completely unpredictable

98.    How do you perceive government’s stance on announced major policies?
a.      Always stick to policies                     (b) Mostly stick to policies
c.      Frequently stick to policies   (d) Sometimes stick to policies
e.      Seldom stick to policies                     (f) never stick to policies

99.    Are you usually informed or consulted during the process of developing new rules or policies, which affect your business?
a.      Always              (b) Mostly                 (c) Frequently           (d) Sometimes
e.      Seldom              (f) Never

100. In case of important change in laws, rules or policies affecting your business, does government take into account concerns voiced by you or your business association?
a.      Always              (b) Mostly                 (c) Frequently           (d) Sometimes
e.      Seldom              (f) Never

101. Have you received any assistance from any agency or NGO?
a.      Yes                                (b)  No

102. If yes, which agency or NGO? …………………………………………
103. What form of assistance have you received from the Agency/NGO?
a.      Training                        (b) Repairs and maintenance
c.      Equipment/Machinery                       (d) Land-Business spaces
e.      Financial           (specify amount in Naira) ………………………………...
f.       Others, specify…………………………………………………………….

Section three
For Female Entrepreneurs only:
104. Who is the head of your family?
a.      Husband                       (b) Self                       (c) Son           (d) Daughter

105. Can you read and write?
a.      Yes                                (b)  No

106. From where did you get money for your business?
a.      Own saving           (b) From Husband              (c) From friends and relations
d.      Loan from co-operative organisation                      (e) Loan from bank
f.       Loan from money lenders/traders                   (g) Others, specify……………

107. Which is your preferred source of credit?
a.      Formal                          (b) Informal

108. Give reasons………………………………………………………………

109. What problem do you encounter in getting loan from bank(s) in your area as a woman?
a.      Do not have acceptable collateral
b.      Banks always demand consent of husband
c.      Cost of loan is too high             (d) Officials demand financial gratification

110. Do you make use of modern processing equipment in your enterprise?
a.      Yes                                (b)  No

111. If yes, can you operate the equipment?
a.      Yes                                (b)  No

112. If no, why? ………………………………………………………………..

113. How did you get the land for your processing?
a.      Family land                              (b) Acquired land

114. If purchase, was it difficult for you to buy land as a woman?
a.      Yes                                (b)  No
115. Do you belong to any women co-operative/association?
a.      Yes                                (b)  No

116. In what ways has the association helped you?
a.      Creation of loan scheme for members
b.      Provision of subsidised processing equipment
c.      Provision of subsidised transportation                   (d) market for products

117. Do you receive extension services?
a.      Yes                                (b)  No

118 What type of services do you receive?
a.      Training                        (b) Linkage to financial organisation for credit
c.      Subsidy on repair of equipment           (d) Linkage to equipment fabricators
e.      Linkage to market                   (f) Any other, specify………………………...

119. List the problems you encounter as a woman in running your business?
…………………………………………

120. Suggest ways you can improve and expand your enterprise: …………….
         …………………………………………………………………………….

Section four
Effect/Influence of Institutional performance on enterprise development and Poverty Alleviation:
121. Has your enterprise grown since inception?
a.      Yes                                (b)  No

122. If no, what factor(s) do you consider as the cause of stagnation?
a.      High cost of raw materials                 (b) Low demand of products
c.      Multiple taxation from the government                  (d) High labour cost
e.      malfunctioning of amenities for processing (e.g. electricity)
f.       Low capital outlay                  (g) Lack of skills for new processing methods
h.      competition arising from modern project
i.       General poor infrastructure  (j) Others, specify…………………….



123. How would you describe the growth of your enterprise?
a.      Acquired more improved machines/equipment/tools
b.      Hire more labour                     (c) Opened more branches
d.      Injected more capital     (e) Diversified into more products
         specify ……………………………………………………………………
f.       Others, specify ……………………………………………………………

124. Which of the following factors may have influenced the growth of your enterprise?
a.      Easy access to input markets                 (b) Easy access to output markets
c.      Easy access to cheap capital      (d) Cheap labour supply
e.      High demand for product                       (f)  Low input cost
g.      Improved skill through training             (h) Improved Technology
i.       Others, specify …………………………………………………………..

125. Due to increase in your income, what have you done as a result of your enhanced status?
a.      Pay children’s school fees                (b) Pay hospital bills
c.      Feed family adequately                     (d) Buy household properties
e.      Acquire more processing equipment               (f) Build/Renovate house(s)
g.      Purchase more land for expansion   (h) Save more money in the bank
i.       Expand farming area              (j) Invest in other business
k.      Fulfil social obligations                     (l) Other benefits, specify……………    

126. How has your business improved the lives of people around your area?
a.      Create employment – hired/regular staff   
b.      Patronise spare part dealers
c.      Purchase petrol/diesel, engine oil from sellers
d.      patronise equipment repairers (mechanics)
e.      Sale of products to the public
f.       Purchase of input from farmers
g.      Any other, specify ………………………………………………………..

127. has your business increased your self-esteem in the community?
a.      Yes                                (b)  No

128. If yes, how?
a.      participate in decision making in the family (Female Entrepreneur)
b.      Contribute to community development
c.      Control more resources than before (Richer)
d.      Active in political activities
e.      Help the less privileged in the society
f.       Any other, specify………………………………………………………...

129. Due to expansion of your business, is there improvement in market network?
a.      Yes                                (b)  No
130. If no, why?  Specify ……………………………………………………...

131. Are there improved transport services for the evacuation of your products to places of higher demand?
a.      Yes                                (b)  No

132. If yes, how?
a.      Provision of mass transit buses by government
b.      Middlemen buy directly from processors
c.      Processors have buses as co-operatives
d.      Any other means, specify…………………………………………………

section five
Constraints to Institutional performance in Micro/Small Agro-Allied Processing Enterprises.

Please if the answer to the question below is yes then tick () accordingly.


Department of agric – economics, extension and management faculty of agriculture and natural resources management ebonyi state university abakaliki

Research questionnaire for project officer (bank)

Topic:  Institutions in Micro and Small Agro-Allied Processing Enterprises:  Implications for Poverty Alleviation in Ebonyi State – Nigeria.

Please respond to the questions listed below by ticking and/or supplying answers/information as demanded.  Your response will be treated with utmost confidence it deserves.  Thanks.

1.           How long has your bank been in this area?
…………………………………………………………………………........

2.           What percentage of the total loanable fund goes to the Micro/Small Agro-Processing Enterprises?
………………………………………………………………………….......

3.           Out of this, what percentage has been given to prospective entrepreneurs in the past two years?
………………………………………………………………………….......

4.           What percentage of these loans has been accessed by women entrepreneurs?
………………………………………………………………………….......

5.           What is the minimum and maximum amount for this category of entrepreneurs?
………………………………………………………………………….......

6.           How long does it take to obtain loan from your bank/agency?
…………………………………………………………………………........

7.           What is your interest rate for agro-processors?
…………………………………………………………………………........

8.           What is your period of repayment?
…………………………………………………………………………........
9.           Do you experience high default rate from borrowers?
(What %) ……………………………………………………………….......

10.       What are the requirements for granting loan to interested agro-
processors? ……………………………………………………………..……………
11.       Are the conditions the same for women entrepreneurs?
a.            Yes                             (b)  No

12.       If the answer to question 11 is No, please state the difference and reasons ……………………………………………………………
13.       Does your bank exhaust the whole amount allocated to micro/small entrepreneurs every year?
a.            Yes                             (b)  No

14.       If No, what percentage is given out on average basis every year?
N ……………………………………………………………………….........

15.       Are you encouraged by the response of entrepreneurs in obtaining credit from your bank?
a.            Yes                             (b)  No

16.       Are the conditions for obtaining credit easily met by the processors?
a.            Yes                             (b)  No

17.       If No, list the conditions which are not easily met by them: ………
18.       Did your bank encounter problems in establishing your office in this community?
a.            Yes                             (b)  No

19.       If yes, what were the difficulties? ……………………………………….....
…………………………………………………………………………........
20.       Are you willing to lend to entrepreneurs in the rural areas?
a.            Yes                             (b)  No

b.            Do you create awareness for loan disbursement in your bank?
a.            Yes                             (b)  No

21.       Do you accept an unregistered land in the rural areas as collaterals?
a.            Yes                             (b)  No

22.       If No, why? ……………………………………………………………........

23.       State the constraints you encounter in the course of your work as a Project Officer: …………………………………………………………...................
………………………………………………………………………….......

24.       Suggest/Recommend measures to improve the conditions of providing financial assistance to micro entrepreneurs: ………………………….......
……………………………………………………………………

25.       Has your bank performed any social responsibility to the community?
a.            Yes                             (b)  No

26.       Recommend ways of enabling your bank to be very effective in the discharge of her duty as regards improving the financial status of borrowers: ……………………………………………………………….......
……………………………………………………………………….............
 



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