Contribution of Rural Infrastructure to the Household Welfare of Cassava Entrepreneurs

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Published on International Journal of Agriculture & Agribusiness
Publication Date: July 10, 2019

Onafurume, Ono Marvin
Forestry Research Institute of Nigeria Ibadan

Journal Full Text PDF: Contribution of Rural Infrastructure to the Household Welfare of Cassava Entrepreneurs (Studied in Ido – Local Goverment Area of Oyo State).

The issue of infrastructure and the development of rural areas have continued to be topical in Nigeria and its importance in rural development cannot be overestimated. Over the past years, significant investments in rural infrastructure improvements have been realized with diverse intended objectives, and varied levels of success in achieving these objectives. Rural poverty remains one of the biggest challenges in development because of low or no availability of infrastructure to rural farming households and entrepreneurs. The research was done to investigate the linkage between rural infrastructure availability, enterprise development and household welfare status of the cassava entrepreneurs using Ido local government as the study area. The general objective was to determine the contribution of rural infrastructure to the household welfare of cassava entrepreneurs. The study was aimed at identifying the available infrastructure, its functionality, relevance, benefits, and constraints as it affects the welfare and development of the various enterprises and the entrepreneurs’ household. The data used in analysis were from one hundred and forty respondents. The data used for the study were collected using structured questionnaire administered as an interview schedule in order to circumvent illiteracy barrier. Data collected were subjected to descriptive statistics such as frequencies, percentage to describe the data in the stated objectives of the study. The use of Chi-square and Pearson’s Product Moment Correlation was important to analyze the relationship between variables in the stated hypotheses of the study. The study showed the respondents in this area are not poor as their welfare levels was calculated using per capita expenditure of the respondents and it was found that only 0.8% of them are core poor, 16.7% of them are poor while 82.5% are non poor. The Chi-square analyses showed that the respondents’ gender (x² = 0.434, p= 0.372), Marital status (x² = 0.230, p = 0.290), other education (x² = 0.927, p = 0.901) were not significantly related to the welfare levels however, Primary occupation (x² = 0.001, p = 0.018) and Secondary occupation (x² = 0.011, p = 0.002) were significantly related to the welfare levels. Also, the PPMC analyses revealed that there is a significant relationship between the respondents’ age and their welfare level (r = 0.303, p=0.001) and no significant relationship between respondents’ education years (r = -0.165, p = 0.074) and income per month (r = 0.074, p = 0.421) and their welfare levels. The study showed there was no significant relationship between the benefit they derive from using the infrastructure and their welfare level (r = 0.061, p = 0.508) using PPMC analysis. The study showed that there was a significant relationship between the respondents’ enterprise characteristics (r = 0.357 p =0.000) and (r = 0.395 p = 0.000) and their welfare status. (r = 0.134, p = 0.143) showed that no significant relationship exist between constraint faced and their welfare status.

Keyword: Infrastructure, Cassava, Rural Area & Household Welfare.

1. Introduction
Infrastructure is the basic physical and organisational structures needed for the operation of society, enterprises or services; it is the set of facilities necessary for an economy to function. It can also be explained as the basic social services, facilities, and installations needed for the proper functioning of a community or society, such as transportation and communications systems, water and power lines and public institutions including schools, post offices, hospitals and other urban municipal infrastructures (Farlex, 2015). The term typically refers to the technical structures that support a society. Availability of adequate infrastructure facilities is an important pre-requisite for sustainable economic and social development (Obayelu, Olanrewaju and Oyelami, 2014). Infrastructure determines or propels the development of a society, in fact it can be said that infrastructure is paramount in the development of a society. Increasing agricultural productivity depends on good infrastructural facilities and is an instrument to improve the economy (Calderon and Serve, 2008; Egbetokun, 2009; Patra and Acharya, 2011). Adequate infrastructures can reduce the cost of production which affects productivity (Oyewole and Oloko, 2006). Infrastructures are key stimulants to agricultural development and growth (FAO, 1996). Infrastructure is also the bed rock of modern development as it is used to categorise a place as urban or rural area. The status and development of rural infrastructures not only influences agricultural production and operation modes directly, community development is also well documented as duly influenced (Fan and Zhang, 2004) and it also improves the standard of living of rural people and enhances the quality of rural labour. Deficient rural infrastructure may hinder agricultural production and induce poor technical performance. Rural infrastructure is therefore considered to have considerable effect on agricultural production efficiency and is regarded as a strategic variable.
Complete rural infrastructural development can boost regional economic development. But most developing countries including Nigeria still suffer from poor rural infrastructural facilities (Olayiwola and Adeleye, 2005; Umoren et al., 2009). Even though Nigeria government initiated several projects to improve the quality and quantity of infrastructure in the rural areas through programmes such as the construction of small dams and boreholes for rural water supply and the clearing of feeder roads for the evacuation of agricultural produce, the supply of electricity to rural areas from large irrigation dams, the establishment of eleven River Basin Development Authorities (RBDAs), Directorate for Food, Roads and Rural Infrastructure (DFRRI), the Poverty Relief and Infrastructure Investment Fund and the Comprehensive Agricultural Support Programme, the impact of such programmes on the lives of many rural people in the country is still considered to be limited (Ale et al., 2011). The neglect of rural infrastructure (such as roads) impedes the profitability of agricultural production, marketing of agricultural commodities and prevents farmers from selling their produce at reasonable price due to spoilage (IFAD, 2011; Akpan, 2012). Limited accessibility to infrastructures such as road and credit cuts small-scale farmers off from sources of inputs, equipment and new technology and keeps yields low. Inadequate infrastructures also affect the level of productivity through ineffective time allocation (Ondiege et al., 2013). Infrastructure is known to impact welfare in three basic respects. It has basic consumption value and as such affects utility derivable from existing and budgeted income. Its availability affects productivity and capacity to earn income, which is of concern in rural agriculture. It also affects households and national stock real wealth in the entire economy. It has multiple effects on health and quality of life. Kessides (1993) and Alaba (2001) pointed out that individuals are poor because they do not have access to infrastructure services of necessary quality.
Cassava (manihot esculenta crantz) is a perennial, vegetatively propagated shrub, grown throughout the lowland tropics. Cassava production is one of the major agricultural activities and it is the bulk of agricultural produce in Nigeria, especially in the rural areas as the country accounts for approximately 35 million metric tons per annum out of the 103 million metric tonnes produced by African countries (FAOSTAT, 2009). Nigeria has the largest harvest in the world; three times more than the production level in Brazil and almost double the production level in Thailand and Indonesia (FAO, 2007). Cassava constitutes a major item in the crop combination of the most farmers and contributes significantly to total farm income in Nigeria (Bamire, Alimi and Ayanwale, 2004).
Cassava products such as garri, fufu, cassava flour (elubo) and starch serves as the bulk of food source in the country. Its bye-product such as cassava peels are sources of food or feed for livestock animals, the cyanide derived from its tubers is used in chemical industries. No doubt, from all the knowledge acquired from the study and usefulness of cassava, we can vividly say that cassava cultivation and production has various enterprises which have their success based on the development or level of infrastructures in the rural areas. Enterprises in cassava production include cassava cultivation, cassava processing, and cassava tuber marketing with cassava produce selling. As a food crop, cassava fits well into the farming systems of the smallholder farmers in Nigeria because it is available all year round, thus providing household food security. Obisesan (2013), ascertained that the FGT results revealed a high rate of poverty among the cassava farming households with 66.7% households being poor and the households with no credit access had higher poverty incidence. The study of Obayelu, Olarewaju and Oyelami (2014) on rural infrastructure profitability and productivity of cassava-based farms ascertained that majority of the cassava based farms cultivated between 0.4 and 0.8 hectares, which indicates that they are mostly peasant farmers. This shows that most cassava farmers produce at subsistence level probably as a result of the condition of infrastructural facilities that may not support large-scale and commercial production.
Rural areas have been known to be poor basically because of limitations occasioned by lack of basic facilitation materials and equipments. There are many time-invariant factors that affect agricultural production especially in rural areas. Rural infrastructure is identified as being important in explaining the variation in technical efficiency of agricultural enterprises, including cassava. The contribution of rural infrastructure to cassava enterprise development and/or improvement is expected to be a direct fall-out of the availability and functional state of the infrastructural facilities in the rural areas.

2.0 Concept of infrastructure and welfare
Public infrastructure is an important part of a well functioning urban economy. Such infrastructure, as defined by Haughwout (2001), is publicly owned and maintained physical capital has historically played a central role in allowing cities to grow by mitigating or reducing problems such as congested roadways, potholes, water-main breaks, and overcrowded schools. Yet while the benefit of some public works can hardly be disputed, a key policy issue is whether additions to our stock of public infrastructure provide overall benefits that exceed their costs. Education and highway facilities are being stretched to their limits in fast-growing cities and suburbs, while concerns are being raised about the level and physical condition of public works in slower growing, older central cities Haughwout (2001).
However according to Fakayode et al (2008), in many communities in Nigeria, inadequate and low quality infrastructure has been known to have serious implications for welfare and the persistence of poverty. Rural infrastructural development in Nigeria has long been neglected, yet investments in health, education and water supply have largely been focused on the cities. Consequently, the rural population have limited access to services such as schools and health centres, and about half of the population lacks access to safe drinking water.
Limited education opportunities and poor health perpetuate their poverty cycle. The neglect of rural infrastructure has also reduced the profitability of producing agricultural and non-agricultural goods for the markets. Nigeria’s rural road network is one of the least developed in sub-Saharan Africa. The poor tends to live in isolated villages that can become virtually inaccessible during the rainy seasons. When there is a post-harvest marketable surplus, it is not always easy to reach the markets. Limited accessibility has also cut off small-scale farmers from sources of inputs, equipment and new technologies. Crop yields are therefore low because farmers lack these inputs.
Insensitivity of the government to providing basic infrastructure may have informed the stress on the available ones of which maintenance is quite irregular, leading to eventual breakdown in many instances. This accounted for substantial loss of productive time, low productivity and poverty in Nigeria. Apart from the general infrastructural problem experienced nationwide, the entire nations’ rural areas are specifically worse off, which may have accounted for poverty differentials between the rural and urban Nigeria.
Over two-thirds of Nigeria’s population resides in rural areas (Fakayode et al, 2008). Increasingly, poverty in the country is wearing a rural face. From 28.3 per cent in 1980, poverty among the rural population grew to 51.4 per cent in 1985, and rose to 69.8 per cent in 1996. Poverty tends to affect men and women differently. Women are generally less educated, more vulnerable, deprived and powerless than their male counterparts. Poor people experience insecurity and vulnerability (drought, desertification, flooding, deforestation, diseases, volatile commodity markets etc), lack of empowerment to influence public policies according to their priorities and lack of opportunities for income generation and benefits from markets.

2.1 Classification of infrastructural facilities
Infrastructure has been viewed from a lot of different angles either as basic organisation or in public service (Redmond, 2009). Although infrastructural facilities do not differ much in classification, there is yet no definite and generally acceptable classification. According to Wharton (1968) and Essang (1975), infrastructures were classified based on capital spent on the facilities. Another classification by Abdulahi (1981) classified infrastructure into two: capital extensive infrastructure (agricultural extension, educational services, health facilities, credit institution, agricultural research facilities etc.) and capital intensive infrastructure (water development facilities, electrification, storage facilities, transportation facilities, road facilities as well as the railways). The classification by Idachaba et al (Ibid), classified rural infrastructures into three distinctive classes, which is the most relevant, comprehensive and well detailed with information, this classification includes:
a. Physical infrastructure
b. Social infrastructure
c. Institutional infrastructure

2.3.1 Rural physical infrastructure
Rural road network – Transport facilities in Nigeria include canals, road, air and railway system but road transportation is the most widely used. Canals are restricted to the riverine or coastal part of the country. The railway is based on the availability of export crops as it is often used as the main source of transporting goods. Rural roads constitutes the most important infrastructure in the transportation of both farm and non-farm produce. It is therefore essential to have access from arable land to the market or end users.
The constructions of new roads usually affect the pattern of land use and settlement leading to opening of new areas and also economic and social development. The accelerated coverage of the of the rural areas with roads will considerably reduce input of transportation cost especially with regards to human energy costs of head portage of goods and also the opportunity cost of time taken in trekking long distances. The time saved can be used leisurely or imputed into increased productivity. Prompt predictable responses of rural dwellers to incentives and disincentives of both government and public policies can only be appreciated if the agencies responsible have access to the rural areas.
Rural roads tend to improve the structure, conduct and performance of rural communities in any developmental programme. Effort to accelerate both agricultural and rural development would encounter stumbling blocks if rural roads remain seasonal and grossly inadequate. While it is ideal for government to maintain and build feeder roads especially under the directorate of food road and rural infrastructure (DFRRI) community and private sector must also contribute. Efficient transportation would also improve production and welfare as extension and health agencies find it easier to reach farmers and rural dwellers.

Storage facilities
Storage in agriculture refers to the process of keeping of agricultural products whether processed or raw from the time of production to the time of its utilisation without any significant loss in quality or quantity. Losses generating from agriculture can be of two types; Food loss – this is the loss or reduction of the nutrient content of the produce and Quality loss – this is the loss in weight content or seed value.
Storage facilities can be of two types; On-farm and off-farm storage of produce. Input storage of materials such as fertilisers, seeds, pesticides with sole aim of minimizing fluctuation of farm inputs. Storage helps to stabilise intra-season food supplies and prices as well as equalization of demand thus extending supply from one period to another. Storage facilities provide availability of more food for sale and consumption.

Water resource and development
The availability of potable water is of great importance to the farming household especially to its components (family, livestock etc). The development of irrigation and drainage scheme are very important for the development of agriculture particularly if one is to correct the instability in the food supplies due to unstable and uncontrollable weather as a result of dependency on rain and if one is also to increase production considerably through double cropping. There is need for construction of dams, the digging of boreholes, development of springs and well for the provision of water both for consumption and irrigation where possible. The indirect economic and social benefits are apart from improving the general level of health, it create opportunity for programme that will make use of water in agriculture, animal husbandry and home economics.

Rural electrification
The literature on rural infrastructure is extremely vast; however rural electrification in Africa has a lot in the past been addressed in the context of rural infrastructural development whether by consultants of the developed world or by leading institutions or even by policy makers in the African countries themselves. Mariam (1990) explains that the benefits that accrue from rural electrification programmes are by far very large. According to him, rural electrification programmes have multi-faceted and multi-sectoral purposes which are fundamental to the economic development of the rural areas of any sub-region.
Rural electrification is one of the basic infrastructures that are needed so as to aid development in the rural areas. it is the process of bringing electric power to the rural and remote areas so that they can have access and utilize it so as to bring about better welfare and hence development.

2.3.2 Rural social infrastructure
Health facilities – The guideline for national development has declared that in addition to realising new opportunities through production for the market, rural dwellers want to be rescued from ravages of diseases, malnutrition and total ignorance. The low productivity and efficiency of labour due to scourge of endemic diseases range from sleeping sickness and yellow fever to other complex disease of soil, water and air borne pathogens abundant in the rural environment. Therefore, in any effective development, the rural health programme should not involve preventive, curative but also rehabilitative measures. The role of health facilities in the development of the rural area is indirectly derived, thus implying that the output of health facilities be measured on the output of rural welfare and also the number of patient served by a particular facility.
Educational facilities – This provides improvement in the welfare of rural people through enlightening them to make use of resources efficiently by allocating them correctly. Through allocation ability, education also enables the farmer to make economically wise decisions which are devoid of tradition or institutional bias. Education also enhances the knowledge in the nutrient value of food and thus facilitates rural people’s choice of food consumption to maximize nutritional and social welfare. Formal and informal types of education impart the ability to read and write and thereby enhance rural development by giving them sense of belonging, self respect and dignity.

2.3.3 Rural institutional infrastructure
Cooperative societies – Agricultural extension and training: agricultural extension services are very important social infrastructure for development of agriculture. The essence of services is that “it works with the rural people and their problems, transmitting information to the research and expressing the way people think about their problem back to the research institution as well as bringing back solutions to the peoples problem” (William, 1978). Hence they serve as a link of communication between the rural people and the research institutions. Extension also organises and develops self-help projects and programmes and supplies technical manpower to such projects. Their effectiveness has been hampered by so many factors among which are inadequate transport, communication and teaching materials.
Financial and credit institutions – Efficient institutions extending credit facilities to rural people are an important accelerator of rural and agricultural development. In order to produce more, rural people must spend more on improved seeds, fertilisers, pesticides and farm implements (William op cit), since there is a period of capital need during gestation period of capital.
Markets – Marketing involves getting products from centres of consumption. Role of rural markets cannot be divorced from any development plans, because it determines the number of buyers and sellers with inefficient markets, farmers are reluctant to produce surpluses for sale because they are not able to sell their produce readily and at a reasonable price. Such markets must be easily accessible to both buyers and sellers.
Agro-Service centres – In order to ensure timeliness of delivery of inputs such as fertilisers, pesticides seeds, and vaccines there is need to establish agro services centres in strategic places throughout the local government. Such centres will stimulate the use of inputs and increase substantially the number of farmers adopting techniques as the extension staff radiating from the centres must be easily accessible and equipped with all necessary resources needed for agricultural development.

3. Methodology
3.1 Study area
The study was carried out in Ido local government area of Oyo state. Ido Local Government came into being in May, 1989. The local government, with its headquarters at Ido, was carved out of the former Akinyele local government. It is bounded on the north by Akinyele local government area, on the west by Ibadan south-west, on the south by Odeda local government area and on the east by Ibadan South-East local government area. The Local Government has an area of 986 km2 and a total population of 103,261 based on 2006 National Population Census. It lies between latitudes 06’45’’ and 09’45’’ North of the equator and longitude 02’30’’ and 05’15’’ East of the Greenwich Meridian.
The local government area has fairly low lying landscape with deep free draining soils. It is characterized by fairly heavy rainfall which varies from 1500mm to 2000mm per annum. The vegetation consists of two ecological zones: the tropical rainforest and the guinea savannah. The rainforest occupies western, eastern and southern parts of the local government while the guinea savannah zone is in the northern part of the Local Government Area.
The area occupies a total landmass of about 800 square kilometres. Among the major towns within the local Government Area are Ijokodo, Ido, Omi-Adio, Apata, Apete, Akufo and Bakatari as well as about 612 villages which include Ogunweide, Dada, Olowofela, Apooyin, Oderemi, Odetola, Erinwusi, Tade, Alagbaa, Iku- senla among others. On the account of extensive fertile soil, which is suitable for agriculture, the basic occupation of the people is farming.

3.2 Population of the study
The population of the study comprised of all cassava entrepreneurs in Ido local government area of Oyo state.

3.3 Sampling procedure and sampling size
The multistage sampling procedure was used to select respondents for this study. The first stage involved a random selection of 30% of the wards in the local government. The second stage involved a cluster sampling of two communities where cassava enterprises are very common. The third stage involved a random selection of 20 cassava entrepreneurs from each of the selected communities; which gave a total of 120 respondents for the study.

3.4 Instrument for data collection
The data for this study was collected using questionnaire, which was administered as interview schedule in order to circumvent illiteracy barrier. The questionnaire comprised of eight sections. Section A contained questions designed to elicit information about the personal characteristics of the respondents such as name of community, age, sex, marital status, education years, other education, primary occupation, secondary occupation and income per month. Section B contained questions that gave information about their enterprise characteristics. Section C contained statements designed to list available rural infrastructures in their various communities. Section D was designed to elicit information on the levels of functionality of the available rural infrastructures. Section E elicited information on the relevance of these rural infrastructures to their enterprises. Section F elicited information on the extent to which they benefitted from the available rural infrastructures in their communities. Section G contained information on the levels of welfare of the cassava entrepreneurs in the study area. Section H elicited information on constraints faced by cassava entrepreneurs in gaining access to the use of some named infrastructure like irrigation, roads, and machineries among others.

3.5 Measurement of variables
The independent variables include the following:

3.5.1 Enterprise characteristics
Enterprise type: Respondents were asked to indicate the cassava enterprise(s) they are involved in out of the listed ones; cassava cultivation, cassava processing, cassava product marketing, among others.
Years of experience: Respondents were asked to indicate their years of experience in exact number of years.
Source of labour: Respondents were asked to indicate their sources of labour from the options; self, family, hired etc.
Sources of finance: Respondents were asked to indicate their sources of finance from the options; bank loan, money lender, cooperative, family and friends etc.

3.5.2 Socioeconomic characteristics
Age: Respondents were asked to indicate their real age in years.
Sex: Respondents were asked to indicate sex as either male or female.
Marital status: Respondents were asked to indicate their marital status among the listed options; single, married, widowed or divorced.
Educational qualification: Respondents were asked to indicate their level of education in terms of years of formal education attained and to state if they had other forms education.
Occupation: Respondents were asked to indicate their primary and secondary occupation among the listed options; trading, farming, food processor, hand craft amongst others.
Income: Respondents’ income was be measured by asking them to state their earnings within options of period; daily, weekly, monthly, seasonally or annually.