Accepted 26th June, 2014
This study investigated oil palm processing among farmers in Imo State with focus on socio-economic characteristics, cost and returns, factors of oil palm processing, and highlighted implications for market orientation and Entrepreneurship in Extension practice in Nigeria. Purposive, multi-stage random techniques were employed to select 160 respondents, while structured interview schedule was adopted in data collection and both percentages, Gross Margin and Multiple Regression were employed in analysis. The results showed that majority (63.8%) of the farmers were females, while large (68.7%) numbers had either TC II, OND or NCE qualifications. Majority (74.1%) of the farmers were married and 57.6 percent had estimated equity income of N51,000.00 to N150,000.00. The average quantity of palm oil produced per month was 75.16 litres with revenue of N13, 267.02 at the total cost of N8,052.5, while the Gross Margin was N5,664.43 with a net revenue of N5,214.43 and a benefit ratio of 1.64 [with gross ratio of 0.61]. Income, cost of processing, membership of co-operatives and size of oil palm plantation were positively significant with output at 1% and these constituted implications for market orientation and Entrepreneurship in Extension practice. The study recommended government improved funding and provision of credits, formation of cooperatives among farmers and institutional linkages and involvement of market orientation and entrepreneurship in extension training for farmers. In conclusion, sustainable extension practice in oil palm processing towards market orientation and entrepreneurship in Imo State, Nigeria depends on the extent issues raised on costs and returns as well as related factors can be addressed.
Keywords: Oil palm processing, market orientation, entrepreneurship, extension, Nigeria