Perceptions of Cocoa Farmers on the Utilization of Cocoa Pod Husk In Ado-Ekiti Farm Settlements, Nigeria.
Cocoa pod husk (CPH) disposal constitutes a serious problem in cocoa farms and cocoa processing areas. This study was designed to determine the perceptions and practices of cocoa farmers regarding CPH disposal. A stratified random sampling using proportional allocation based on the number of cocoa farmers in the 36 farm settlements in Ado- Ekiti was done to select 400 cocoa farmers who were interviewed with the aid of a questionnaire. Results of the questionnaire survey showed that the ages of the respondents ranged from 31 to 90 years and composed of 90.0% male and 10.0% female. The respondents are predominantly farmers, with 85.3% practicing farming on a full time basis; others combine farming with other activities such as trading (9.25%), carpentry (1.00%), civil service (1.00%), electricians (0.75%) and teaching (2.75%). All the respondents reported that they leave CPH in heaps on the farm after harvesting the cocoa beans. About 93.0% believed that this practice could promote black pod disease while others (7.0%) believed that the heaps only occupy space in their plantations thereby reducing the land use. Respondents also reported that they used CPH for soap making (38.3%) and for medicinal purposes (61.8%). Majority of the respondents (61.75%) admitted knowledge of CPH being used as herb that cures certain diseases such as malaria, epilepsy and certain skin diseases.
Other respondents (38.25%) admitted to knowing that CPH can be used in soap making. Whatever they may use the CPH for, the ultimate goal is a way of managing the waste.
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