A survey of the barriers associated with product development in tomato-based agro-allied food companies in Nigeria
Mobolude Jadesinmi Abolarin, Daniel Babalola, and Opeyemi Deborah Soyemi Keywords: Knowledge creation, knowledge transfer, knowledge use, product development, tomato-based, agro-allied.
Library and Information Perspectives and Research 2022 4(1/2), 32-40. Published: September 12, 2022
The contributions of the tomato-based agro-allied companies in Nigeria cannot be over-emphasized because nearly every household consumes tomato products on daily basis. There is low industrial take-off and poor product development among existing agro-allied industries, especially for perishables like a tomato. The current study, therefore, seeks to investigate the factors militating against product development in tomato-based agro-allied food companies in Nigeria. The study employed a survey research design. Multistage sampling technique was used to select respondents for the study in the 23 companies studied. In the first stage, fifteen (15) out of the 23 listed and seven (7) out of the seventeen 17 non-listed tomato processing companies were purposively and conveniently selected for the study. In the second stage, the researcher stratified selected companies into existing three departments; Research and Development, Production and marketing were purposively selected. Finally, a simple random sampling technique was used and participants were selected proportionately to the size of each department and a total of 450 respondents were selected. A structured questionnaire was used to collect the data from the respondents. Data were analyzed using descriptive and inferential statistics (multiple regression and t-test) at P≤0.05. Findings revealed that three commonly produced tomato-based products in Nigeria are Tomato paste (15.7%) closely followed by Tomato juice (12.8%) and Tomato sauce (12.6%). Others includes Crushed Italian tomatoes (5.9%), Tomato Ketchup (10%), Tomato Puree (5.7%), Passata (6.9%), Sun dried tomatoes (10.7%), Tomato fat (7.1%), Tomato oil ( 11%) and others (1.6%) respectively. This result shows that most tomato based agro-allied food companies in Nigeria develop mostly tomato paste. It revealed an overall high level of product development with an overall average mean of (mean = 3.32) on the scale of 4points. The identified factors ranges from sluggish exports (mean = 4.1), local market sales (mean = 4.1), custom duties (mean=4.1), exchange rate fluctuation (mean = 4.0), high interest rate (mean = 4.0), price increase (mean = 4.0), procurement of parts (mean = 4.0), inequality control (mean=4.0), lack of progress (mean = 3.9), increase in personnel expenses and increase in fuel (mean =3.9) and lastly lack of facilities, stricter environmental regulations, electric power shortage, inadequate logistics (mean = 3.8) The study concluded that actors and stakeholders in the tomato based agro-allied food companies in Nigeria should be commended for their efforts in sustaining tomato based agro-allied products in the country. The paper recommended that policy makers and heads of production departments of these companies should give more attention to production of other products for increase sales of agricultural products in tomato based agro-allied food companies in Nigeria.