DETERMINANTS OF HERBAL SOAP SMALL ENTERPRISES AND MARKET-LED DEVELOPMENT IN SOUTH WEST, NIGERIA
Research into alternative natural products with health potential such as herbal soap has become very important to curb the disastrous effects of mercury-based soap on healthy living and so enhance womens productive activities of the rural peasantry. The study examines the factors affecting herbal soap small enterprises development and marketing. In identifying the factors affecting the small enterprises, five hundred and two (502) herbal soap processors and marketers were surveyed from South West, Nigeria comprising 65 villages in the sampled 16 Local Government Areas. A close-ended questionnaire was used to gather data for the study. The data collected from herbal soap entrepreneurs was fitted into three regression functional forms. The functional forms were linear, semi-log and double log functions. The double log function was selected as the lead equation based on the significance of the individual coefficients and their signs, the magnitude of the coefficient of the multiple determinations (R2) and the magnitude of the standard error (SE) which was 0.80 and F- statistics of 2.35. The R2 of 0.829 indicated that 82.9% of the variation in the gross profit of herbal soap production (Y) was accounted for by the regressors/explanatory variables. Regression analysis result revealed that, household size and labour were significant at 10% while extension contact was significant at 5%. It is therefore recommended that, extension contact should be encouraged among the herbal soap processors in other to generate more income, also, awareness should be created for existing and prospective entrepreneurs about business opportunities in Natural resources utilising agricultural-wastes.
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