STRATEGIES FOR IMPROVING THE VALUE CHAIN OF CASTOR AS AN INDUSTRIAL RAW MATERIAL IN NIGERIA
Keywords:value chain, castor, raw material, industrial crop, cash crop.
Castor is possibly one of Nigeria’s most under-appreciated assets. Its potential as an industrial raw material can be fully realized by a critical appraisal of its value chain. This article reviews Castor value chain in Nigeria and identifies the constraints and strategies for improving its use as an industrial raw material. The strategies proposed can serve as a guide for castor value addition among operators and policy makers in a bid to maximize castor industrial potentials. A review of the uses of castor after value addition indicated that it can be used in over 10 industries namely; agriculture, food, paper, electronics and telecommunication, textile, pharmaceutical, Cosmetic and Perfume, Paint, Lubricant, Plastic and Rubber industries. Constraints such as insect and disease problems, weak input/service market, inadequate knowledge and skill, post-harvest losses and inadequate process technology serve as obstacles to successful value addition for Castor. Strategies bordering on developing the input market, provision of quality seedlings and fertilizers, capacity development and development of farmers institutions were proposed to bridge the gaps, encourage value addition and ensure the development of Castor as an industrial raw material. It is believed that if the recommendations are implemented, castor can attract up to 25 billion Naira to the Nigerian economy.