Implications of Empowerment Status in Agricultural Production Capabilities of Rural Women in Selected States of Nigeria
Journal of Agricultural Extension
This study assessed the implications of empowerment status in agricultural production capabilities of rural women in selected states of Nigeria using five main indicators of empowerment; decision-making status, economic status, social status, political status and time-use status. Multi-stage sampling technique was used to randomly select four States (Oyo, Edo, Benue and Sokoto States) from the six agricultural zones in Nigeria. From each state, 10% of the rural Local Government Areas (LGAs)
... nt Areas (LGAs) were purposively selected making a total of nine LGAs. Two communities were randomly selected from each LGA to give 18 rural communities. Rural women were systematically sampled proportionate to the size of each community to give 261 respondents. Data were analysed using descriptive statistics, PPMC and ANOVA. Respondents had low decision-making status ( =32.4), high economic status ( =83.1), high social status ( =7.6), low political status ( =11.7) and high time-use ( =20.7) status and a low empowerment status ( = 155.5) across States. Result shows that there was a significant difference (F=47.615) in the empowerment status of respondents across selected states. Income (r=0.403), educational attainment (r=0.478), household size (r=0.084) and years of experience (r=0.235) had significant positive relationship with empowerment status. Rural women should be empowered by government agencies and NGOs through organising seminars on self-help projects and giving them voice which will enable them to have a sustainable farm enterprise. 42 Farming characteristics It was revealed from Table 2 that respondents were into cultivation of different crops like maize, cassava, yam, cowpea and vegetables. This result is in consonance with the findings of Ogunsumi, Adeyeye and Fato (2017) that most rural women are involved in the cultivation of different crops like cassava, yam, maize and vegetables for household consumption and sale. Also, 57.3% of the respondents cultivated less than one acre of farmlands. This implies that most of the respondents do not have access to adequate land for their farming activities and this may affect their level of production and income. This corroborates with the findings of Yusuf, Okunmadewa, Adenegan and Oyekale (2010) who noted that rural women have low access to a large area of land for cultivation. Also, 39.1% and 22.2% of the respondents use family and hired labour, respectively. This suggests that some respondents make use of their children to meet farming labour needs and some could afford to pay for hired labourers. Few (11.5%) of the respondents had access to personal land while 51.3% of them use family land. This is in tandem with the findings of Iyela and Ikwuakam (2015) that rural women do not own land and may have limited access to self-purchased land for farming. Furthermore, table 2 reveals that the mean for the years of experience in various enterprises is 4.6years. Also, 48.3% of the respondents did not give years of experience in their enterprise probably due to lack of keeping records or inability to recall from memory. This affirms the findings of Dudafa (2013) that rural women do not attach a great deal of importance to record keeping on their farm activities and other aspects of their lives.