Gender Issues in Agricultural Extension and Rural Development in Nigeria [chapter]

Stella O.
2012 Rural Development - Contemporary Issues and Practices  
Rural Development -Contemporary Issues and Practices 140 role of women in agricultural and rural development can therefore not be over-emphasized when considering rural and national development of Nigeria. Rural Development will therefore take place when attention is paid to various relevant institutions such as the cooperative societies, land tenure system, bank and credits, development of viable local government areas, educational institutions, medical institutions, and agricultural marketing
more » ... outlets. Nigerian women in agricultural activities Rural development is the mainstay of agriculture and agricultural development in developing countries (including Nigeria) therefore all efforts geared towards agricultural development will be fruitless without it. Women in Africa (including Nigeria)generally play an important role in small-scale traditional agricultural production (Afolabi,2008) Rural women have taken over the production and processing of arable crops and are responsible for as much as 80% of the staple food items. Estimates of women's contribution to the production of food crops range from 30% in the Sudan to 80% in the Congo contributing substantially to national agricultural production and food security (OECD,1992). Most farmers in Nigeria operate on the subsistence and smallholder level in an extensive agricultural system; therefore, in the country's food security lie in their hands. Women farmers are the principal labour force on small holder farms and perform the largest share in land preparation, weeding, transporting, processing and marketing of agricultural products. Women therefore contribute greatly to agricultural production in Nigeria as take the lead in most agricultural activities They make up to 60-80 percent of the labour force. Therefore the significant role they play in meeting the challenges of agricultural production and development are quite dominant and prominent. OECD,1992). The importance and relevance of women in agricultural development can therefore not be overemphasized This is because they are known to be more involved in agricultural activities than men in sub-Saharan African (SSA) countries including Nigeria. Development of rural areas has witnessed increasing attention globally, especially over the past three to four decades. The highpoint in the renewed global interest in the development of rural people and their environment was reached with the setting of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) in the year 2000. All of the set goals are basically rural development goals. With less than four years to the deadline for the achievement of the MDGs, it is almost certain that the goals are far from being achieved in, especially, most developing countries for whom the MDGs were essentially set. The struggle thus continues for rural development. As long as problems of poverty, disease, illiteracy, unemployment, poor infrastructure, environmental degradation and others persist (or increase) in rural communities, better and more resultoriented solutions to perennial and emerging problems of rural communities would be required. But rural development, in spite of the variations in thresholds of rurality among nations, is not exclusively a Third World or 'developing countries' process, owing to its multi-dimensionality. It is a global phenomenon that obviously requires global strategies. This book not only looks at rural development from its multidimensional perspectives, it is also a product of the experiences and expertise of distinguished scholars across the continents. Aiming to provide a comprehensive single volume that addresses salient issues and practices in rural development, the book covers themes ranging from sustainable agriculture, biodiversity conservation, strategic environmental assessment, renewable energy, rural financial resources, assessment of protected areas to statistics for rural development policy. Other subject matters covered by the book include social marginality, land use conflict, gender, cooperatives, animal health, rural marketing, information and communication technology, micro-business, and rural economic crisis. The book is thus an invaluable source of useful information on contemporary issues in rural development for researchers, policy makers, and students of rural development and other related fields.
doi:10.5772/29022 fatcat:74psltp2knc3hc56mhzbzuq2sy