1 Institute of Food Security, University of Agriculture Makurdi, Nigeria

2 Department of Agricultural Extension and Communication, University of Agriculture, Makurdi, Nigeria


Agriculture is an important engine of growth and poverty reduction in much of Africa, Nigeria inclusive. But the sector is underperforming in part because women, who are often crucial resource in agriculture and rural economy, face constraints that reduce their productivity. An understanding of these constraints is a prerequisite to devising policies to improve agricultural production and productivity in the region. The study was based on a desk review of available literature. Information was accessed mainly through web search and journals. Findings revealed that women farmers are responsible for 80% of food staple production in Africa and contribute about 80% of the farm labour. In Nigeria, about 60% of the food produced comes from the rural women who constitute 60-80% of the agricultural labour force. Women play key roles in production, processing and marketing of agricultural products in addition to their reproductive functions. However, women farmers face enormous challenges such as limited access to land, capital, credits, education, appropriate technologies, training and extension, membership of rural organizations, marketing services, labour saving devices and farm inputs. Furthermore, women are overburdened by lack of access to portable water for domestic use. The implications of these findings for Nigeria Agricultural Transformation Agenda include involving women farmers in the design, implementation, monitoring and evaluation of ATA programmes, provision of productive resources and labour saving technologies, as well as ensuring women’s access to ready markets for sale of products.


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