Authors

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

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

Abstract

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.

Keywords

Adeniyi, L. (2010). Women Farmer’s and Agriculture Growth: Challenge and Perspective for Africa face the economic crisis. Poster presented at the Joint 3rd African Association of Agricultural Economists (AAAE) and 48th Agricultural Economists Association of South Africa (AEASA) Conference, Cape Town, South Africa, September 19-23, 2010.
2) Ajani, O. I.Y. (2008). Gender Dimensions of Agriculture, Poverty, Nutrition and Food Security in Nigeria. Nigeria Strategy Support Programme (NSSP). Background Paper N0. NSSP 005. International Policy Food Policy Research Institute, Abuja, Nigeria.
3) Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. (2012). Addressing women’s needs in agricultural work.
4) Buckland, L and Haleegoah, J. (1996). Gender Analysis in Agricultural Production, IITA Research Guide 58. Training Programme. International Institute of Tropical Agricultural (IITA), Ibadan, Nigeria, pp.8-14.
5) Doss, C. R. (1999). Twenty-Five Years of Research on Women Farmers in Africa: Lessons and Implications for Agricultural Research Institutions; with an Annotated Bibliography. CIMMYT Economics Program Paper No. 99-02. Mexico D.F: CIMMYT.
6) Duflo, E. (2003). Grandmothers and Granddaughters: Old Age Pension and Intra-Household Allocation in South Africa. World Bank Economic.
7) FAO-ILO-IUF. (2005). Agricultural Workers and their Contribution to Sustainable Agriculture and Rural Development. Rome: FAO.
8) Federal Government of Nigeria (FGN). (2008). National Food Security Programme. Federal
Ministry of Agriculture and Water Resources, Abuja, Nigeria.
9) Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (FMARD) (2011). Agricultural Transformation Agenda: We Will Grow Nigeria’s Agriculture Sector. Draft for Discussion. Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, Abuja, Nigeria.
10) Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO). (2011). The State of Food and Agriculture: Women in Agriculture, Closing the Gender Gap for Development. Rome. Available from: http://www.fao.org/docrep/013/i2050e/i2050e.pdf.
11) Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO). (1994). Women, Agriculture and Rural Development: A Synthesis Report of the Africa Region, Rome.
12) Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO). (1995). A Fairer Future for Rural Women. Rome.
13) Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO). (1995). A synthesis report of the African Region: Women, agriculture and rural development. Report prepared under the auspices of FAO’s programme of Assistance in Support of Rural Women in Preparation for the Fourth World Conference o Women; Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, Rome, Italy.
14) Franklin, S. (2007). Gender inequality in Nigeria. Taking IT Global online Publication, 31 May 2007.
15) Fresco, L. O. (1998). Higher Agricultural Education: An opportunity in rural development for women. Sustainable development department, Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO), for the United Nations, pp.4.
16) Friis Bach, C. and Pinstrup-Andersen, P. (2008). Agriculture, growth and employment in Africa, Civil Society input to the Africa Commission on Effective Development Cooperation with Africa.
17) Galdwin, C. and McMillan, D. (1989). Is a turnaround in Africa possible without helping African women to farm? Economic Development and Cultural Change, 37 (2): 345-369.
18) Gawaya, R. (2008). Investing in women farmers to eliminate food insecurity in southern Africa: policy-related research from Mozambique. Gender and Development, 16(1): 18- 26.
19) Gladwin, C. (1997). Targeting women farmers to increase food production. In: Sasakawa Global 2000 (1997) Women, agricultural intensification and household food security. Sasakawa Africa Association, Mexico City.
20) Hirschmann, D. and Vaughan, M. (1984). Women Farmers of Malawi: Food Production in the Zomba District. Berkeley, California: University of California
21) Ironkwe, A. G. and Ekwe, K. C. (1998). Rural women participation in Agricultural Production in Abia State. Proceedings of the 33rd Annual Conference of the Agricultural Society of Nigeria, held at Cereal Research Institute, Badegi, Niger State, pp.147-157.
22) Karl, M. (1996). Inseparable: the Crucial Role of Women in Food Security, Manila: Isis International.
23) Koopman, H. J. (1983). Feeding the cities and feeding the peasants: What role for Africa’s women farmers? World Development, vol. 11 (12), pp.1043–55.
24) Lastarria-Cornhiel, S. (2006). Feminization of Agriculture: Trends and Driving Forces November, 2006 (version 1.)
25) Mehra, R.and Esim, S. (1998). What Gender Analysis can contribute to Irrigation Research and Practice in Developing Countries: Some Issues. In: D. Merrey and B.Shirish, (Eds.) Gender Analysis and Reform of Irrigation Management: Concepts, Cases and Gaps in Knowledge. Proceedings of Workshop on Gender and Water at the international Water Management Institute, Habarana, Sri Lanka.
26) Mehra, R. and Rojas, M. (2008). Women, food security and agriculture in a global marketplace. International Centre for Research on Women, http://www.icrw.org/publications/women-food-security-and-agriculture-global-marketplace
27) Mijindadi, N. B. (1993). Agricultural Extension for Women: Experience from Nigeria.
28) Presentation at the 13th World Bank Agricultural Symposium on Women in Agricultural Resource Management, January 6-7, Washington D.C.
29) Milimo, J. T. (1991). Land tenure and agricultural development in Eastern Province.In: R. Celis, J.T. Milimo, and S. Wanmali (Eds.). Adopting Improved Farm Technology: A Study of Smallholder Farmers in Eastern Province Zambia. Washington D.C.: IFPR.
30) Ogato, G.S., Boon, E.K. and Subramani, J. (2009 ). Improving Access to Productive Resources and Agricultural Services through Gender Empowerment: A Case Study of Three Rural Communities in Ambo District, Ethiopia. Journal of Human Ecology, vol.27(2), pp.85-100.
31) Ogunbameru, B. O. and Pandey, I. M. (1992). Nigerian Rural Women Participation in Agriculture and Decision-making. Focus on
http://www.ijasrt.webs.com 2014; 4(3):143-150
Adamawa and Taraba States. Nigerian Journal of Agricultural Extension, 7: 71-76.
32) Pala, A.O. (1983). Women’s access to land and their role in agriculture and decision-making on the farm: experiences of the Joluo of Kenya. Journal of Eastern African Research and Development, 13: 69–85.
33) Saito, K. (1994). Raising the productivity of women farmers in Sub-Saharan Africa. 1994. World Bank Discussion Papers, No. 230.
34) Saito, K. A. and Weidemann, C. J. (1990). Agricultural Extension for Women Farmers in Africa. Washington, D.C: World Bank.
35) Saito, K. A. and Spurling, D. (1992). Developing Agricultural Extension for Women Farmers. World Bank Discussion Paper 156. Washington D.C: World Bank.
36) SOFA Team and Doss, C. (2011). The role of women in agriculture. ESA Working Paper No.11-02. Agricultural Development Economics Division: FAO. www.fao.org/economic/esa.
37) Udry, C. (1996). Gender, Agricultural Production, and the Theory of the Household. Journal of Political Economy, pp: 1010–1046.
38) World Bank. (2008). World Development Report 2008: Agriculture for Development. Washington DC: The World Bank, October 2007.
39) United Nations Development Programme (UNDP). (2013). Roadmap Nigerian Agribusiness Supply Development Program (ASDP).