Agricultural Science

CONTRIBUTIONS OF WOMEN TO HOUSEHOLD FARMING DECISIONS AMONG COCOA-BASED AGROFORESTRY HOUSEHOLDS IN EKITI STATE, NIGERIA

CONTRIBUTIONS OF WOMEN TO HOUSEHOLD FARMING DECISIONS AMONG COCOA-BASED AGROFORESTRY HOUSEHOLDS IN EKITI STATE, NIGERIA

Abstract

This study examined the contributions of women to household farming decisions among
cocoa-based agroforestry households in Ekiti state, Nigeria using cross-sectional data.
The study used purposive, multistage and random sampling techniques for the selection of
120 cocoa-based agroforestry farm units that constituted respondents for the study. The
analytical techniques involved descriptive statistics, exploratory factor analysis and
multinomial logistic regression model. With regards to food crop production activities, the
contributions of women to decision making were very high with mean values of between
2.48 – 3.19 on a 4-point scale, while that of the men were comparatively low with mean
values ranging from 1.85 – 2.66. However, in the cocoa production activities, the
contributions of women to decision making were relatively low with mean ranging between
1.42 – 3.23 compare to high contributions of men with mean values ranging from 2.82 –
3.94 on a 4-point scale.
The multinomial logistic regression result comparing high
contribution (3) as base outcome, revealed that years of formal education of the women,
financial contribution status of the women to farming activities, average number of hours
spent on cocoa farm per day were negatively related while years of farming experience of
the women and number of adult male farmers in a household were positively and
significantly related with the probability of women making low (1) or medium (2)
contributions to household farming decisions. The t-test of no significant difference
between the contributions of women and men to farming decisions in the production of the
integrated food crops and the cocoa revealed that, on the average, women had
significantly higher contributions to decision making in food crop production activities
while in cocoa production, men had significantly higher contributions. The identified
constraints militating against women farmers were classified into three major factors
using principal component factor analysis with varimax – rotated and factor loading of
0.30.
These constraints range from techno-institutional factor (lack of extension
programmes directed to women, lack of access to NGOs programmes and low technicalknow-
how); socio-personal factor (the belief that women are subordinate, low self
confidence of women, multiple domestic responsibilities of women farmers) and economic /
financial factor which include low/lack of financial contributions by women farmers to
farming activities, involvement of the women in off farm jobs, lack of collateral security to
secure loans to support farming and so on. The study, therefore, recommends inter alia,
socioeconomic empowerment of women farmers, adequate extension services and training
to meet technological improvement needs of the women and formulation of gender
sensitive policies in favour of women in agricultural sector



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