Effects of Activities of Land Speculators on Women
Farmers Crop Output and Income
(a Case Study of Kuje Area Council Federal Capital Territory (Fct), Abuja, Nigeria)
Objectives of the Study
The aim of this study is to examine the effects of the activities of land speculators on women farmers crop output and income in Kuje Area Council of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Abuja. The specific objectives of the study are to:
- describe the socio-economic characteristics of land speculators in the study area;
- describe the socio-economic characteristics of women farmers in the study area;
- identify the activities of land speculators in the study area;
- examine the level of women access to land in the study area;
- determine the effects of the activities of land speculator son women farmers’ crop output and income, and
- identify women farmers constraints to land acquisition in the study area.
Socio-economic Characteristics of Land Speculators
According to Pearce (2001), socio-economic characteristic is both economic and sociological, combined to give total measurement of a person`s work experience, individual or family`s economic and social position in relation to others, based on income, educational attainment and occupation. Nyerere(2000),when analyzing the socio-economic status of a family, the household income, educational attainment and occupation are examined as well as combined income versus individual when their own attributes are assessed.
Socio-economic status are divided into three categories, high socio-economic status, middle socio-economic status and low socio-economic status. In order to describe the three areas, a family or an individual may fall into, any or all of the three variables income, education and occupation, are assessed. Income and education have been shown as strong indicator of how successful a person is in his endeavor (Muhammad, 2008).Education is an essential factor for effecting desirable change in attitudes, skill and knowledge of individuals (Odebode, 2008).
Oluwatayo et al.(2008), reveals that age and sex affects land speculation business, most of the land speculators are males. He stressed that children do not own land rather is kept for them. Oweiet al.(2008),reveals that the rich takes advantage of the Federal Capital Development Authority not being able to stop the selling and purchase of land in the Federal Capital Territory to enrich themselves. Rafferty (2001), in his study discovered that most of the speculative purchase are done by wealthy none farmers who held the land idle waiting to capitalize on appropriate market situation while food production is on the decline. Land speculations varies widely among pundits, legislators and academicians. Muhammad (2008), sociologists use socio-economic status as means of predicting behavior. Ekong (2003) stated that married people often try to make ends meet in order to care for their family effectively.
Socio-economic Characteristics of Women Farmers
Socio-economic characteristics is defined as a combination of factors including income level of education, and occupation. It is a way of looking at how individuals or families fit into society using economic and social measure that have been shown to impact individual well being(Muhammad,2008).According to Ani (2004), age, household size and farming experience affects rural farmers while Muhammad (2008), reveals that age, sex ,marital status, household size, poverty, education, farming experience, farm size, and methods of land acquisition affects women farmers production. Social position of farmers such as age, marital status and relative economic status in the village influences their access to land. Peter (2001) reveals that factors like political and social environment also have strong influence on their potential for meaningful local level participation.
The Study Area
The Federal Capital Territory is made up of six (6) Area Councils namely Kuje, Gwagwalada, Abaji, Kwali, Bwari and Abuja municipal Area Councils. This study was conducted in Kuje Area Council of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Abuja. Kuje Area Council being one of the six area Councils is made up of about 78 villages and has a landmass of 1,682 square kilometers which represents 22.5% of the total landmass of the entire Federal Capital Territory (NBS, 2006). The Area Council is bounded on the
West by Gwagwalada Area Council, South West by Abaji Area Council and on the Northeast by Abuja Municipal Area Council.
The Area Council had a population of about 97,367 people in 2006 (NPC, 2006), with a projected population of 129,459 in 2015 at the growth rate of 3.6%.It is situated within the savanna region with moderate climatic pattern of rainfall between April and October and dry season between November and March. The indigins are Gbagyi, Gbari, Gade, Bassa. While Ebira Koto, Hausa/Fulani and other ethnic groups are settlers who migrated from other parts of the country to the Area council. The land is fertile and the major occupation of the people is farming. They produce crops such as yams, cassava, cocoyam, sweet potatoes, groundnuts, rice, maize, guinea corn, rice, melon to mention a few. Cattle are reared by the nomadic Fulanis, sheep, goats and poultry are kept mostly on free range system in the Area. Other occupations of the people include arts and crafts.
RESULT AND DISCUSSION
Socio-Economic Characteristics of Land Speculators
The description of the socio-economic characteristics of land speculators in the study area explains the first objective of this study. The socio-economic characteristics are sex, marital status, family size, and educational attainment of the respondents. During the survey, 60 questionnaires were administered to the land speculators but 57 of them were returned.
Sex of land speculators
The result presented in Table 4.1 showed the distribution of land speculators according to sex. Among the fifty seven (57) sampled land speculators, 84 percent were male, while 16 percent of them were female. This implies that majority of the land speculators are males. The findings agree with Nyerere (2000) in his study on women development and adult education that sex determines the activities carried out by persons.
SUMMARY, CONCLUSION AND RECOMMENDAITONS
Summary of the Finding
From the summary on the socio-economic characteristics of the land speculators, it was discovered that84 percent of land speculators were males. Majority (79 percent) of them were youth of between 30 – 40 years of age. The land speculators’ had an average age of35.5 years. Majority (63) percent of them were married, few (37) percent of them have family size of between 2- 5.The women had average family size of 3 and they are literate.
Investigation on socio-economic characteristics of the women farmers showed that some (45) percent of them were between the age bracket of 31 – 40 years and an average age of35.5 years, majority (90) percent of them were married while more than half (57) percent of them had family size of between 5 – 8members and an average family size of 6.5. Thirty seven percent of the women farmers were literate who attained secondary school level of education. Some (37) percent of the women had6 – 10 years farming experience with an average of 8 years farming experience while about30 percent of them had extension contacts of once in a month. Majority (60 percent) of the women farmers were not members of cooperative associations. Few (18) percent of the women farmers had financial assistance from their husbands for farming operations. Majority (74) percent of the farmers had financial assistance in cash and majority (84) percent collected less than N10,000.00as loan for their farming operation. The average loan collected by the women was N5000.
The result on women’s level of access to land in the study area showed that some of the women (34) percent had access to land of between 1 – 2 hectares while some (34)percent of them owned between 1 – 2hectares of land and average of 1.5 hectares of land while majority (90) percent of them made decision on planting period, investment on farm and types of crops to produce. Majority (63) percent of the women farmers had economic trees on their farm while33 percent of them covered 5 – 9 kilometers with the average distance covered as 10.5 kilometers.
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