GENDER DISPARITY IN AGRICULTURAL CREDIT FACILITIES OR INPUTS DISTRIBUTION. A CASE STUDY OF NASARAWA LOCAL GOVERNMENT AREA OF KANO STATE.
Objective of the study
The objectives of the study are;
- To examine the extant nature of disparity in allocation of roles (domestic and farm) between male and female farmers in Nasarawa local government area of Kano state.
- To examine the disparity in access to production resources (land, labour and capital) between male and female farmers in Nasarawa local government area of Kano state.
- To examine the socio-demographic profile of the population engaged in Nasarawa local government area of Kano state.
- To examine the disparity in agricultural credit facilities in Nasarawa local government area of Kano state
REVIEW OF RELATED LITERATURE
2.1 Agriculture and human life: An overview
In the early stages of life, as human society grew from a simple to a more complex stage, man developed new techniques to conquer nature. Man in the early periods of humanity, lived a foraging life; a period of hunting and gathering. This however, gave way to horticulture and later agriculture which makes more intensive use of production resources such as land, labour and later capital (Kottak, 2004).The transition from food foraging to food producing has changed the very nature of human society. This has encouraged the development of new varieties of plant, animals, production techniques and technologies. Agriculture, which includes the production and management of plants and animals for use by man, is a welcome development. It provides mankind with food and raw materials for industries. All over the globe, the importance of agriculture in human society cannot be overemphasized. It contributed immensely to the development of 18th century Industrial Revolution in England (Aboyade, 1983). Similarly, successive CODESRIA – LIBRARY developments in Japan, Soviet Union, Egypt, and China were also attributed to the developments in agriculture. In Nigeria, diverse studies Nnadi, Akwiwu and Onuh (1999); Umebali and Mgbada, 1999) identified agriculture as the main source of livelihood for the majority, source of raw materials for industries as well as a source of foreign exchange earnings for the nation. It provides employment opportunities for individuals and market for industrial products in the sense that farmers purchase industrial goods for both domestic use and production inputs. In Imo State, agriculture remains the mainstay of the economy (ISPEDC, 2006). Previous studies, Okere, (1983); Mathew-Njoku, Adesopo and Asiabaka ,(2007) have shown that the majority of Imo populace depend on agriculture for livelihood and that majority of this population is engaged in subsistence farming.
Agriculture/ Food production in Nigeria
All over the world, agriculture is very important and provides the basic needs of food, shelter and clothing materials for human beings. Agriculture includes crop production, livestock management and forestry among others. Agricultural products include crops, livestocks and raw materials for industries. Mohammed et al(2009) opined that it is the bedrock and foundation of many developed nations. Most of the advanced countries of the world recognize agriculture as the CODESRIA – LIBRARY 16 base of their technological development. Sustained industrial development in these countries had been achieved only after a strong agricultural base was in place (Anyanwu, 1998). During the colonial period agricultural production was dominated by cash crop production for the industries of the Western countries (Ake, 1981). Export crop production constituted the main focus of the then agricultural activities. Consequently these export crops dominated agricultural production in Nigeria. For instance, the North was known for its groundnut pyramid, cocoa production dominated the South-West, while palm produce was predominant in SouthEastern Nigeria (Okoye, 1981). After the country’s independence, agricultural production was a carryover from the colonial period. Agricultural production (in the post-colonial period) was still characterized by increasing output of export crops to meet the demands of the rapidly expanding western industrial base as well as feeding the rapidly growing local urban needs (Okoye, 1981). Emphasis was thus laid on priorities set by the colonial masters, which benefited only the metropolis to the detriment of the colonies. This dismal situation was exacerbated by the period of oil boom in the 1970’s. This period was marked by a total neglect of agriculture in pursuit of “petrodollars”. CODESRIA – LIBRARY Adedipe (2006) noted that in Nigeria, prior to the period of industrialization and oil boom, agriculture played an important role in its economic development, as it employed about 70% of Nigerian labour force, accounted for over 70% of the non-oil exports and provided over 90% of the food requirement of the Nigerian population. However, recent studies, CBN (2003); Balogun, (2009); Ironkwe, Asumugha, Ekwe, and Okoye , (2009) show that there is a decline in agricultural productivity. Agricultural productivity has been on the decline in Nigeria over the years, to the extent that its contribution to Gross Domestic Product (GDP) declined from about 90% before independence to about 41% between 2001 and 2005 as revealed by (CBN, 2005). This trend manifests in recent upsurge in the prices of food, raw materials and also increased importation of foods. In view of this scenario, various measures have been adopted by governments to solve the food problem which also includes massive importation of food. Unfortunately, this has only worsened the situation for local producers. Balogun, (2009:10) posited that the most important requirement for combating the soaring food problem is to adopt measures to significantly boost domestic food production at an annual growth rate that far exceeds population growth rates. This however will require, among other measures, efficient utilization of both human and material resources in Nigeria. CODESRIA – LIBRARY Consequently, emphases have been shifted to the improvement of agricultural production, particularly food crop production. In line with this, various measures, policies and programmes have been put in place in order to boost agricultural production, hence the development of such programmes like Fadama i, ii, and iii programmes, National Programme For Food Security (NPFFS) and Agricultural Development Programme (ADP) among numerous others. Despite all efforts made so far, evidence shows that agricultural productivity still remains low. Ironically, in rural areas, where the bulk of agricultural production takes place, the majority of the people are identified to be poorly fed. Nevertheless, both rural men and women are largely involved in agricultural production, but with constraints which hinder their production potentials. Studies by IFPRI(2005) and Balogun (2009) identified constraints in access to and control over assets (such as land, labour, credit, technology, etc) to affect production and investment priorities of men and women farmers as well as affect productivity
The concept of gender and gender disparity
The term gender refers to socially constructed roles, learned behaviors and expectations associated with males and females, Oakley (1996), quoted in Nwagbara (2003).Gender is not synonymous with the word “women” nor is it CODESRIA – LIBRARY shorthand for women and men (Ezeilo 1990). It is an essential variable for analyzing the roles, rights, responsibilities, opportunities, incentives, benefits, costs and constraints associated with masculinity and feminity. Riquer (2007) posited that gender is a term used to emphasize that sex inequality is not caused by the anatomic and physiological differences that characterize men and women, but rather by the unequal and inequitable treatment socially accorded to them. In other words, gender is different from the biological term “sex” and, therefore, has socio-cultural connotations. Okau and Owoyemi (2008) posited that gender is the amount of masculinity and feminity found in a person. According to the Food and Agricultural Organization Report (1994), gender is the different socially and culturally constructed roles and relationships which exist between men and women across time, space, as well as among variables of age, caste, class and ethnicity among others. Gender disparity, therefore, implies different roles that men and women play and also the rights, responsibilities, opportunities, benefits, costs and constraints attached to such roles. Such roles are dynamic in time and place. Differences by gender exist in all human societies, including Africa (Nwagbara 2003). However, in most cases they are skewed in favor of men, and women, especially those in rural areas of sub-Saharan Africa, bear the brunt (Ogbuagu, 2004). CODESRIA – LIBRARY Dauda (2004) concurred that gender disparity persists in favour of men in virtually all areas. Acholonu (2010) posited that in many societies and cultures, gender patterns and changes are mainly in favour of the male child.
Gender differences in agricultural production across cultures.
Available literature IFPRI, (1995); World Bank, (1995) have shown that gender disparities are common in African countries including Nigeria. For instance in Botswana, Lesotho, Namibia and Swaziland, women are under the permanent guardianship of their husbands and have no independent right to manage property (UNDP 1995).In Cameroon, it was reported that less than 10% of the registered land titles were under women (Oneworld guide.net, accessed September 9 2010). In Ethiopia, Guinea Bissau and Kenya, women are not given title to land even though they may have had customary use rights to land prior to registration programs (Jacobs 1991 in Achike 1998). In Lesotho and Swaziland, women cannot enter into contracts or receive bank loans without a male relative (IFPRI 1995). The International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), quoted in UN News Center, (2010) stated that “although female farmers are the primary contributors to the world’s food production and security, they are frequently underestimated and overlooked in development strategies”. This is an indication CODESRIA – LIBRARY 30 that differences still exist between men and women across the globe. World Bank, (1989) and FAO, (1994) studies have shown that women are at the forefront of agricultural production in most African countries, Nigeria inclusive, but face various constraints. Mahmood (2000:15) opined that agriculture is the major source of income for over 80% of rural women as 60-80% of all agricultural labour in the country is provided by them. Similarly Bourdanne (1995) noted that women make up half the world’s population, yet they receive one tenth of the world’s income, provide two-third of the world’s working hours and own only one hundredth of the world’s property. These show that in most countries of Sub-Saharan Africa, where agriculture is the mainstay of the economy Nwankwo, (2008), gender disparities in agricultural production still persist. This is in spite of the World Bank (1995) warning that if disparities between men’s and women’s statuses, access to resources, control of assets and decision making powers persist, sustainable and equitable development would be undermined. In agriculture, men are generally presumed to be chief actors in agricultural production and as such are often the main participants in recipients of agricultural support programmes (Isiocha et al, 2010). Contrarily, on the average, African women, like their counterparts in other parts of the world are found to do most work in the area of primary production, animal production and transportation of crops from farm to house, processing, CODESRIA – LIBRARY 31 storage and marketing among others (Yusuf1 ,Yusuf2 , and Yusuf3 2009). However, in a study carried out in the Seychelles by Uzokwe,(2009) it was discovered that there were no gender specific roles, but men were found to be more involved in all food crop production activities except for food processing. In Nigeria, women provide over 70% of the agricultural labour force, 50% of animal husbandry and related activities, as well as 60% of food processing activities (National Gender Policies, 2006). Studies by Nwankwo and Eboh (1998); Ojo, Esobhawan and Osasogie,(2008) have shown that both rural women and men are involved in agriculture but with differential access to production resources. They also play different roles. The aforementioned studies equally confirmed that women are more intensively involved in agriculture in spite of their disadvantaged position in access to production resources. In addition, within Nigeria, with the exception of the North where women are entitled to inherit half the parcel of land due to a man (Oluwasola 1998), most women who carry out food productions have no independent access to land (Nwagbara 2003). Men control the allocation of these resources and women have only the control of the portion allocated to them for family maintenance (Ikpe, 2004; Dauda, 2004). CODESRIA – LIBRARY Diverse studies by Ekaette and Olowu, (2002); Yusuf et al, (2009); Ironkwe et al, (2009); Osugiri, Ohajianya, Obasi, Eze, Onuoha, and Lemchi (2010) have revealed that women are the key players in all forms of agricultural practices such as food crop production, cash crop production, livestock keeping, fishery, agro-forestry, food processing as well as marketing among others. Forestry in the past was seen as a male dominated profession but in recent time active role is being played by women in terms of sustainable management of forest products as observed by Kareem et al (2009). In spite of this enormous contribution of women to agriculture they are denied access to land, technology, agricultural education services, and other production resources as observed by Dixon (1996). In Eastern part of Nigeria, previous studies showed that men were involved in tedious farm operations like bush clearing on the farm, bush burning, mound making and staking, but these have been taken over by women as a result of rural-urban drift (Yusuf et al 2009). According to Nwankwo (2006:58), the decline in available agricultural male labour made their rural female counterparts assume much responsibility in agriculture. This was equally confirmed by the works of Okere (1983) and Imoh (1998) who observed that in Imo State, women have been found to be more actively involved in agriculture and food production but CODESRIA – LIBRARY 33 they rarely own the means of production especially land. Most times the impression is that women have adequate access to land because they are usually entitled to use their husbands’ lands. But in most cases, this entitlement is limited and such right is not guaranteed when the male link is lost either through death, divorce or separation. Women particularly, those living in rural areas who play major roles in managing resources; soil, water, energy and forests, etc (Imoh 1998:113); do not have full control over productive resources. Obasi (2005) equally observed that in rural communities, women were engaged in limited economic activities, which were considered secondary to those of men.
SUMMARY, CONCLUSION AND RECOMMENDATION
It is important to ascertain that the objective of this study was to ascertain Gender Disparity in agricultural credit facilities or inputs distribution. A case study of Nasarawa local government area of Kano state. In the preceding chapter, the relevant data collected for this study were presented, critically analyzed and appropriate interpretation given. In this chapter, certain recommendations made which in the opinion of the researcher will be of benefits in addressing the challenges of Gender Disparity in agricultural credit facilities or inputs distribution.
This study was on Gender Disparity in agricultural credit facilities or inputs distribution. A case study of Nasarawa local government area of Kano state. Four objectives were raised which included: To examine the extant nature of disparity in allocation of roles (domestic and farm) between male and female farmers in Nasarawa local government area of Kano state, to examine the disparity in access to production resources (land, labour and capital) between male and female farmers in Nasarawa local government area of Kano state, to examine the socio-demographic profile of the population engaged in Nasarawa local government area of Kano state and to examine the disparity in agricultural credit facilities in Nasarawa local government area of Kano state. In line with these objectives, two research hypotheses were formulated and two null hypotheses were posited. The total population for the study is 200 residents from Nasarawa local government area of Kano state. The researcher used questionnaires as the instrument for the data collection. Descriptive Survey research design was adopted for this study. A total of 133 respondents made married men, married women, youths and farmers were used for the study. The data collected were presented in tables and analyzed using simple percentages and frequencies
Conclusively, food insecurity is not a natural phenomenon, but a man-made tragedy that can only be corrected by man. It is pertinent to add at this juncture that conditions have changed but the basic traditional principles relatively remain unchanged. Food security can only be achieved by eliminating those traditional practices and standards as well as other social, political and institutional factors that are inimical to progress and growth. There is urgent need to close the gender gap in all aspects of life especially in agricultural production. This will go a long way to reducing the food crisis as well as improving the livelihood of rural farmers who constitute the majority of food crop producers. This however requires the synergistic efforts of government, support groups, agricultural research centers, agricultural extension workers, agricultural technologists, as well as farmers.
Attempts to eliminate food crisis must address the issues of gender stereo types, gender discrimination, and gender differences in roles and in access to production resources. Any project or programme meant to boost agricultural production particularly in food crop production should be mainstreamed along gender line, and that is taking both sexes into consideration. This implies that the interests of both male and female farmers should be factored into the planning and implementation of agricultural development policies as well as delivering services aimed at improving agricultural production. The socio-demographic conditions which were found to have positive relationship with food production should be harnessed. For instance, generally, access to capital and increase in farm size will improve food crop production for both male and female farmers. Specifically, participation in cooperatives, marital status, and spouse occupation will influence food crop production for the male farmers, while farming experience will influence food crop production for the female farmers. There is therefore need for effective training services through the active involvement of extension workers to enhance farmers’ farming experience. This will increase the number of farmers with improved technical farming experience.
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