WOMEN LABOR UTILIZATION IN CROP PRODUCTION
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The main aim of the study was to analyze women labor utilization in crop production in Nigeria. The specific objectives included identify the role of women labor in utilization in crop production; to ascertain the relationship between women and men labor utilization in crop production; identify the impact of women participation in farm activities; determine the effect of women labour utilization on the value of farm output. Using a simple random sampling technique, the researcher randomly select two hundred farmers across different house hold as the population of the study. A set of structured questionnaire was administered on the relevant women and men farmers in the household to obtain required information. Data were analyzed using descriptive statistics, and simple percentage.
1.1 Background of the study
Agriculture is the back bone of many developing countries. Women account for more than half of the work force by participating in different activities, either directly or indirectly. The gender division of labor varies from one society and culture to another, and within each culture external circumstances influence the level of activity (Nigist, 2004). However, except in few most developed countries, women’s efforts are not yet realized by society. Rural development in Africa cannot be imagined without the active participation of women. Women are, of course form an integral part of farming Household. They are involved in over half of the farm activities in many developing countries, bear most of responsibilities for household food security and contribute to household well being through their income generating activities (Etenesh, 2005). In order to improve the capacity of African countries to meet their food demand, women’s roles have to be recognized and they should be given equitable access to and control over the land, credit facilities, extension services and improved tools as well as membership in cooperatives and other rural benefits (Winrock, 2001). Nigeria at the moment is witnessing an upward trend in the price of foodstuffs partly due to the inability of production to keep pace with increase in demand. Demand itself increases largely as a result of increase in population. The resulting effect of this imbalance between demand for and supply of food is malnutrition, poverty and deteriorating living conditions (Nnadozie and Ibe, 2000). This is mainly because agriculture is being neglected and, sometimes, down played in development strategies. Agriculture is one of the main pillars of the Nigerian economy because it plays many roles. It is a major source of food to the population, it provides employment for over 70 to 80 percent of the population and it is the only thriving economic activity in rural areas. It contributes foreign exchange as well as a source of industrial raw materials for the nation’s industries (Amanze, 2000). However, with the oil boom in the seventies, there was a sharp decline in agricultural production as people’s attention was diverted from agriculture to the oil sector of the economy. The “oil boom” also rendered many indigenous land owners landless and, in some cases, a reduction in the hectare farmed. There was rural-urban movement because of lack of social amenities in the rural areas. Many able bodied men moved to the urban centres in search of white-collar jobs because of the income disparity and availability of amenities in the urban areas. Women and their children were left behind to carry on agricultural production activities which resulted in many household economic activities championed by women. This situation placed on them the responsibility of taking decisions on issues on the farm (Lily, Feidman and Shert., 2001). Attempts to restore agriculture to its former glory, national efforts to boost the production of food and cash crops have been made through a number of agricultural programmes like National Accelerated Food Production Programme (NAFPP), Operation Feed the Nation (OFN), Green Revolution Programmes, Go Back to Land, Directorate for Food, Roads and Rural Infrastructure (DFRRI) etc. Despite these efforts the problem of food shortage continues. Food production strategies so far tried, appeared to have achieved limited success. One of the remote causes of the apparent failure was inability to develop and utilize the nation’s manpower resources effectively and efficiently especially in the rural sector (Okunade, 1998).
1.2 STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM
Due to low recognition of women’s contribution to food production by both the men folk and the government through its established agencies, women are not seen as having little potential to contribute to the economy of the country (Ukonu, 2001). They are seen as playing supportive roles to their husbands. In fact women constitute more than half of the total agricultural work force but there is inequality in access to land and other capital resources when compared to the men (Azikiwe, 1990). Therefore, women’s food production potential is being reduced because it is carried out on small and scattered pieces of land which may be unsuitable for the crops planted. This is worsened by little access to basic agricultural production facilities. Thus, rural women’s production efficiency and capacities are influenced negatively. This has caused lots of problems encountered by the great majority of rural women who wish to fully participate in farm work and contribute more to agricultural production.
1.3 OBJECTIVE OF THE STUDY
The main objective of this study is to ascertain the how effective is women labor utilization in crop production; but to aid the completion of the study; the following objectives is put forward by the researcher;
- To identify the role of women labor utilization in crop production;
- To ascertain the relationship between women and men labor utilization in crop production;
- To identify the impact of women participation in farm activities;
- To determine the effect of women labor utilization on the value of farm output
1.4 RESEARCH HYPOTHESES
For the successful completion of the study, the following research hypotheses were formulated by the researcher;
H0: women labor utilization does not have any significant role in crop production
H1: women labor utilization does play a significant role in crop production.
H02: there is no significant relationship between women labor utilization and men labor utilization in crop production.
H2: there is a significant relationship between women labor utilization and men labor utilization in crop production.
1.5 SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY
It is believed that at the completion of the study the findings will be of importance to ministry of agriculture as the study will seek to highlight the benefit of integrating women labor in crop production so as to explore the tremendous benefit of women labor in crop production. The study will also be useful to the ministry of women affairs as the study will guide them in to provide funds and make land available for women who are willing and able to work in the agricultural sector, The study will also be beneficial to researchers who intend to embark on study in similar topic as the study will serve as a guide to their study. Finally the study will be beneficial to academia’s students and the general public.
1.6 SCOPE AND LIMITATION OF THE STUDY
The scope of the study covers women labor utilization in crop production in Nigeria. in the course of the study, the researcher encounters some constrain which limited the scope of the study;
(a)Availability of research material: The research material available to the researcher is insufficient, thereby limiting the study.
(b)Time: The time frame allocated to the study does not enhance wider coverage as the researcher has to combine other academic activities and examinations with the study.
(c)Finance: The finance available for the research work does not allow for wider coverage as resources are very limited as the researcher has other academic bills to cover.
1.7 DEFINITION OF TERMS
A woman is a female human. The term woman is usually reserved for an adult, with the term girl being the usual term for a female child or adolescent. The term woman is also sometimes used to identify a female human, regardless of age, as in phrases such as “women’s rights“. “Woman” may also refer to a person’s gender identity
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A crop is any cultivated plant, fungus, or alga that is harvested for food, clothing, livestock, fodder, biofuel, medicine, or other uses. In contrast, animals that are raised by humans are called livestock, except those that are kept as pets. Microbes, such as bacteria or viruses, are referred to as cultures.
Crop production is a branch of agriculture that deals with growing crops for use as food and fiber. Degree programs in crop production are available at undergraduate and graduate levels. Graduates are eligible for a variety of agricultural careers.
1.8 Organization of the study
This research work is organized in five chapters, for easy understanding, as follows Chapter one is concern with the introduction, which consist of the (overview, of the study), statement of problem, objectives of the study, research question, significance or the study, research methodology, definition of terms and historical background of the study. Chapter two highlight the theoretical framework on which the study its based, thus the review of related literature. Chapter three deals on the research design and methodology adopted in the study. Chapter four concentrate on the data collection and analysis and presentation of finding. Chapter five gives summary, conclusion and also recommendations made of the study.
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