Analysis of gender access to farm productive resource in Afikpo south LGA of Ebonyi State
- Background of the Study.
Gender could be defined as “the rules, norms, customs and practices by which biological differences between males and females are translated into socially constructed differences between men and women and boys and girls” (Kabeers 2003; IIRR-Ethiopia 2000). However, Bhattacharya and Thansi (1995) opined that gender focuses on the relationship between men and women, their roles, access to and control over resources, division of labour and needs. Boserup (1970), described gender as a set of characteristics, roles and behavior patterns which distinguishes women from men, which is not biologically constructed but socially and culturally. To this effect, Okorodudu (2000) opined that certain task activities are regarded as “male” or “female”, and in some settings, a rigid division of labour exists between men and women. Although gender inequality varies considerably between different regions and sectors, there are assumptions that globally women benefit less from rural employment, whether self- or wage employment, than men do. Women face gender-based inequalities in all the pillars of decent work. They often work in the lowest paid and most precarious forms of employment, and experience the effects of the so-called “sticky floor”, on the bottom rungs of their occupations. Gender related constraints reflect gender inequalities in access to resources and development opportunities. Although class, poverty, ethnicity and physical location may influence these inequalities, the gender factor tends to make them more severe (Kabeer 2003). Access to productive assets is a major issue in the gender empowerment discourse. Despite the significant roles women play in agriculture and food security in many developing countries, they continue to have a poorer command over a range of productive resources, including education, land, information, and financial resources (World Bank 2001; Odame et al. 2002; Welch et al. 2000).
Numerous studies indicate that rural development policies directed at the household may not have their intended effects or produce unintended negative outcomes, unless the role and position of gender in rural households are explicitly taken into account (Odii, 1996). Research efforts have confirmed that women all over the world are taking over farm activities from men (ILO, 1977; Saito and spurling, 1992). The problem of food shortages in Nigeria has been attributed to an acute dearth of male labour and a shift of farm responsibilities to the women (Igben, 1988; okigbo, 1989; Uwadie, 1993). Ogbodu (1990) contends that despite the extensive involvement of Nigeria women in agricultural activities, they have not been considered in policies formulated to guide the dissemination of agricultural inputs. According to him, agricultural inputs are all the biological, chemical, mechanical, financial and managerial resources needed for effective farm management.
Against this backdrop of the foregoing facts, it was considered necessary that a study should be carried out on gender access to farm productive resources in Afikpo South Local Government area of Ebonyi state.
- Problem Statement There is now growing evidence that women shoulder the primary responsibility of food security in Africa, yet the disparities between men’s and women’s status, access to resources, control of access to farm productive resources and decision making powers persist and these undermine sustainable and equitable development ( World bank, 1995). Over the years gender access to farm productive resource in Afikpo south local government and the world at large has been subject of discussion among researchers as it relates to agricultural productive resources. Generally, recent research on gender involvement in farm and non-farm activities points to the specific challenges to include women’s lacks of access to land, resources entitlements and inputs such as credit and technology and the limited role played by women in planning and the formulation of policies in the sector ( Ruben et al 2004; Okoye, 2008) .The issue of gender is very important in the sense that any community that lack gender participation in Agriculture cannot meaningfully boast its agricultural production because there will be no labour to support the production. In Afikpo south l.G.A, men and women are involved in agricultural production, as it is common in agricultural production; distribution of resources among male and female farmers is not equitable resulting in gender imbalance in access to and utilization of these resources. The level of disparities or/ differences in access to and utilization of resources in the study area is not known or documented. In the same view, the effect of these disparities on the production efficiency of male and female farmers has not been determined empirically. Based on the problem, the studies have to provide answers on the following research qualities:
- what are the socio-economic characteristics of the farmers (male and female)
- what are the various forms/sources of farm production resources utilize by male and female farmers in the area?
- influence of certain socio-economic variables on the level of farm resources using land.
- are there any factor influencing male and female farmers’ access to productive resources?
- are there any gender constraint hindering farmers accesses to productive resources?
1.3 Objectives of the study
The broad objectives of the study are to analyze the determinant of gender access to farm productive resources in Afikpo south agricultural zone. The specific objectives of the study are to:
- analyze the socio-economic characteristics of male and female farmers in the study area.
- identify the various forms/sources of farm productive resources utilize by farmers in the study area
- compare the level of access to farm resources by gender
- identify the factors influencing male and female farmers’ access to productive resources.
- identify major constraints hindering farmers’ access to Farm productive resources by male and female farmers
1.4 Hypotheses Based on the above study objectives, the following hypotheses were tested:
HO1: Socio-economic variables of farmers do not significantly influence their access to farm resources.
HO2: Male farmers have more access to farm productive resources than female farmers.
1.5 Justification of the study The study which was reported on gender reflects on difference between male and female farmers in the area of the study and can be use to bridge the gaps that has hinder the improvement on access to farm resources and effective targeting and execution of programme that are gender responsive. It is hoped that the study will stimulate policy makers to formulate reality agricultural policies that will likely improve gender access to farm productive resources in the study area and the state in general
Finally, the information generated on gender to access to farm productive resources will assist on further research by researchers on the study area and elsewhere when comparing the access of gender to farm productive resource and can also provide a reliable source for gender issues.