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RURAL WOMEN AND HOUSEHOLD FOOD SECURITY IN ESAN WEST LOCAL GOVERNMENT AREA OF EDO STATE, NIGERIA.

SOCIOLOGY UNDERGRADUATE PROJECT TOPICS, RESEARCH WORKS AND MATERIALS

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ABSTRACT

This study examined the specific ways rural women in Esanland contribute to household food security. This study was prompted by the recent global food crisis. It was necessary to highlight the contributions of rural women as it has suffered underestimation over the years. Interview guide was used to elicit information from 230 women alongside In-Depth Interview and Focus Group Discussion (FGDs).

The result of findings found that Esan rural women contribute to household food security by farming mainly for the sufficiency of the family members. Accordingly, about 82% of them engage in farming as a fulltime occupation. Another specific way they actualize this goal is by practicing multi-cropping coming from the backdrop of limited land supply and need for variety of available food. Result showed that 100% of them practice this.

Bad road was observed to be the main constraint to women’s farming activities in the various communities; as they were very difficult to access even though they were not very far from the local government headquarter.

Four hypotheses were formulated and tested using the chi-square analytical tool. The result showed that husband’s occupation causes a decline in women’s motivation to continue farming. It also showed that rural women’s access to larger plots of land increases their chances of farm expansion. Furthermore, the result of hypotheses test showed that education affects women’s preference for agriculture to other occupations. Finally, tested hypotheses showed that awareness affects rural women’s use of modern technology in farming.

The study concluded that the Women-In-Agriculture representatives and the local government should be vibrant in tackling rural women’s illiteracy and neglect by organizing technical and extension programmes for them. Also, cassava was recommended to be employed in the financial empowerment of the women.

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