|JAFE Vol. 7(2): 58-67, 2020|
|An Analysis of Gender Participation in Cassava Production by Small-Scale Farmers in Imo State, Nigeria|
|Amadi, G., Uwandu, Q.C. and Uzuegbu, J.O.|
Gender participation in cassava production by small scale farmers in Imo State was analysed in this study involving 240 respondents comprising of 120 male and 120 females selected by purposive and multi-stage random sampling technique. A structured and pre-tested questionnaire was used for data collection while data were analysed using descriptive and inferential statistics. Results obtained indicated that majority of cassava farmers in the study area were within the age range of 20 to 49 years, and had formal education, household size of 4-9 persons, and farms that were less than one hectare. The mean quantity of roots produced by males (191.0kg) was slightly higher than those of their female (182.0 kg) counterparts despite the fact that female respondents had slightly more mean farming experience (15.0 y) compared to males (14.0 y). Eighty percent of the male and 82.0% of the female respondents did not belong to cooperative societies. Going by Likert mean scores above the 3.0 threshold, women participated in all activities involved in cassava production. Men did not prepare food or bring drinking water for farm labour (2.35), while youths did not select sites (2.46), or control finance (2.82) for cassava production. Men dominated upstream operations such as site selection, land clearing, burning of cut thrash, land cultivation, application of herbicide, and access to and control of finance. Women dominated most other operations. Youths were actively involved in land clearing and related activities, planting, weeding, herbicide and fertilizer application, harvesting and haulage of harvested roots to the house and market. Gaps in gender participation in cassava production evident from the study can be addressed by allowing all genders unrestricted access to productive resources through the establishment of gender-based cassava development programmes. Policies targeted at increasing cassava production in the state should advocate for more involvement of the males.
|Keywords:||Participation, Cassava production, Gender, Upstream and Downstream operations|