ANALYSIS OF GENDER PARTICIPATION IN AGRICULTURAL FOOD CROP PRODUCTION ACTIVITIES IN NIGERIA
Both men and women participate in agricultural food crop production activities in Nigeria. Evidence from literature showed inconsistencies and disagreement among research reports on their levels of participation and the crops they produce. This study focused on analysis of gender participation on food crop production activities in Nigeria from 1991 to 2010 in order to integrate the results of previous studies on men and women farmers’ participation in food crop production activities in Nigeria. The study adopted an evaluative survey design. Seven research questions guided the study. The population for the study comprised 80 identified previous research reports (24 published and 56 unpublished) on gender participation in food crops production activities carried out in Nigeria from the year 1991 to 2010. The eighty (80) studies yielded a total of 676 indicators (390 Activities and 286 Crops) measured in the study. Due to the manageable size of the population, there was no sampling. The entire population was used. A tabular coding format was used for data collection into sections that addressed the seven specific objectives and research questions. Reports of research findings on the participation of men and women farmers in food crop production activities in Nigeria were collected, reviewed and analysed using simple Box-score method of analysis. Also, descriptive statistics of frequencies, percentages, cumulative frequencies and cumulative percentages were used to present the data. More than half of the 80 studies identified, 43 (56%) were First Degree reports, 24 (30%) were journal articles and 10 (12%) and 3 (4%) were masters and Ph.D theses. While women farmers (61%) participated more in the activities measured, men farmers (54%) took lead in the production of the food crops examined. Women farmers in the South-South of the country were more active in food crop production activities than their men counterparts. Among the food crop production activities examined, land preparation (54%) and storage (56%) were chiefly carried out by men farmers. Women farmers dominated farm operations of planting, weeding, harvesting, processing, and marketing at 58%, 61%, 80%, 64%, and 75% respectively. For the food crops examined, yam (67%), rice (75%), groundnut (57%), sweet potatoes (75%), tomatoes (67%), vegetables (58%) millet/sorghum (60%), maize (55%) and beans (57%) were mainly produced by men farmers. Women farmers produce mainly cassava (71%), okro (71%), and cocoyam (67%). Both men and women participate equally in the production of pepper and melon. It was recommended that a more proactive strategy is required to ensure that agricultural policies take into account existing gender imbalances, promote equitable access to agricultural resources and benefits, and motivate both men and women to participate in agricultural food crop production activities effectively. Moreover, agricultural gender roles changes must be reflected in the design and implementation of agricultural policies in the country.