COMPARATIVE STUDY OF GENDER (MALE AND FEMALE) PARTICIPATION IN THE IMPLEMENTATION OF FADAMA III ADDITIONAL FINANCING PROJECT AMONG CASSAVA FARMERS IN ANAMBRA STATE, NIGERIA
The study compared level of gender (male and female) participation in the implementation of Fadama III – Additional Financing project among cassava farmers in Anambra State, Nigeria. Specifically, it identified the socio-economic characteristics of the respondents; determined the level of male and female cassava farmers’ participation in various activities of the project; ascertained the benefits of the project to various gender; and identified constraints to gender participation in the project. The population of the study comprised all the male and female cassava farmers who are members of Fadama III – Additional Financing User Groups. Multi-stage, purposive and random sampling techniques were used in selecting 120 farmers. Primary data were collected using well-structured and pre-tested questionnaires. Descriptive statistics such as frequency count, percentage and mean were used to analyze the data collected. Paired sample t-test and multiple regression were used to analyze hypothesis I (there is no significant difference between level of male and female participation in the project) and II (beneficiaries’ socio-economic characteristics have no influence on the level of male and female participation in the project). Findings revealed that majority of the sampled male (60%) and female (58.3%) farmers had mean ages of 43.67 and 43.08 years while majority (60% and 71.7%) of the male and female farmers were married. Whereas, 93.3% and 81.7% of male and female respondents, had one form of formal education while majority (61.7% of male and 58.3% of female) of the farmers had 11.45 and 11.32 mean years of farming experience. The study further indicated that male respondents were mainly active in harvesting of cassava (M=2.65), bush clearing (M=2.65) and ridging (M=2.63) whereas, activities such as planting of cassava stem (M=2.82), fertilizer application (M=2.72), weeding (M=2.67) and marketing (M=2.60) were more and actively carried out by the female respondents. The benefits derived by the respondents’ included access to improved farm inputs, access to facilitator, provision of training, increase in standard of living, increase in farm size, adequate information on good production practices and access to market. However, untimely provision of inputs (M=2.85; M=2.62), irregular advisory services (M=2.70; M=2.23), corruption practices among Fadama staff (M=2.50; M=2.35), lack of access to credit (M=2.32; M=2.34) and poor road network (M=2.22; M=2.62) were regarded as the major constraints to gender participation in the study area. The result of the t-test indicated that there was significant difference between the level of male and female farmers’ participation in the project at 5% probability level. The result of the multiple regression suggests that none of the socio-economic variables significantly influenced the level of gender participation in the project at 5% probability level. The study therefore recommends that proactive measures such as timely organization and enlightenment of the farmers concerning the project objectives and goals prior to farming season is essential in order to enlighten the farmers on what they stand to gain and as well, increase farmers level of participation in the project.