Social Sciences

Assessment of Women Participation in Agricultural Production

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The study examines the participation of women in agricultural production in Dobi area of Gwagwalada area council of the FCT. The main objectives of the research include; to determine of women’s access to land, labour, and other agricultural inputs and the multiple roles and activities of women in rural farming and to identify the constraints militating against women participation in agricultural production. The random sampling technique was used to select 200 respondents, who provided the bulk of information required for this research. The findings of the research revealed that the nature and extent of women involvement in agriculture varies greatly from one house hold to another. Most of the women in the study area contribute labour force for such activities as weeding, sowing, harvesting and marketing while fewer women participates in decision making. Problems affecting effective participation of women in agriculture in the area include inadequate capital, farmlands, storage facilities and others. Recommendations were made based on research findings.



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Table of Contents






1.0 Introduction

1.1 Background of the study

1.2 Statement of the Research Problem

1.3 Aim and Objectives

1.4 Significant of the Study

1.5 Scope and Limitation of the Study

1.6 Study Area

1.6.1. Location and size of the study area

1.6.2 Relief

1.6.3 Climate

1.6.4 Vegetation

1.6.5 Soil

1.6.6 Drainage

1.6.7 Population

1.6.8 Economic activities



2.0 Introduction

2.1women participation in agricultural productive activities

2.2 women role in decision making

2.3the role of women in agricultural production

2.4 gender division of labour

2.5 women security of land tenure and poverty

2.6 women and land reform

2.7 gender equity as an investment for effective national development



3.0 Introduction

3.1 Sources of Data Generation

3.1.1 Primary source

3.1.2 Secondary source

3.2 Sample Techniques

3.3 Methods of Data Analysis



4.0 Introduction

4.1 demographic and socio-economic characteristics of women farmers

4.1.1Age of women farmers

4.1.2. Marital status of women farmers

4.1.3 Number of households headed by women farmers

4.1.4 Total number of children of women farmers

4.1.5 Educational level of women farmers

4.1.6 Socio economic class of women farmers

4.1.7 Ethnicity of women farmers

4.2 extents of women farmers’ involvement in farm and other house hold activities

4.2.1 Social participation index of women farmers

4.2.2 Size of land holding of women farmers

4.2.3 Role of women farmers in farm and households activities

4.3 Participation of women farmers in making decision on farm      and other house hold activities

4.4 Women farmers’ access to productive resources

4.4.1 Women farmers’ source of land

4.4.2 Women farmers’ source of labour in farm activities

4.4.3 Women farmers’ source of improved farm implements.

4.4.4 Women farmers’ source of variety of seeds

4.4.5 Women farmers’ source of manure and chemical fertilizer

4.4.6 Women farmers’ source of pesticides

4.4.7 Women farmers’ source of capital

4.4.8Women farmers source of marketing outlets

4.5 Present source of agricultural advice for women farmers

4.5.1 Problems faced by women farmers in farm activities

4.5.2 Solution to the problems



5.1 Summary

5.2 Conclusion


5.4 Reference

5.5 Questionnaires

Chapter One



The crucial importance of women contribution to food security in developing countries is widely recognized. In most developing countries women are the main stay of small scale agriculture, the farm labour force and day to day family subsistence. Yet rural women are faced with a number of constraints. They have more difficulties than men in gaining access to land, credit and extension services. (Ogunlade1994)

Development interventions to improve the economic role of women have also had limited success. In many cases however, development projects have not taken adequate account of women’s responsibilities, participation and proprieties in their specific local conditions, constraining the achievement of the objective of the programmes, or leading to negative effects on women and families. (Olukosi 1991).

In recent years there has been an increasing recognition of the need to integrate women into the mainstream of development efforts. The economic rationale behind this approach is that the full use of production potential of human resources cannot be realized if women, who make substantial contribution of food output, do not have adequate access to resources, productivity enhancing inputs and services (FAO, 1985)

Many studies show that in the effort to generate household food supply and income, a substantial burden falls on women almost everywhere, women are responsible for processing; storing and preparing family food, rural women also fetch water and firewood for the family. Above all women are engaged as family labour in agriculture as well as wage labour and in other income earning activities and generate a substantial proportion and sometimes even all of the basic daily food for the family. They are usually responsible for small livestock that are not on free range. In many countries women play an important role in fishing in shallow waters and in coastal lagoons.

It is also observed from many studies that although there is a wide diversity in household production patterns, women in all regions play predominant role in household food security though agricultural and food production. It is estimated that a significant proportion of women in developing countries spend up to two third of their time in traditional agriculture and marketing. Their working hours tend to exceed those of men. Women in the rural areas grow at least 50% of the world food. They work in all aspect of cultivation including planting, thinning, weeding, applying fertilizer and harvesting. Women are also active in post-harvest activities and in livestock production.

In Africa, it is estimated that women represent from 30% to 80% of the agricultural labour depending on the area and socio-economic class. In most parts of this region women have been traditionally responsible for food crops and men for non-food cash crop. This division of labour between food crop and cash crops is not clear cut. Often women help their men folk in cash crop production.

Where permanent drought has forced men to migrate women participation in agricultural tasks that were traditionally done by men has increased. Women perform laborious and repetitive tasks all the year round, whereas men work during the ploughing and threshing period only (FAO, 1990).

In Ivory Coast, in nearly all rice growing areas men traditionally perform such activities as preparation, ploughing, irrigation and levellingoff the field. However, sowing transplanting and weeding are usually women’s work. Harvesting and threshing and transporting of grains from fields to home are done by both women. A number of studies shows that the contribution of women to agriculture production in terms of number of operations performed and number of hours worked are in most cases greater than that of men (FAO, 1990)

Some studies show that in the more commercialized agricultural regions almost all households have at least one woman who participates in field work, and female participation in the regions characterized by traditional agriculture is more in processing activities than in direct field work. (FAO 1990)

In a paper prepared for the seventh session of the FAO committee in agriculture (COAG), Rome, Italy 21-30 march 1983, it was shown that women made up an average of 42% of the country surveyed, women made up over 50% of the agriculture work force and over 40% of the work force in 52 of the countries.

Furthermore, the (COAG, 1983) also goes on to suggest that due to migration, the percentage of women involved in farming may be increasing.

Women form a large segment of agricultural work force. As such they deserve increased attention of agricultural extension service in every developing nation.

The international development community has recognized that agriculture is an engine of growth and poverty reduction in countries where it is the main occupation of the poor especially in Nigeria. (Olukosi, 1991). But the agricultural sector in Nigeria is underperforming because women who represent a crucial resource in agriculture through their roles as farmers most often face more severe constraints than men in access to productive resource (Alkali, 1993).

Women form a large segment of agricultural work force as such they deserved increased attention in agricultural policies in every developing nation. There is a need for an action oriented plan to reach the millions of women in agriculture who fill the breadbaskets of the developing world and contribute to their exports.


Many studies show that women are the main stay of small scale agriculture. A significant proportion of women farmers spend most of their time in food production and marketing. They are the major labour force on small farms and perform the major share in hoeing, weeding, transporting, storing, processing and marketing. Yet their participation in agricultural production is being affected by several factors such as gender inequality as they have more difficulties than men in gaining access to land, credit and extension services. (Ogunlade 1994), which often leads to the misperception and prejudice about women’s actual role in agricultural production with the result that they are often excluded from the mainstream of development efforts. This study is designed to analyse the actual role of women in agricultural production in the study area.


The main aim of this study is to analyse the active role of women in the participation of agricultural productions in Dobi village of Gwagwalada area council. In achieving this aim the following objectives are specifically stated as follows:

  1. To determine women access to land and labour.
  2. To determine women access to farm inputs such as seeds, fertilizers, implements among others.
  3. To determine women access to capital inputs such as loans and grant.
  4. To identify the constraints militating against women participation in agricultural production.
  5. To make recommendations to the problems identified in order to promote women participation in agricultural production in the study area.


The important contributions made by women in agriculture justify the necessity to make the system more equitable. And therefore a study of this nature is necessary to fill the gap existing in the knowledge of the role of women in agricultural production in the study area. Thus the finding of this research is not tied to one discipline alone but it can be used by various authorities at different levels as a measure to check the imbalance in women participation in agriculture and foster their participation in order to increase their standard of living.

The above background therefore provides the necessary basic and justification for this research.


The study area is confined to Dobi village in Gwagwalada area council of Federal capital territory (F.C.T), this research focuses on the active role of women in agricultural activities in this area and hence suggest the various means of enhancing their participation in food and increase their standard of living in the study area.

The major limitation of this study was time.  The time taken to carry out the research was too short and the area covered was large. Another problem encountered was that of administration and collection of questionnaire. The researcher encountered a lot of difficulties in administrating and collecting copies of the questionnaires because most of the respondents were illiterates, who could not read or write, the researcher had to personally fill the questionnaires for the respondents. Another problem includes that of communication barrier and this consumed a lot of time, however this problem was overcome through the use of interpreters. Finally some men did not allow their wives to speak to strangers and this immensely affected the amount of information gathered.



Gwagwalada is one of the six area councils of federal capital territory of Abuja Nigeria, it has an area of 1, 043 km and is located within latitude 805511 N and 900011 N and on longitude 700011 E and 700511 E. it shares boundary with Kuje area council to the east, Kwali area council to the south, Abaji area council to the west and Abuja municipal area council to the North-East and Zuba to the North-Western axis. See figure 1

1.6.2 RELIEF

Gwagwalada is located on a lowly terrain of the F.C.T. Gwagwalada is situated at the flood plain of Usuma dam. Though the relief is not evenly flat but are found down slope of F.C.T

Gwagwalada is underlain by sedimentary rock and basement complex rock thereby making some places resistance to flood and some places prone to erosion.

Ulesia west is a highland it is higher than it surrounding area and marked by precipitous escarpment which account for the high runoff of the area and made the area highly susceptible to soil erosion the whole area is drained by tributaries of Osun, Sasa River which flows southward and southwest direction (Kayode2006)



Gwagwalada area council lies in the tropical region of the world climatic zone; it has an average temperature ranging from about 30oc-37oc yearly and mean annual rainfall of approximately 1,650mm per annum (Adakayi 2001)

Gwagwalada area council usually records its highest temperature during the dry season of the year. The maximum temperature occur the month of March and April with temperature high as 35oC while the minimum temperature occur in the month of December and early January.

Rainfall in Gwagwalada area council is similar to that of the tropics in general in terms of seasonality intensity and duration variability. About 65% of the annual rains falls during the month of July to September and it is during the period that flood occur within the unplanned area of the study area. Most especially the area laying around the flood plain of river Usuma that transverse Gwagwalada urban area like Angwandodo, Dagiri and Angwanshanu Axis. (ADP 2006)


The vegetation of Gwagwalada is similar to that of the Guinea Savannah of the world. Human activities play a lot of role in moderating the vegetal cover of Gwagwalada and that of Abuja in general. The vegetation of Gwagwalada comprises of tall grasses and scattered trees. (ADP, 2006)

  • SOIL

Soil formation in Gwagwalada is a mixture of interaction of various factors such as rock, climate, organic matter, topography and time. The major soil type in F.C.T is the inceptisols. According to (Samaiala et al. 2005) this soil type occurs on recently accumulated alluvial sediments of flood plains. This has the properties of being moist, poorly drain almost throughout the year and with soil water being high. Soil PH is generally low as 3.0 or less and the availability of Al, Mn and Fe may increase the level of toxic to plants. The productivity of this soil is high especially for irrigation development. Soil erosion has depleted a lot of soil of their nutrient required for plant growth. Soil erosion in F.C.T is caused by human activities in the form of deforestation, overgrazing, mining and incompatible agricultural methods (Samaila et al, 2005).


The Gwagwalada is located within the Gurara drainage basin with River Gurara and Usuma as the major rivers. Its course is characterized by two distinct sections, which apparently reflect the underlying geology.  From the entry point of the river into the territory to about 5km due southwest of gomani, it flow with in a rocky braided channel (a gorge). Largely without a flood plain (Hassan, 2008). The Gurara River is located in the western part of Gwagwalada with its tributaries highly concentrated in the eastern and northern part of Gwagwalada. River Gurara flow within a well-developed flood plain bounded by steep-sided sandstone hills.

River Gurara is the biggest of all the rivers in Gwagwalada and it carries enormous quantity of discharge and emptied into river Niger. The presence of river Usuma and River Gurara in the FCT make this well-drained area in the middle belt of Nigeria. The river has two courses which are characterized by two distinct sections. The upper course flows through sedimentary rock with relatively small surface run-offs. This two major rivers in Gwagwalada are of great potentials for developmental purpose because of their topographic setting which provide possibilities for dam construction across the rivers (Balogun, 2001).


With respect to 2006 census, Gwagwalada area council is estimated to have about 157, 770 inhabitants. Though the figure was not generally accepted due to various reasons such as omission of some villages during the census exercise and inaccurate figures given about some areas.

The population of Gwagwalada is fast increasing as a result of both natural increases and migration especially with its status as the headquarter of Gwagwalada area council.


Various economic activities take place in Gwagwalada area council, but agricultural activities dominate which Dobi area of Gwagwalada area council fall rightly within. Agricultural development programme (ADP 2010) observes that farming is generally rain fed, cultivation of annual crops include grains such as rice, maize, millet, soya-beans, tuber crops such as yam, cassava and other crops. The bulk of crop production in Gwagwalada is undertaken by small scale women farmers most of whose labour force, management and capital originate from house hold (Rahman, 2005). Agriculture employs the larger percentage of the working population in Dobi area of the area council, but agriculture landholdings are generally small.


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