LAND TENURE, GENDER AND FOOD SECURITY AMONG CASSAVA – BASED FARMERS IN ABIA STATE

150

ABSTRACT

This study on land tenure, gender and food security among cassava-based farmers in Abia state, Nigeria was carried out to achieve the following specific objectives among others, viz determining the socio-economic characteristics of cassava-based farming households by gender in selected land tenure systems; assessing the land tenure systems, land holding access and land use patterns; determining the quantities of cassava tubers demanded and supplied by gender, the net income of the cassava-based farmers by gender associated with land tenure systems in the area. Others include; isolating the factors influencing the net income; assessing food security level, land holding access as well as their determinants. Primary data used for the study were collected with the aid of structured questionnaire. The sample size comprises 90 and 54 male headed farming households as well as 144 and 72 female headed households for individual and communal land tenure systems respectively making a total of 360 cassava farming household respondents. Descriptive statistics, Gross Margin analysis, Net Farm Income analysis as well as Multiple regression technique and Food Security models were the tools employed for analyzing the field data for this study. Results showed that; the mean age of the male and female farming households under the individual tenure system was 44 and 47years while the communal system was 48 and 50years respectively. The most predominant land tenure system under individual tenure was inheritance for males while for females, it was rent. In communal, both groups obtained their farm land through communal sources. Majority of the male headed households under individual had good access, the females, no access whereas under communal tenure both group of farmers had restrictive access. Under both tenure and both households, shifting cultivation was the most predominant land use pattern. Results also showed that the net farm income of male and female headed households under individual land tenure systems were N467,037 and N357,308 per hectare respectively while the male and female headed households involved in communal tenure systems had the net farm income of N284,507 and N314,709 per hectare respectively.  The regression results showed that farming experience, level of education, social organization, access to credit, occupation,  access to land and cost of inputs were significant in both groups of farming households except  in female headed households where household size was the additional factor affecting net farm income under both tenure systems. Also, farm income, farm size, farming experience, membership of co-operative organisation,  level of education, access to credit, extension contact, extent of produce sales were significant in both groups of farming households except in female headed households where labour use and household production enterprise were the additional significant factors affecting food security under both tenure systems.  For the determinants of land holding access, age, income, asset size, farming experience, level of education,  land prices, transaction cost, access to credit and location of farmland were significant in both group of  households except in  female headed households where location of farmland was the additional factor affecting landholding access in both tenure system. The most problem encountered by both group of farmers involved in individual land tenure system was high cost of labour while lack of tenure security was the greatest problem encountered by the both group of farmers involved in communal land tenure system. The land use act should be reviewed and enforced. There is a need to put in place other agencies that will improve extension services, credit facilities and make farm inputs available at subsidized costs especially to female headed households.

Keywords: Gender, Food Security, Food Insecurity, Land Tenure, Individual Tenure, Communal Tenure, Net Farm Income, Land holding access, Cassava-based farmers, Tenure security.

TABLE OF CONTENT

CONTENT Page
Title Page                                                                                     i

Certification                                                                                 ii

Dedication                                                                                   iii

Acknowledgement                                                                        iv

Abstract                                                                                      vi

Table of Contents                                                                          vii

List of Tables                                                                                 xiv

List of Figures                                                                                xvii

CHAPTER ONE                                                                                                              

INTRODUCTION

1.1 Background of the study                                                                    1

1.2 Statement of the problem                                                                 5

1.3 Objectives of the study                                                                     9

1.4 Hypotheses of the study                                                                  10

1.5 Justification of the study                                                                   10

1.6 Scope of the study                                                                           11

CHAPTER TWO

LITERATURE REVIEW                                                                                             13

2.1          Conceptual Literature                                                                                       13

2.1.1       Concept of Food Security                                                                                  13

2.1.2        Components of Food Security                                                                          15

2.1.2.1    Food Availability                                                                                             15

2.1.2.2    Food Accessibility                                                                                            16

2.1.2.3    Food Utilization                                                                                               19

2.1.3    Food Insecurity                                                                                                  19

2.1.4     The Concept of Land Tenure                                                                            22

2.1.5     The Land use Act                                                                                              24

2.1.6     Gender                                                                                                             24

2.1.7        Cassava Production in Nigeria                                                                         26

2.1.8     Factors Affecting Food Insecurity                                                                     28

2.1.8.1     Low rates of agricultural production                                                                29

2.1.8.2     HIV and AIDS                                                                                                30

2.1.8.3     Climate change and natural disasters                                                               31

2.1.8.4     Increasing Population                                                                                      32

2.1.8.5     Neglect of Agriculture                                                                                     36

2.1.9    Measures to boost food security                                                                         38

2.1.9.1    Recognising the role of women                                                                         39

2.1.9.2    Access to research and appropriate technology                                                 40

2.1.10    Effects of food insecurity                                                                                  41

2.1.11    Forms of Land tenure                                                                                         42

2.1.12     Importance of land                                                                                           43

2.1.13     Types of land tenure                                                                                        44

2.1.13.1   Communal land tenure system                                                                         44

2.1.13.2   Individual or Private tenure                                                                             45

2.1.13.3   Public Ownership and statutory tenure                                                             46

2.1.14     Factors affecting the performance of land tenure systems                                  47

2.1.14.1   Socio-economic factors                                                                                   47

2.1.14.2   Institutional factors                                                                                          47

2.1.15     Land Tenure and Food Security                                                                       49

2.1.16     Factors affecting access to Land                                                                      50

2.1.16.1   Credit/Savings                                                                                                51

2.1.16.2   Land Prices                                                                                                     52

  1. 17 Gender contributions to food security                                                                        53

2.1.18     Gender Disparities in Access to Land                                                               57

  • 19 Causes of Limited access to land by women                                                      57

2.1.19.1   Patriarchal System                                                                                           58

2.1.19.2   Lack of awareness                                                                                           60

2.1.19.3   Lack of Resources                                                                                           64

  • Gender Disparities in Security of Tenure                                                      64
  • Gross Margin and Net Farm Income                                                            65
  • Multiple Regression                                                                                                 66
    • Linear Function                                                                                                 67
    • Power Function                                                                                                 67
    • Quadratic Function                                                                                     68
    • Square Root Function                                                                                     69
    • Exponential Function                                                                                     69
    • Transcendal Function                                                                                     69
    • Semi-log Function                                                                                        70
  • Cropping systems among arable crop farmers in Nigeria                              70
  • Empirical Literature                                                                                    72
    • Socio-economic characteristics affecting food security                                72
    • Food Security                                                                                                 75
    • Land Tenure                                                                                                76
    • Gender                                                                                                         77
    • Empirical works on food security                                                                 78
    • Measurement of Food Security                                                                         81

CHAPTER THREE                                                                     

METHODOLOGY                                                                                                         87

  • The study area                                                                                   87
  • Sample Selection                                                                             88
  • Data Collection                                                                                90
  • Methods of Data Analysis                                                               91
  • Model Specification                                                                    91
    • Determination of Net farm income in individual / communal land tenure by gender in cassava production.                                                                   91
  • Determination of the factors affecting net income of cassava farmers in individual  and communal land tenure systems by gender in the study area.                            93
  • Assessment of the level of food security/ insecurity by gender in individual and communal land tenure system in the study area.                                                             95
  • Analysis of the factors affecting food insecurity by gender in individual/communal land tenure in the area in the model below                                                            96
  • Analysis of the factors affecting land holding access by gender in individual/communal land tenure in the area in the model below                                                        97
  • Test of Hypotheses                                                                                  99

CHAPTER FOUR                                                                                                  

RESULTS AND DISCUSSION

4.1 Socio-economic characteristics of Farmers                                        101

4.1.1: Age of Farmers                                                                            101

4.1.2: Level of Education                                                                         102

4.1.3: Household Size                                                                              104

4.1.4: Farming Experience                                                                        105

4.1.5: Farm Size                                                                                      107

4.1.6: Marital Status                                                                               108

4.1.7: Primary Occupation                                                                      109

8: Membership of Co-operatives                                                               110

4.2 Assessment of land tenure system, land holding access and land use patterns by gender in selected land tenure systems                                                                    110

4.2.1: Land Tenure System                                                                            110

4.2.2: Access to Farmland                                                                             112

3: Land Use Pattern                                                                                        114

4.3 Quantity of cassava demanded and Supplied                                             115

4.3.1: Quantity of cassava tubers demanded by gender in selected land tenure systems. 115

2: Quantity of cassava tubers supplied by gender in selected land tenure systems.      116

Net Farm Income of Cassava Farmers by Gender 118
Determination of Net Farm Income of Cassava Farmers by Gender in Individual land Tenure system. 118

Determination of Net Farm Income of Cassava Farmers by Gender in Communal land Tenure system. 119

Results of the Pooled data 122

Factors affecting the Net Income of Cassava Farmers by Gender 124 4.5.1 Determinants of Net Income from cassava produced by Male headed households involved in Individual Land Tenure System. 124 4.5.2 Factors affecting Net Income from cassava produced by Female

Headed households involved in Individual Land Tenure System. 128 4.5.3 Factors affecting Net Income from cassava produced by Male

Headed households involved in Communal Land Tenure System. 131

4.5.4 Determinants of Net Income from cassava produced by Female Headed households involved in Communal Land Tenure System. 134

Assessment of the Level of Food Insecurity by Gender 137
Level of Food Insecurity by Gender in Individual Land Tenure 137
Level of Food Insecurity by Gender in Communal and Individual Land Tenure Systems 140

Pooled level of Food Insecurity by Gender in Communal and Individual Land Tenure Systems 141

Factors affecting Food Security Level in selected land tenure system 142
Factors affecting Food Security Level in Male Headed Households involved in Individual Land Tenure System                                                        142

Factors affecting Food Security Level in Female Headed

Households involved in Individual Land Tenure System                                       146

Factors affecting Food Security Level in Male Headed Households

involved in Communal Land Tenure System                                  149

Factors affecting Food Security Level in Female Headed Households involved in Communal Land Tenure System 154

Factors affecting Land Holding Access by Gender 158 4.8.1 Factors affecting Land Holding Access by Male Headed Households involved in Individual Land Tenure System 158

Factors affecting Land Holding Access by Female Headed Households involved in Individual Land Tenure System 162

Factors affecting Land Holding Access by Male Headed Households involved in Communal Land Tenure System 165

Factors affecting Land Holding access by Female Headed Households involved in Communal Land Tenure System 168

Problems encountered by the farming households by gender 171

Problems encountered by the farming households by gender in the individual land tenure systems. 171

Problems encountered by the farming households by gender in the communal land tenure systems 172

Distribution of respondents according to suggested solutions in the identified problems    173

Test of Hypotheses 174
Test of Hypothesis 1 174
Test of Hypothesis 2 175
Test of Hypothesis 3 176
Test of Hypothesis 4 179

CHAPTER FIVE                                                                                           

CONCLUSION AND RECOMMENDATIONS                                                  

  • Conclusion                                                                                                             181
  • Recommendations                                                                                                183

REFERENCES                                                                                                             185

APPENDIX                                                                                                                 211

 

CHAPTER ONE

INTRODUCTION

1.1  Background of the study

Land is central in promoting rural livelihood in Africa because access to land, gender and security of tenure are the main means through which food security can be realized. One of the basic problems that women face in Africa is inequality with men (Mintzer, 2010).  Women play a vital role in providing food and nutrition for their families through their roles as food producers, processors, traders and income earners. Food and Agriculture Organisation records show that women produce between 60 and 80 percent of the food in most Sub-Saharan African countries and are responsible for half of the world’s food production (FAO, 1998).  Yet women’s lower social and economic status limit their access to education, training, land ownership, decision making and credit.  This results to their inability to improve their access to and use of land. For women growers, this hinderance is compounded by a comparative lack of assets and arable land, and in some cases lack of the right to own the very land they till.

There has been a great disparity between women and men in the size of landholdings  (Quisumbling, 1994). Given that land plays an important role in the livelihood of the majority of Africans,  food security and poverty reduction cannot be achieved unless issues of access to land, security of tenure and the capacity to use land productively in sustainable manner are addressed (ECA, 2004). Land tenure is the relationship, whether legally or customarily defined, among people, as individuals or groups, with respect to land. Rules of tenure define how property rights in land are to be distributed within societies, along with associated responsibilities and restraints. In simple terms, land tenure systems determine who can use what resources, for how long, and under what conditions. This is because land owners dictate what to produce, how much and in what season and also control the use of benefits (Asiinmwe and Nyakojo, 2000). Access to land is governed through land tenure systems. Gender, access to land and land tenure relations are critical where communities depend on the land resources available to the household or community, and their ability to mobilize resources for the production and / or distribution of food to achieve an active and healthy life. In the last three decades, the land tenure systems have been confronted with problems of fast population growth. Competing economic uses of agricultural land  have resulted in reduced land:man ratio, reduced fallow periods and the intensification of land-use (FGN , 2004; Adesina , 1998; Awe 1997).

Socio-economic and political obstacles have for long been intensifying gender inequality and exacerbating poverty among women (Rahman and Haruna, 1999). These indicators favour the menfolk thus justifying current government efforts to empower women and enhance their productivity.  Such government efforts include the introduction of such programmes as Women in  Agriculture (WIA), Better Life for Rural Women (BLP), Family Support Programmes (FSP),

Gender and development programmes and a host of others. Furthermore, the overall feature of Nigerian women is essentially that of marginalization, which is best explained within the context of productive relations (Ekwachi, 1990). This has affected agricultural productivity negatively. Gender based inequalities all along the food production chain from farm to plate impede the attainment of food and nutritional security (FAO, 2009). Worldwide, women own less than two percent of all property. In many countries, less than 10 percent of women hold title to their land which limits their access to resources and credit during crisis. However, access to land is a sine qua non to agricultural development.

On one side, women produce and process food and use diverse coping strategies for ensuring food security for their households. On the other side, women have more difficulties than men in gaining access to resources such as land, credit and productivity-enhancing inputs and service. Food insecurity in Africa is a massive and multifaceted problem that experts have been trying to solve for years. One common theme that has emerged in the dialogue about African hunger is the role women can play in increasing food security. Women in Africa often have trouble gaining access to credit, legal rights to own land, and knowledge about farming techniques and innovations that limit their ability to make profit from agriculture.

Food security is of supreme importance in improving nutritional status of millions of people who suffer from persistent hunger and malnutrition. Food security is defined as access by all people at all times to sufficient and enough food for an active, healthy and productive life (World Bank, 1986; Kennedy and Haddad, 1992; Haddad, 1997). It is the capacity of households, community and the state to mobilize sufficient food through production, acquisition and distribution on a sustainable basis. Food security is a fundamental objective of Nigeria’s agricultural policy (Chung et.al., 1997;  Smith  and  Haddad, 2000; Pinstrup-Andersen, 2001; Smith et.al., 2006). Nevertheless, it has not been given the adequate attention necessary to achieve this objective. Food security incorporates questions of production, storage and supply as well as access to supply (Hindmarsh and Trotter, 1990). It entails not only food availability through domestic consumption, storage and / or trade, but also, and perhaps more importantly, food access through home production, purchase in the market, or food transfer (Abalu, 1991).  Food insecurity however is the condition in which a household is unable to meet its target consumption level (Nurudeen, 2009). Food insecurity occurs if demand outweighs the supply of food (Braun, 1992). The gap between demand for food reduces the access of people to adequate nutrients for health, and active life. The impact of food insecurity is best appreciated from the household structure where real decisions are made on food consumption (Ukoha, 1997; Chaudbury, 2009; Alagba et. al., 2009).

To address this concern about access to land and global food security, several Heads of States and Governments, international and regional organizations called for urgent action (Anon, 2009). In  response to this call, a number of initiatives have emerged or are emerging to address this important challenge in Nigeria (Remans et.al., 2009).  Such initiatives  according to Abo (2003) include the Land Use Act of 1978, National Accelerated Food production Programme(1974), River Basins Development Authorities (1975), Operation Feed the Nation(1976), Green revolution(1979), Integrated Rural Development Projects(1980),  Agricultural Development Programme(ADP) (1985), Back to land Project and National Directorate of Foods, Roads and Rural Infrastructure (1988), National Agricultural Research Projects – World Bank Assisted(1991),nNational Agricultural support Programme (1992), National Fadama Development project (1994), National Agricultural Land Development Authorities(1995), National Programme on Food Security(1999), and the presidential initiative on rice, cassava, sugar, soybeans, vegetables, livestock etc for production, processing and export (2002) and a host of other programme have been designed.

Gender and food insecurity issues have become more serious than ever in the face of dwindling land supplies to the extent that about four (4)years to the target date of the millennium development goal; hunger, poverty and household food insecurity is still prevalent. It becomes imperative to reexamine the land tenure systems in Abia state, to see how gender affects  access to  land and how it ultimately impacts on food security especially in terms of cassava production. The study is in line with the president’s initiative to end hunger in Nigeria by focusing on the first and fourth goals of the MDG which include: cutting hunger and poverty in half by 2015 and promoting gender equity. For the purpose of this work, gender was limited only to adult males and females above 18 who are engaged in cassava-based production enterprise. In Abia State, cassava is found to be a major staple food crop and ranks second to maize in contribution to energy calorific value hence cassava was used to determine household food security in the frame of the present study. Cassava crop enterprise was considered as a subset of other staple food components that make up the requirements of food security at the household level. Other staple food crop components were not considered as it was difficult to get farming households who grow tuber, cereal and leguminous crops simultaneously. Secondly,  owing to the role of cassava in the African feeding pattern, it is often referred to as the “hunger crop” (World Bank, 1993b) hence, cassava is a food security crop (Clair et.al., 2000). This study examined the capacity of male and female headed household members in ensuring food security at the household level. In this study, food security includes the ability to produce  food by earning income from cassava-based  production. The land tenure systems were limited to the individual and the communal land tenure systems as they are the most predominant tenure systems in the study area.

1.2       Statement of the problem

There is a great disparity between women and men in the size of landholdings  (Quisumbling, 1994). This emanates from the fact that land rights of different gender under customary systems vary from place to place. In most cases, rights to arable land are allocated by the lineage authority to the male headed household, women have secondary derived rights, obtained through their relationship with male family members (husbands, fathers, brothers or sons). Under many customary  systems, women’s inheritance rights are limited; not only within patrilineal systems but also within matrilineal systems, land control usually rests with male family members. This does not guarantee security of tenure which is one of the most serious obstacles to increasing the agricultural productivity and income of rural women (FAO, 2005).  If tenure is secure, the holder can reasonably expect to use the land to its best advantage in accordance with the right. He will also reap a timely and fair return as well as the ability to enforce the right against non-holders. A woman’s land rights are secure when she can use or manage land in a predictable fashion for a defined length of time. But in most cases, unlike men, women cannot liquidate, trade, or  retain derived land rights when the male link is lost.

With population pressures, agricultural intensification  and commercialization, many customary systems have evolved  towards greater individualization and eroding  of women’s secondary right (Lastaria-Cornheil, 1997). Continued access to land depends on a woman’s fulfilling link or negotiating a constantly changing set of obligations and expectations defined by the men who hold the rights (IFPRI, 2000).  Even with increase in the number of female headed households on the death of their husbands and on migration of men to urban areas in search of higher wages, women do not acquire the actual status of household head which would afford them access to resources such as land needed for food security (UNDP, 1996; Pinstrup-Anderson and Pandya-Lorch, 1998). Unfortunately, female-headed households are getting poorer in Nigeria and other African Countries, although women play a key role in food and agriculture (Saito and Daphne, 1993; UNDP, 1996). These food production potentials of women have been limited to a large extent by the restriction of women from having access to land. Regrettably,  women’s lower social and economic status limits their access to education, training, land ownership, decision making and credit and consequently their ability to improve their access to and use of land. This is due to the fact that with no land title, collateral, it is difficult for them to obtain credit and this affects their food security status (Laker et.al., 2001). Without credit also, their income will be low resulting in low output (Henri-Ukoha et.al., 2011).  Meanwhile, access to land through land ownership is a sine qua-non for improving agricultural productivity.

This inequality in access to land affects women  who produce, purchase and process food thereby limiting their potential to generate food production. Regrettably, Kunze and Drafor  (2005) observed that the bulk of the female managed farms are less than 2.5 acres while male managed farms are between 2.5  and 5 acres. Given that land plays an important role in the livelihood of the majority of Africans, food security and poverty reduction cannot be achieved unless issues of access to land, security of tenure and the capacity to use land productively and in a sustainable manner are addressed (ECA, 2004). To address this concern about gender, access to land and food security, several Heads of States and Governments, international and regional organizations called for urgent action (Anon, 2009). Past agricultural strategies have been less successful because the issue of land among smallholder farmers was ignored (Chirwa, 2004). In an effort to combat threats of famine and pervasive poverty thereby ensuring food security for its populace, the government  resorted to land reform policy to ensure that every Nigerian  has access to land for agriculture. The Land Use decree that was promulgated in the 1978 constitution made under the regime of president Olusegun Obasanjo is also one of the policies to ensure that land is made available to every Nigerian. Other efforts made by government include Women in Agriculture (WIA), Gender and Development (GD).

With these policies in place, there ought to be an improvement in the level of access by women to land and increased level of food security. Regrettably, the impacts of these policies have been overshadowed as there are still millions of people who experience hunger in the country (Asinobi, 2000). This development has undesirable effects on food security especially to the attainment of the millennium Development Goals.  The number of people lacking access to minimum diet has risen from 824million in the baseline year of 1990 to 1,020million, despite the political commitment to reduce world hunger (FAO, 2009).  Africa is not left out as The United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization  has estimated that almost 200 million Africans were undernourished at the dawn of the millennium, compared with 133 million 20 years earlier (FAO, 2002). Also, in Africa, millions hover near starvation in a world of plenty.

Nigeria is not free from this situation as  Abalu (1990) observed that  as at 1986, about 14 million or 16% of the Nigeria population were food insecure with majority being small scale farming households. This means that these people were either unable to consume enough food to allow for active working life and/or attain energy from their diets to prevent serious health risks or stunted growth. However, this has increased over the years. CBN (1991) reported  the total area cultivated for food crops in Nigeria fell from 19, 394, 500 ha (representing about 26.4% of total cultivated land) in 1970 to as low as 15, 862, 800 ha (about 21.6% of the total cultivated land) in 1990. Moreover, Nigeria is among the countries in Sub-Sahara Africa experiencing significant food shortages as over 40% of households across all agro-ecological zones in the country face the problem of severe food insecurity ((Idachaba, 2004; Mariya-dixton et.al., 2004).  There is a wide gap between domestic food supply and food demand (Ajibefun, 2003). The growth rate of agricultural production  appear impressive with an annual average of 4-5% since 1986 (FGN, 1997), yet  the demand by households on food resources has not been met (FGN, 1997). The inability of the state to meet the food needs of her teeming population has made her to resort to massive importation from the Northern states of Nigeria.

Consequent upon these problems, the Food and Agricultural Organisation (2002) enlisted Nigeria among countries faced with  serious food insecurity problems. The vision of Nigeria to have physical and economic access to food on a continuous basis has therefore continued to remain a mirage. There still exists yawning gap as there is still high level of  hunger and poverty in the study area which if left unaddressed will lead to food crisis.

The determinants of household food security have also been widely researched by Kunze and Drafor (2005); Haddad, Kennedy and Sullivan (1994); Ohajianya et.al., (2011). Other studies have shown that domestic food production influences food security (FAO, 2001; Braun, 1992). None of these studies has ascertained the food security level of cassava farming households by gender under the peculiar prevailing land tenure systems  in Abia state thereby leaving an information gap which this study intends to fill.

The question is, to what extent have land tenure, and gender affected food security among cassavabased farming households in Abia State.

Arising from these issues raised above, the following research questions emanate , the resolution on how to close this gap  forms the broad objective of this study.

To what extent has land tenure, gender and food security affected cassava based farming households in Abia State?.

  1. What are the socio-economic features of cassava farming households?.
  2. What are the types of access to landholding and land use pattern?. iii. What quantities of cassava tubers are demanded and supplied by the households? iv. What is the net income of cassava-based farmers?.
  3. What factors affect the net income of cassava-based farmers in the area?.
  4. What is the level of food security in the study area?.
  • What factors affect the level of food security in the area?. viii. What factors affect access to land in the study area?. ix. What problems militate against the cassava-based farmers in the area.

1.3 Objectives of the study

The broad objective of the study is to analyze land tenure, gender and food security among cassava-based farmers in Abia State, with a view to overcoming production challenges and access to affordable food thus ensuring food security.

The specific objectives are to:

  1. analyse the socio-economic features of cassava-based farming households by gender in selected land tenure systems in the area, ii. assess the  land tenure systems, type of landholding access and land use patterns by gender in selected land tenure systems in the study area, iii.  determine the quantities of cassava tubers demanded and supplied by gender in selected land tenure systems in the area, iv. determine the net farm income of cassava-based farmers by gender in selected land tenure systems in the area,determine the factors affecting the net farm income of cassava-based farmers by gender in selected land tenure systems in the area, vi. assess the level of food security/insecurity by gender in selected land tenure system, vii. determine the factors affecting the level of food security / insecurity  by gender in  selected land  tenure system,  viii. determine the factors affecting access to landholding by gender in cassava production under selected land tenure systems.
  2. identify the problems encountered by the farming households by gender in selected land tenure systems that are militating against food security using cassava production as proxy in the area, with a view to proffering policy recommendations to ensuring food security.

1.4       Hypotheses of the study

The following hypotheses were tested.

  1. Land holding access by gender in selected land tenure systems is not positive and significantly related to income, asset size, farming experience, membership of co-operative society, level of education and household’s access to credit facilities, as well as not  negative and significantly related to age, land prices, transaction costs and location of farmland in the study area.
  2. There is no significant difference between net income of cassava-based farmers by gender in  selected land  tenure systems in the area.
  3. Net income of cassava-based farming households by gender in selected land tenure systems is not positive and significantly related to age, farming experience, level of education, household size, marital status, cassava production as primary occupation/enterprise, membership density, access to farmland and access to credit, as well as not negative and significantly related to cost of farming inputs  in the study area.
  4. The level of food security by gender in cassava production in selected land tenure systems is not positive and significantly related to farm income, farm size, farming experience, membership of co-operative society, level of education, access to credit, household head’s access to extension farming experience, extent of produce sales and labour use as well as, not negative and significantly related to age and household’s production enterprise etc.

1.5       Significance of the study

Past studies used insufficient variables but this study tries to explore more avenues to contribute to the body of knowledge on the determination of the socio-economic characteristics of the farmers. This will help to identify the relevant features of the farmers which will boost food security given the land tenure systems.

The study is therefore an avenue to contribute to the body of knowledge by formulating models of level security, net farm income and land holding access by gender in selected land tenure system in the study area.

The study will identify location specific factors that contribute to household food insecurity, and through that make recommendations to improve the effectiveness of interventions.

Studies like this will enable farmers to always be on the lookout for ways to optimise income generation through cassava production such that food security will be enhanced.

The study identified constraints or limitations associated with a given land tenure system by the different gender and ways to ameliorate it.

Studies like this brings a ray of hope to the farmers as it will enable them identify those factors that affect net income, land holding access and food security in selected land tenure systems. A knowledge of these factors will enable them focus on those relevant variables so that their productivity will be enhanced.

The study provides  strategic information for the government, concerned agencies and other stakeholders to design programs and projects that would contribute  significantly to the achievement of objectives of gender equity, poverty elimination, ending hunger and ultimately enhance food security.

To policy makers, it serves as a guide to enacting policies that will modify the existing land policies and adjusting existing ones such that land rights will be accorded to both gender for food security to be attained.

1.6      Scope of the study

The study focused on households in Abia State, it is within a particular ecological zone. The results obtained may vary within a wider ecological zone due to differences in socio-cultural practices, farming systems, weather, pests and diseases which affect farmers’ values and production utilities. Only patrimonial and matrimonial systems of lineage as well as individual and communal tenure systems were considered.

Only cassava/maize/melon crop mixture was considered as it was difficult to get farmers who grow crops belonging to all the food components simultaneously.

The study was based on the fact that ADP contact farmers who are the respondents use improved cassava varieties. However, the different cassava varieties and their potentials towards achieving food security were not considered.

LAND TENURE, GENDER AND FOOD SECURITY AMONG  CASSAVA – BASED FARMERS IN ABIA STATE

 

 

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