Women smallholding farming initiatives and household food availability in rural Communities of Southern Cross River State, Nigeria.

Main Article Content

Festus Nkpoyen, Kenneth, Beauty U, Eteng, Glory B, Cobham, Glory E, Umo Udeme A, Anam Bassey, Essien Mabel E


The paper examines the relationship between women smallholder farmers’ initiatives and food security in sub-Saharan African rural communities of southern Cross River State, Nigeria.  Specific objectives: The paper argues specifically that a relationship exists between women household agricultural production activities and food security in rural communities; an association exists between women household food processing activities and food security in rural communities; also, women agro-biodiversity initiatives relate with food security in rural communities. These objectives are tested in the study as research hypotheses at 0.05 level of significance with 598 degrees of freedom. It adopts the feminisation theoretical framework, which is rooted in the feminist economics which explains the geometrical involvement of women small holders in agricultural production. Methodology. The research methodology combines both the qualitative and quantitative approaches of survey research design. Women Small Holders Farmers Initiatives and Food Security Questionnaire, Focus Group Discussion (FGD) Guide and Key Informant Information (KII) Guide constitute the instruments of data collection. The study elicits data from 654 rural women using a multi-stage sampling procedure (simple random, stratified, cluster, purposive and systematic sampling). Data analysis: The analytical techniques include simple percentages and Chi-square(X2) to test the null hypotheses at 0.05 level of significance. Findings: The findings indicate that rural women have consistently been involved in the area of agricultural productivity for food security which helps to strengthen and promote domestic food production. Their endeavours have promoted self-sufficiency in staple food commodities and have led to an increase in production. Conclusion/recommendation. Women smallholder farmers' initiatives positively impact food security in terms of food availability, accessibility and utilisation.  The paper submits that if rural communities in Nigeria must achieve food sovereignty, rural women involved in the Nigerian food production process must become the target group of agricultural policies. Agricultural policies targeted at creating a favourable environment for rural women are vital to sustainable food sovereignty. It recommends that the feminisation of agriculture as a development strategy should also harmonise with other anti-poverty and anti-hunger plans and mainstream food security as the overarching goal.

Word count: 339


Article Details