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

AUTHOR: HENRY-UKOHA, ADANNA (PhD)

DEPARTMENT: Agricultural Economics

SCHOOL: School of Agriculture and Agricultural Technology (SAAT)

AFFILIATION: Federal University of Technology Owerri

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.

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