Access and Use of Resources by Women Agro-Processors in Central Agricultural Zone of Nasarawa State, Nigeria
AbstractThis study was carried out in the central agricultural zone of Nasarawa state to examine the level of access and use of productive resources by women agro-processors in the zone. A sample of 100 women agro-processors from 3 LGAs that make up the zone was selected using proportionate random sampling technique. Data collection was done with the aid of an interview schedule during the 2012 cropping season. Data analysis involved the use of frequency, percentage, mean scores and ranking. The results show that the mean age of the respondents was 38 years. Majority (76%) were married and most (42%) of them were without any formal education. The mean year of experience in agro-processing was 7 years. Most (74%) of the respondents never obtained any loan in the past 3 years. The mean monthly income of the respondents was N18, 540. Most (40%) of the processors got their raw materials directly from farmers’ fields while majority (76%) of them sold their outputs to consumers in the open markets. Most (56%) of them used manual method of processing, most (54%) of them never attended any training workshop on agro-processing. Most (42%) of them received an average of 7 extension visits per year. Respondents had high level (M>3) of access to raw materials, extension service, water supply, storage facilities and market for products. However, they faced the problems of inadequate capital, access to land, credit facility and price fluctuation. It was therefore recommended that reforms in the Land Use Act and agricultural credit scheme under the transformation agenda should be hastened up to enhance easy access to these resources by women. Cooperative societies should also be strengthened to fill the gap.
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