Transforming Nigerian female farmers’ lives through soybean and cowpea production to alleviate poverty
The impact of the Seed Equal Initiative (SEEDEQUAL), empowering female farmers and elevating agricultural productivity, has been remarkable.
“Small-scale farming is the backbone of global food production, contributing to approximately 80% of the world’s food supply. This sector ensures food security and serves as a vital source of employment, especially for women. On average, women constitute 43% of the agricultural labor force in developing countries; in some nations, they form the majority. Across sub-Saharan Africa, women play a crucial role in agriculture. However, men dominate the agricultural labor force in Nigeria, accounting for over 70%. Unfortunately, female farmers often face productivity challenges compared to their male counterparts.
Several factors contribute to this disparity:
- Unequal access: Women encounter barriers in accessing quality seeds and other essential inputs. This inequality hampers their agricultural productivity.
- Knowledge gap: Limited access to information and training affects women’s ability to adopt modern farming techniques and best practices.
- Cultural norms: Sociocultural norms restrict women’s mobility and decision-making power, impacting their effectiveness in farming activities.
- Time constraints: Women primarily engage in post-harvest handling and processing of crops like cowpea and soybean. These responsibilities limit their time for direct cultivation.