Transforming Nigerian female farmers’ lives through soybean and cowpea production to alleviate poverty

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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:

  1. Unequal access: Women encounter barriers in accessing quality seeds and other essential inputs. This inequality hampers their agricultural productivity.
  2. Knowledge gap: Limited access to information and training affects women’s ability to adopt modern farming techniques and best practices.
  3. Cultural norms: Sociocultural norms restrict women’s mobility and decision-making power, impacting their effectiveness in farming activities.
  4. 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.

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