Impact of the national special programme for food security on poverty alleviation among women in Oyo State, Nigeria
The study investigated the impact of National Special Programme for Food Security (NSPFS) on poverty alleviation among women in the three project sites of Oyo State, Nigeria. The study identified the socio-economic characteristics of women participants and non-participants and investigated the projects carried out under the programme. Also, the study examined the participants� and non-participants� presentconditions of living, and finally compared farm size, output and income before and after the programme. Purposive sampling technique was used to select 166 participants from the sites of the programme while Systematic sampling technique was used to select 110 non- participants from the list of the farmers provided by the Agricultural Development Programme (ADP) officials in Oyo State. A structured interview schedule was used to gather information from the respondents. Data collected were collated and subjected to both descriptive and inferential statistics such as frequency counts, percentages and Tobit regression estimates. Results of data analysis revealed that most (39.8%) of the women participants are middle-aged and still active in agricultural production. In addition, majority (60.2%) of the participants were literate and participated more in cassava and maize production, while insufficient loan ranked first among the problems encountered by the participants. The estimates of Tobit regression analysis showed that a significant relationship existed between respondents� output (- 0.0000344, p<0.01), participation level (-0.0377,p<0.01), marital status (0.3722, p<0.05) and poverty alleviation through the programme. However, the effects of marginal changes of Tobit regression analysis showed that poverty was significantly reduced by increased output (-0.13) andparticipation level (-2.49). This means the programme has impacted positively on the participants especially in the area of agricultural production. In view of these, the study recommends that sufficient input such as improved seeds, fertilizers, agrochemicals should be made available to the participants in the programme, based on the problems encountered by the participants. The programme should be expanded tocover more areas thus, increasing the number of sites and participants. This would also extend the benefits of the programme to more people. Also, participants should be encouraged to utilize their loans judiciously and possibly be given more training along with the loan to have maximum returns.