Socio-economic factors affecting the participation of women in agricultural co-operatives in Gwoza local government, Borno state, Nigeria
The study examined the socio-economic factors affecting women's participation in agricultural co-operatives in Gwoza Local Government Area, Borno State. Data for the study were derived from three purposively selected communities (Gwoza, Ngoshe and Pulka). Forty respondents were randomly selected from each of the three communities giving a total of 120. Tools for the analyses were percentages and Chi-Square (χ2), used to test existence of relationships between level of participation and socio-economic characteristics of respondents, and correlation analysis, used to test cause-effect relationship between socio-economic variables and some indicators of cooperative activities. The results showed that majority of respondents (82%) were between 30 and 40 years and married (76%). About 41% attended up to secondary school level of education while 4% attended tertiary education. More than half (52%) were involved in micro processing with about 79% having annual income not exceeding N60,000. Membership in co-operative societies ranked 93%, 73% and 21%, respectively for thrift and credit, processing, and marketing co-operatives. Major benefits derived by members included access to loans (87%), input provision (77%) and product marketing (50%). Cultural beliefs (82%) and low level of education (57%) were found to be the major problems militating against women participation in co-operatives. Relationships between socio-economic variables and women participation in co-operatives were significant for age, education and primary occupation as revealed by Chi-square analysis tested at 5% level . Correlation analysis also revealed positive and significant relationships between socio-economic variables and participation in/benefits of cooperatives. The study established a high potential for enhancing economic growth in co-operatives in spite of the attendant problems. It was therefore recommended that women be given more access to education as this would go a long way in removing some of the barriers to effective participation.
Agro-Science Vol. 6 (2) 2007: pp. 72-78