Assessment Of Gender Roles In Alleviating Food Crisis: A Case Study Of Oil Palm Production In Ondo State, Nigeria
The study assessed the gender roles of oil palm farmers in Ondo state, Nigeria with the specific objectives of determining the personal characteristics of the small-scale oil palm farmers identifying gender specific sources of farm information as well as gender specific roles and farmer perceived constraints on oil palm production. A multi-stage sampling technique was used to select 124 farmers while a pre-tested questionnaire was used for data collection. Findings showed that gender specific roles in oil palm cultivation were classified into three, male dominated tasks, female dominated tasks and tasks shared by both male and female. Climbing and cutting down of ripe oil palm bunches is the only task exclusively (100%) performed by male farmers, other male dominated tasks include disease / pest control (82.1%), fixing of wire collar (80%) and marking out planting points (73%). Female dominated tasks were marketing of palm produce (85.7%), collection of loose fruits (75.9%) and transportation of harvested bunches (55.4%), while, shared tasks by male and female were fertilizer application (86.7%), mulching (61.6%), and weeding (52.7%). Most important constraints to oil palm cultivation were lack of funds (x = 4.77: σ = 0.86) and access to land
(x= 4.75: σ = 0.71). The study recommends that policy makers should consider gender implications from conceptualization to implementation of agricultural policies to respond to the food crisis.
Key words: gender roles, food crisis, oil palm production