Women Farmers’ Contributions to Maize Production in Afijio Local Government of Oyo State
The study investigated the contributions of women farmers to maize production in Afijio Local Government area, Oyo state. Multi-stage sampling technique was used to select 128 women farmers as sample size for the study. Data collected through interview schedule were analysed using frequency counts, percentages and mean while Pearson Product Moment Correlation and Chi-square were used to test the relationships that exist between selected socioeconomic characteristics and contributions of women farmers to maize production. Results revealed the mean age of respondents was 45years, 83.5% of respondents were married and 41.4% of the respondents had no formal education. High percentage of the respondents (82.5%) engaged in farming for both commercial and subsistence purposes, and activities such as, planting, fertilizer application, harvesting, processing, storage and marketing were performed by women farmers whereas ridging, land clearing and weeding were considered laborious and were usually contracted to hired labour. The results of Pearson Product Moment Correlation analysis showed that age (r = 0.950, P<0.05), farm size (r = 0.174, P<0.05), household size (r = 0.354, P<0.05) while the results of Chi-square analysis revealed that educational status (ᵡ2 =36.864 P<0.05), marital status (ᵡ2 =19.615, P<0.05) have significant association with contributions of women farmers to maize production in the study area. Hence, the study recommended that female education (through adult literacy) be intensified, young women be encouraged to be more involved in maize production, women should form themselves into group to learn techniques of trapping farm pests and in time of surplus, women maize farmers should form supply cooperatives to transport their produce to areas where it commands higher prices.