Gender factors influencing technical efficiency of cassava farmers in Akwa Ibom State, Nigeria
It is seldom recognized that men and women have different interests in production, access to and use of resources for agricultural production. The resources they use in their production processes are very vital, due to their limited supply and stiff competition for them by many other enterprises, and as such needed to be properly utilized to increase production in a
sustainable manner. This work was therefore conducted in Akwa Ibom state to examine factors influencing the technical efficiency of farmer groups in cassava production. In carrying out the study, 120 respondents were randomly selected from two agricultural zones in the State and interviewed with interview schedule. Data were analyzed using descriptive and inferential statistics. The results showed that more of the female farmers than the male were in their active and productive ages, had more farming experience while the males were more educated. Labour, fertilizer and capital input had positive and significant effects on the output of the male farmers while farm size, cassava cutting, fertilizer, capital input and other
input (such as herbicides, poultry manure, depreciated cost of fixed farming equipment such as hoe, knife etc.) had positive and significant effects on that of the females. Membership of cooperative, extension contact, age, and farm size significantly influenced the technical efficiency of the male farmers while land ownership, house hold size, education, farming experience and farm size had significant and positive influence on that of the females. The results further revealed that the farmer groups were not technically efficient in cassava production even though the males were found to be more technically efficient than their female counterparts.
Key words: gender, factors, technical efficiency, cassava farmers