Assessing the Factors Influencing Women Attainment of Household Food Security in Ikwuano Local Government Area of Abia State, Nigeria
This study assessed the factors influencing the attainment of household food security in Ikwuano Local Government Area (LGA) of Abia State, Nigeria. The study specifically examined the socioeconomic characteristics of women in the study area; ascertained income generating activities embarked upon by women in the area and examined factors influencing the role of women in achieving food security in the area. A total of one hundred and twenty respondents were sampled using simple random sampling procedure. Data collection was facilitated by the use of structured questionnaire, designed and validated for the purpose. Data analysis utilized descriptive statistics such as frequency counts, percentages as well ordinary least squares regression analysis. Results revealed that majority of the respondents(58.4%) were within their active and innovative years,aged between 40-59 years. Only a small proportion of the respondents (12.5%) had no formal education. Results further showed that majority of the respondents (80%) were engaged in farming as their primary occupation and income generating activity. Majority of the respondents (93.3%) were married. Furthermore, results showed that majority of the respondents (68.3%) did not belong to cooperative societies. While 65% of the respondents had no access to credits, 71.7% had no contact with extension service. Results of the regression analysis indicate that age, which was linked to years of practical experience in farming as well as the status of the women were positively related to the attainment of household food security among the respondents and were significant at 5% level. In like manner access to credit as well as access to extension services were also positively related to the achievement of household food security and were significant at 1% and 10% levels respectively. It was recommended that constraints that limit women’s access to credit as well as extension services be removed as a means of encouraging the women increase their agricultural production capacities. This will enable them contribute much more meaningfully towards achieving household food security.
Keywords: Food security, gender, food availability, food affordability