Challenges of Women in Cassava Production and Processing: A Case Study of Asa Local Government in Kwara State, Nigeria
This study was designed to examine the challenges faced by women in cassava production and processing in Asa Local Government Area of Kwara State. Eighty respondents were selected through systematic random sampling. Data were analysed with descriptive and inferential statistics. Results obtained showed that majorities (70%) of the respondents were married and 60% were non-literate. Eighty percent respondents had no land of their own, but used their husband’s land for farming and 31.3% used their children as labour. Information about cassava was sourced from friends (40.0%) often and they hardly use or see extension agent (70%) for research information on cassava production and processing. Despite the poor storage life of cassava, 80.5% of the respondents reported a poor knowledge on the possible ways of storage. The study further revealed the other major challenges faced by the women during processing of cassava such as roasting during gari production, sun drying during lafun production, peeling and fermentation/pressing during gari production at 72.1, 61.3, 53.8 and 50.6% respectively. The results also proved that the women have fair knowledge on the importance of adequate processing of cassava on the cyanogenic (HCN) quality (46.3%) and gari as their major cassava product (62.5%). A significant relationship existed between these challenges and their level of cassava production and processing. From the
study if these challenges could be addressed, the women’s role in Agriculture and Food security may be improved and consequently, will encourage their full participation in attaining sustainable development in this age of globalization.
Keywords: Women, Cassava, Processing, Nigeria