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Effect of tenure security on livelihood activities of women farmers in Anambra state, Nigeria

LE Odoemelam
E Osahon
E Nechedo


Although customary system of tenure and land allocation continues to afford widespread access to land, there is evidence that landlessness and land inequality are growing among rural women. The study assessed the effect of tenure security on livelihood activities of women farmers in Anambra State, Nigeria. The study area was Anaocha Local Government Area in Anambra State. The L.G.A is made up of the following communities Aguhizigbo, Agulu, Neri, Ichida, Adazkni, Adazi-anu, Adazi-nukwu, Akwaeze, Nri, Obeledy, Umuabu and Obe. The selection of the site was based on the traditional descent pattern affecting land transfers and tenure security; and also the presence of serious farming activities. Multi-stage sampling technique was employed in the selection of the sample size. In the first stage, all the twelve communities were purposively selected. For each community two villages were randomly selected and from each village, five female-headed farming households were selected bringing the total to 120 respondents. Data were generated through the use of Structured Questionnaire, Focus Group Discussion and Participatory Observation. Data collected were analyzed using simple descriptive statistics, means and ranking order. The result of the study shows that major source of acquiring land for cultivation 23% was through pledge, followed by inheritance/gift 22% and the least was 2% through allocation by state government. On livelihood activities the major occupation was farming 48%, followed by weaving /dying of materials 17% and the least was pot making 9%. Factors influencing tenure security of the women in the study area according to ranking shows that limited access to land rank first, while little control over the crop they grow rank second and the least was no guarantee of tenancy on a plot from one cropping season to the other was the least in the ranking order. On perceived effect of non-tenure security on livelihood activities, 17% percent of the respondents stated inability to use land for collateral, 25% complained about fragmentation of land, 23% complained about their inability of planting long duration crops, 20% complained about farming system being difficult to change, while 15% complained about large scale plantation system not been feasible. Based on this premise land tenure problems and tenure security remain unsolved and constrain the efforts of the women farmers in adopting new innovations and investment in agricultural productivity. Therefore, Nigerian government should take equitable land distribution and guarantee ownership rights for the poor and underprivileged, such rural women.

Keywords: tenure security, livelihood activities and rural women

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eISSN: 1595-7470