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Adoption of nutrition and environment-related technologies by women: Case of IFAD’s interventions on cassava in south-east Nigeria

Margaret J Koyenikan
Stephen O Konkwo


International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) mainstreamed gender, nutrition and environment issues in her  interventions on cassava (Manihot  esculenta crantz) value chain to achieve food nutrition and health securities. However,  implementation strategies could have affected adoption of technologies along the line. This study assessed adoption of nutrition and environment-related technologies/information (N&E) among women under phases of IFAD’s interventions on cassava in  south-east Nigeria. Four (4) out of eight (8) States in south-east agro-ecological zone involved in IFAD Assisted Root and Tuber Expansion Programme (RTEP) were purposively selected after rapid appraisal. A total of 280 women were randomly selected  (70/State) from four participation-based categories of women identified: participants in both RTEP and Women –in-Agriculture  (WIA), WIA only, RTEP only and non-participants in both WIA and RTEP. Data were  collected using focus group discussion (FGD) and structured questionnaire. Results show that majority of the women were middle aged ( X̄ =47.37years), smallholders ( X̄ =2.5ha) and low income earners ( X̄ =N171218 or $1063/annum). Technologies /information highly adopted (index≥3) included  those on improved processing and enrichment of cassava products, HIV/AIDS prevention, home garden planning and hygiene.  Highest adoption was recorded in nutrition and environment-related technologies by women who participated in both Women- in-Agriculture (WIA) and RTEP followed by participants in only WIA groups, RTEP only and lastly  non-participants in both WIA and RTEP. Educational qualification (r=0.180), farm size (r=0.150), membership of cooperatives (r=0.155), annual income  (r=0.801) and contact with extension agents (r=0.285) had significant positive correlation with adoption of nutrition technologies. Women categories differed significantly with respect to adoption of nutrition (F=56.572; p<0.05).and environment-related technologies (F=29.365; p<0.05). Serious constraints to adoption of technologies included inadequate infrastructural  development ( X̄ =3.99), inability to afford inputs ( X̄ =3.98), poor access to capital and credit ( X̄ =3.97), low level of education ( X̄ =3.95) and low extension contact ( X̄ =3.92). The findings underline the  achievements of IFAD in targeting women. More  interventions on household food, nutrition and environment are recommended to address the barriers to cassava technology adoption and encourage more women’s participation.

Keywords: Women, nutrition, environment, cassava technology adoption, IFAD, Nigeria.

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print ISSN: 2305-7432