The Roles and activities of women in the six selected agricultural projects in Thulamela local municipality of Vhembe district municipality in the Limpopo Province
Understanding the roles of women in agriculture and planning programs relevant to their roles and needs is a prerequisite for the success of agricultural development programs. This study is about the roles and activities of women in the agricultural economy in the six selected agricultural projects relating to their responsibilities in food production, food processing and distribution and secondly, the study looks at the extent of their involvement or participation in farming and decision-making. The problem investigated was the insufficient focus on women’s roles and their activities in agricultural production by the Department of Agriculture of Limpopo Province. A structured questionnaire was used to collect primary data from a randomly selected sample of 100 women. Other primary data was obtained from another randomly selected sample of 137 farmers, that is, male (71) and female (66) farmers who formed different focus group discussions. This resulted in a random sample of 237 respondents for the study. Key informants interviews and transact walks were used to collect other primary data. Secondary data was obtained from literature. Data was compiled by using D Base Program and analysed using the Statistical Package of Social Science Program. The study results showed that women are major contributors to agriculture and play a primary role in ensuring the food security and nutritional status of their household members. Their level of participation and involvement both in terms of time and number of days they spend doing farm work exceed that of men. They have absolute freedom indecision-making. The battle for food security in the study areas can be won only if the invaluable contribution made by women is recognized, their potential as farmers can be developed and they be involved in decision-making processes.
Key words: roles and activities, agriculture, food security, household livelihood.