By ibrahima pima yakubu
Due to large number of problems confronting poor rural women farmers in Kaduna state ,North western Nigeria ,which include low income, unskilled labour ,illiteracy and lack of technics to modern farming system . Many of them find it extremely difficult to embrace mechanized system of agriculture, in other to support the nation with food and other cash crop, rather 85% of them defend on the old traditional system of farming example subsistence farming which enable them to provide food for themselves and little for sale to the community
The incidence of poverty among rural women is on the rise in most of the developing countries which include Nigeria,Niger republic,Chad,Togo,Senegal ETC and these problems keep on expanding day-by day in the region due to lack of government commitment and support to enhance the capacity of poor rural women farmers through extension workers,and other good initiative which is aimed at encouraging more women into agriculture.
Eliminating rural poverty among poor women farmers in Nigeria is indeed a great problem that need a serious concerned to both federal and state government Government,with effort by Civil society organization on fighting hunger and other related stake holder, This is perhaps the total embodiment of what rural development efforts are expected to achieve. In Nigeria for instance, it has been observed that over 70% of the rural population are living below the poverty line most especially women. These rural poor comprise small farmers, landless tenants, landless farmers and those in the formal sectors
The reality of poverty situation is demonstrated by the inability of the rural poor to generate any capital and therefore remain in a state of poverty, it has equally been demonstrated that the high incident of malnutrition, illiteracy and diseases observed in the rural area of Nigeria are positively related to low income.in order to break this vicious cycle of poverty ,there must be planned development detected to the rural areas of mobilizing the rural communities.
Mrs Christiana Zachariah is one of the leaders of woman farmer at Unguwar jatau,which is in IGabi local Government kaduna state , located behind National Teachers Institute NTI , and is exactly about 10 kilometers to a town call Rigachikum ,another community of farmers and fishersmen,pastoralists
The population of the habitant is over 3 thousands , as Majority of the settlers were Gwagyi by tribe , which are predominantly local farmers, while women were into farming and petty business, as most of them remains as house wives in the village.
Christiana In an interview with the journalist that visited the village, she said rural women are the poorest women and more vulnerable and that dispatch the challenges they faces ,they still produce large quantity of food crops and other cash crop to kaduna communities
She says women in rural areas are more adversely affected by poverty than men in villages ,adding that it was the poverty that pushes the poor women farmers in the village into agriculture ,in other to create employment opportunities for themselves and to find means of generating little income.
As a result of high cost of mechanized farming, Not all women has the capital in the village to buy animals for farming ,and that is why majority prepare planting and farming closer to their home with little capital and encouragement from Family
It was also observed that Lack of infrastructure and social facilities such as transportation ,electricity, water supply, health services ETC constitutes a huge hindrance to effective performance of poor women farmers on agriculture in rural areas, pointing out clearly that provision of such facilities tries to stabilize the rural population by reducing the urge for the youths to migrate to the urban area
Zakariah says ,they prepare planting and farming crops and other food items that are less expensive like Yam, Cassava, Maize, Guinea Corn, Beans, Rice and Sweet Potatoes. Others include ground nut, crops like tomatoes, pepper, okro, vegetables to mention a few.
She note that ,using occupation,income levels and standard of living,the rural dwellers are predominantly farmers and peasants,craftsman,fishermen,hunters while urban dwellers are mostly engaged in white collar jobs,adding that they work in factories and engage in other occupation other than farming.The income level of the rural dwellers is relatively low,while those in the urbans areas have high level of income and high capital
Zakariah expressed that ,she uses her cow and Camel for farming during the raining season ,and this has helped her fight poverty disturbing her many years.
jummai Auta is another woman that is residing at a community called Kabobo in the same local government says,which has the population of over 3ooo habitants which are also farmers
she is into subsistence farming for the purpose of getting food for the family since the death of her husband over 15 years ago,she says, due to high cost of accessing Tractor for farming, she prepare training Animals like Cows and Donkies for making use of them for farming.
Jummai says ,most of the women in the village that are farming during raining season , they prepare making use of little local farming tools like Hoe ,cutlass, and other local farming facilities throughout the seasons.
“Dispatch the series of challenges poor rural women farmers faces in developing countries ,it must be noted that ,the important role played by rural women in providing food for their household cannot be over emphasized . Apart from the care of young childrens and elderly person at home, they also contribute foodstuffs ,to fight hunger and scarcity of food”
She also says, that due to lack of money,she prepare using her Cows and donkeys for making ridges in the farm, adding that through farming,she was able to fight hunger and poverty in her house,and that she produce some for sale ,to the community
“Apart from their mothering roles, Rural women perform well in general crop production and in nutritional development, there by ensuring food availability and security in the rural environment”
Furthermore, she stressed that, the role of women as producers and providers of food should be promoted and therefore the importance of gender to household food security emphasized.
In a research by world back in 2016,it revealed that, about 767 million people continue to live in extreme poverty. Roughly, two thirds of the extreme poor live in rural areas, and the majority are concentrated in Sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia
Expert and stake holders on agriculture in Nigeria suggested that ,In order to improve women participation fully in agriculture and food productivity in the rural areas, there is the need for the poor women farmers to form Rural women cooperative Societies which could encouraged them setting date for meetings with all members in deliberating issues that has to do with assessing loan from banks and meeting with extension workers on ways and tactics to improve farming, secondly ,Government need to clear more forest land and turn them for agriculture ,thirdly federal ministry of agriculture need to be donating new seed for planting crops to women farmers freely,