The Role of Rural Women in Enhancing Cocoa Production for National Development: A Case Study of Ikom Agricultural Zone, Cross River State – Nigeria (Published)
The general objective of this study was to examine the role of rural women in enhancing cocoa production for national development in Ikom Agricultural Zone of Cross River State, Nigeria. The specific objectives of the study were to; ascertain the socio-economic characteristics of the respondents, ascertain the areas of rural women participation in cocoa production, examine the factors affecting rural women participation in cocoa production, and, ascertain the correlation between selected socio-economic characteristics of the respondents and their participation in cocoa production. The population of the study comprised all the rural women involved in cocoa production in the area. The sample consisted of 110 respondents randomly selected from the study area. Data were obtained using a validated semi structured questionnaire and analyzed using frequency count, mean, standard deviation and regression model. The results of analysis revealed that rural women were involved in land preparation for cocoa plantation, promotion of nursery, planting of seeds and seedlings, weeding, spraying of chemical, gathering of cocoa pods and transportation and storage etc. It was also found that women faced challenges like inadequate fund, land tenure, high cost of inputs and poor storage facilities among others. The regression result showed that age, marital status, educational and farming experience were significantly related to rural women participation in cocoa production. It was recommended among others that government should provide credit facilities to rural women.
Keywords: rural women; cocoa; national development