Women Empowerment Through Agricultural Cooperative In Enugu State (a Study Of Awgu Local Government Area)

Co-operative And Rural Development Project Topics

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The broad objective of the study is to identify how women in Enugu especially Awgu local government area can be empowered through agricultural co-operatives societies. The researcher identified why women join agricultural co-operatives and their demographic variables like age, income, education level etc. Examined the extent of women participation in agriculture in Awgu local government area in 2008-2014. Determined the extent to which these agricultural co-operative societies help its members economically through empowerment. Identified the problems that confront women participation in agricultural co-operative societies. Data for the study was sourced from two main sources which include Primary and Secondary sources of data Collection. Primary data: questionnaires and oral interviews were used to collect information from the respondents. Secondary data: journals, and other relevant materials relating to the area of my investigation were reviewed.  Research instrument used in this study includes oral interview and questionnaire. The questionnaire is structural as to contain both close and open ended question. Simple tables and percentages were used in treatment of data. Chi-square was used in testing the hypotheses.  At the end, the researcher found out that Women agricultural co-operatives society lacks adequate finance. Most of the agricultural co-operative could not participate in agricultural co-operative because of lack of understanding and illiteracy. The women agricultural co-operative societies in Awgu Local Government Area are known for early marriage. The women agricultural co-operative members in Awgu lack adequate health services which leads many of them to deliver their babies at home with the assistance of untrained traditional birth attendants and herbalist. Based on the findings the researcher recommends that the women agricultural co-operatives member should be giving adequate financial and moral support by the government particularly on their establishment; The government should provide the women with formal and informal education when the women are educated the nation is educated as well. They should not be encouraged to get married at early age to enable them learn things about general empowerment.







Title page                                                                         ii     

Approval page                                                                  iii

Dedication                                                                       iv

Acknowledgment                                                             v

Abstract                                                                           vii

Table of contents                                                             viii



1.1   Background of the Study                                                 1

1.2   Statement of the Problem                                                5

1.3   Objective of the Study                                              6

1.4   Research Questions                                                         7

1.5   Research Hypothesis                                                       7

1.6   Significance of the Study                                                 8

1.7   Scope of the Study                                                   9

1.8   Limitations of the Study                                          10

1.9   Definition of Terms                                                  10

References                                                               12


Review of the Related Literature

2.1      Definition of Agricultural co-operative society      13

2.2      Benefits derived from joining agricultural

co-operative society                                             15

2.3      The economic status of women contemporary

overview of women participation in agricultural

co-operative society                                             17

2.4      Factors militating against the effective

participation of women in agricultural

co-operative                                                         23

2.5      Empirical Studies                                                35

2.6      Gap in Literature                                                 37

2.7      Theoretical Framework                                                40




Research Design and Methodology

3.1   Area of study                                                            50

3.2   Population of the study                                            51

3.3   Sample size                                                              51

3.4   Sample and Sample Technique                               52

3.5   Sources of Data                                                       53

3.6   Description of Instrument                                                55 

3.7   Validity of the Instrument                                                55

3.8   Reliability of the Instrument                                    56

3.9   Method of Data Presentation and Analysis              56


Presentation, Analysis and Interpretation of Data

4.1 Questionnaire Distribution                                        57



Summary of Finding, Conclusion and Recommendation

5.1   Summary Finding                                                    68

5.2   Conclusion                                                              69

5.3   Recommendation                                                     70

5.4   Suggestion for Further Studies                                        71

        Bibliography                                                            72

Appendix I                                                               74

Questionnaire                                                           75



1.1      Background Of The Study

Women empowerment through agricultural co-operatives is very necessary. Women play a dominant role in agricultural production. This was confirmed by the findings of a study financed by the united national Development Programme (UNDP) in 1987. The study revealed that women make up 60-80% of agricultural labour force depending on the region and produce two-thirds of the food crops.

Agriculture refers to the production of crops, animals, fishes, forestry and wildlife products with about 70% of livelihood of Nigeria directly agriculture Ijere, (1996:24). It could equally be defined as the science of cultivating of land and rearing of animals for man and raw materials for our industries Onyeze, (2013:22). It includes the preservation and distribution of the products to the final users/ consumers. This implies that farmers job includes the production, preservation and distribution of produce in order to get profit.

Agriculture from the beginning of time, the first concern of man has been food, clothing and shelter in that order Agriculture being one of the oldest industries; its origin can be traced to the earliest human societies. The existence of man from the prehistoric era up to the era ancient civilization depending on the ability of the individual to hunt and gather food for consumption. Food was however, the basic source of life which provides him energy in his wandering and constant struggling for survival; efforts were made by early man to cultivate crops.

In spite of the limitations which agriculture is facing, it still remained the most important sector of the world economy. Agriculture is a basic industry that supports all industries and aspects of needs can justify from its role and contributions to nation building. Between 75-80% of working population in rural areas engage in agricultural production.

Agriculture aids in rural development with the location of industries that utilize agriculture produce in an area other investors go to rural area to set up factories trade and operate business centres, people are employed and paid to earn their living. All these co-operatives can do in a number of different, which involves amount of labour, time, expenses and productivity. Agricultural education also helps people to develop a desire to learn and teach agriculture.

Co-operative in the other hand is an autonomous association of persons united voluntarily with the same aim to meet their common social and cultural needs and aspiration through owned and democratically controlled enterprises (ICA, 1995), co-operatives are based on the values of self-help, self responsibility, democracy, equality and solidarity. It is a business owned and controlled equally by the people who work there.

Co-operatives are dedicated to the values of openness, social responsibility and caring for others such as legal entities have a range of social characteristics; membership is open, meaning that anyone who satisfies certain non discriminatory conditions may join.

Therefore, agricultural co-operatives according to Gray and Kranzenle (2010:90) were of the opinion that farmers/ agricultural co-operatives are business organisation owned and controlled by the members for the mutual benefit. Members finance their co-operative through equity investment while control, comes via membership right to vote for and become directive.

Before independence in1960, women were born for subordination and obedience to their parents to begin with, to their husbands then and their duties always. But currently, apart from their domestic duties, women are also variable human resource for meaningful development. Gone are those days when women were confined primarily as house wives and symbols of wealth to men/ husbands. The increase women activism and sprouting of women organisation led to formation of organization for women society, which started in Nigeria in 1957 for the purpose of integration of different women organization into development and even the outside world in order to get support and aid.

Agricultural co-operatives bring women together for empowerment and to gain support and aid from government. In other words, agricultural co-operative is an instrument for women empowerment and realization of the role of women in the field or agriculture, education, health and commerce. The needs to properly organise, equip and increase the potentials of women towards national development become inevitable. It is certain that agricultural co-operative plays an increasingly significant role in satisfactorily materials, social and political need of the rural and urban women in Nigeria. In the third national development plan (1975-1980), the federal republic of Nigeria made a policy objective of fostering the growth of agricultural co-operatives as an instrument for achieving increased agricultural productivity and rural transformation. Some of these programs such as better life for rural women family support programmes and family economic achievement programmes are yet other strategies by the government to ensure women participation in development. Agricultural co-operative societies are organised groups which are created to accomplish one or more functions including production, marketing, purchasing, supplying and the provision of credit facilities to its members.

1.2      Statement Of The Problem

Women provide the backbone of rural economy in most of sub-Saharan Africa where about 80% of the economically active female labour force is employed in agriculture (Vineyard Gramorthy and Pithech 2007: 9). According to them, women are responsible for 70% of food production, 50%  of animal husbandry and 60% of agricultural marketing. All these notwithstanding, many African women paradoxically are living in abject poverty, they form the segment of the society that is disproportionately represented below the poverty line (Corbett, 2006:17).

The researcher will like to find out if lack of access to formal education and credit by the women, early marriage and lack of access to farm inputs could be the problem of women empowerment in Awgu local government area of Enugu State. Are there actually agricultural co-operatives that empower women in Awgu local government area. The necessary measures that agricultural co-operatives use to empower women for better performance to increase agricultural production.

1.3      Objective Of Study

The broad objective of the study is to identify how women in Enugu especially Awgu local government area can be empowered through agricultural co-operatives societies and specifically to

    i.        Identify why women join agricultural co-operatives and their demographic variables like age, income, education level etc.

  ii.        Examine the extent of women participation in agriculture in Awgu local government area in 2008-2014.

iii.        Determine the extent to which these agricultural co-operative societies help its members economically through empowerment.

 iv.        Identify the problems that confront women participation in agricultural co-operative societies.

   v.        Make recommendations based on the findings on how the efficiency of the agricultural co-operative societies can be enhanced.



1.4      Research Questions

At this juncture, it is pertinent to ask the following questions:

    i.        Why do women in Awgu join agricultural co-operative society and what are the demographic variables of the members?

  ii.        To what extent do women participate in agricultural co-operative societies in Awgu local government area?

iii.        To what extent do these agricultural co-operative societies help the members economically?

 iv.        To what extent does problem like literacy affect women in agricultural co-operative society?

   v.        What strategies can be employed to improve the efficiency of these agricultural co-operative societies through women empowerment?

1.5 Research Hypotheses

Ho: Women participate in agriculture in Awgu local government area to a low extent.

Ho: Women participate in agriculture in Awgu local government area to large extent.

Ho: Agricultural co-operative societies in Awgu local government area do help its members economically through empowerment.

Ho: Agricultural co-operative societies in Awgu local government area helps its members economically through empowerment.

Ho: There is no problem confront women participation in agricultural co-operative societies.

H1: There are so many problems confront women participation in agricultural co-operative societies.

1.6      Significance Of The Study

This study is very important particularly now that the present civilian government has put more emphasis on the mobilization of women for rural and national development. This may enable local government to work out and make a realistic measure to motivate women to improve on some economic ventures.

In other words, it provides a basis on which action aid can be promoted and strengthens processes which can empower women to become advocate of their own rights enjoyed, respected and promoted. It is also committed to strengthening women movement globally to advocate for gender equity.

This study may provide an opportunity in promoting the human rights of women by women organisations. The organisation team leader-gender may use this opportunity to share and learn from other gender and development practitioner from other parts of Africa. It provides a basis that gender focused NGOs can be used to improve on their current ways to policy advocacy aimed at empowering gross roots women. This study may add to a wider understanding on women’s empowerment in Nigeria. It provides knowledge to development planners and policy makers on the alternative means through which grass roots women can become advocated of their own rights and needs. It is believed that this study will be useful to other development partners of action aid in Nigeria such as the National Association of Women organisation, Nigeria women network and others with whom this information will be shared. The study provides an analysis of the relationship between policy advocates and the real life experience of rural women.

1.7      Scope Of The Study

This research is limited to the point that will concentrate on the socio-economic role of agricultural co-operatives society in women empowerment as well as identifying factors that militate against participation of women in co-operative societies. This study is confined to agricultural co-operative societies in Awgu local government area. This will enable the researcher make adequate investigation within the limited time and resources available.


1.8      Limitation Of Study

The limitation of this study included the unavailability of women to fill the questionnaires and the little co-operation gotten from those who were available also served as a major discouragement to the researcher. Also the distance from the researcher abode to the area of study made it difficult for her to meet with her respondents when there were available and this distance problem also made it difficult for her to meet with her respondents when there were available and this distance problem also made it difficult for the researcher to always reach her respondents. Money was also a constraint that limited the activities of the researcher and off course the output of data collected.

1.9      Definition Of Terms

Definitions of the terms or the under listed terms are used in this work:

1.  AGRICULTURAL CO-OPERATIVE SOCIETY: A business organisation owned and controlled by its members for their mutual benefits. They are united and separate from a business organisation. They are unique because they adhere to co-operatives principles and concepts.

2.  WOMEN EMPOWERMENT: The socio-economic gain from co-operatives which leads to high standard of living and to general level of women increase their production of goods and services and every level of employment so as to raise their standard of living. Women have legal control over their land, they can become investors in their families future and ensure that their children’s needs are met.

3.  NATIONAL DEVELOPMENT: This is the progressive challenges of a country. It involves the qualitative and quantitative changes or increase in a country which also increase the standard of living of the people.

4.  ENLIGHTMENT: This involves creating awareness getting people aware of the current happening. It is very important for modernization and changes.


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Women Empowerment Through Agricultural Cooperative In Enugu State