Analysis of gender participation in cassava processing enterprises in Irepodun Local Government Area of Kwara State, Nigeria. (209)
Keywords:Gender roles, cassava, processing, products, constraints
AbstractThe research assessed gender participation in cassava processing enterprises in Irepodun LGA area of Kwara State. Purposive and random sampling techniques were adopted for the study. Four communities were chosen and 140 respondents were randomly selected in gari, lafun and fufu processing enterprises. Interview schedule was the main tool used for data collection. Frequency counts, percentages and t-test were used to analyse data collected. Findings revealed that the majority of respondents were in the 31 to 50 or 41-50 age groups, 45.7% and 31.4% respectively. Only 32.1% of the total respondents had no formal education and main sources of cassava tubers of male (16.4%) and female (45.7%) respondents were from owned farm and market respectively. Main sources of information of male (14.3%) and female (57.1%) respondents were from colleagues. Major cassava product processed by (72.1% female and 12.1% male) was gari. Common cassava processing activities of male included bagging (16.4%), drying (12.9%) and pressing (12.1%) while women were mostly involved in peeling (75.0%), soaking (61.4%), sieving and other tasks (68.6%). Major constraints facing both male and female processors were spoilage of cassava tuber in store, lack of credit facilities and disturbance from sheep/goats. Result of t-test analysis showed significant difference in male and female roles in cassava processing activities. The study concluded that men were involved in rigorous cassava processing activities such as bagging of products, drying and pressing activities while women performed other tasks. Agricultural research institutions should intensify efforts in developing technology to reduce post-harvest spoilage of cassava; such technology should as well be disseminated at affordable rate by agricultural extension institutions and should not be gender bias.