Gender Dimensions of Poverty and Coping Options among Smallholder Farmers in Eastern Nigeria

Isaac B. Oluwatayo


The study examines gender dimensions of poverty and the coping options among smallholder farmers in Eastern Nigeria. Primary data used in this study were collected through interview schedule a well-structured questionnaire administered on 199 respondents using a multistage random sampling technique. Seven major autonomous communities were covered in the survey. Analytical tools employed include simple descriptive statistics, probit model and the coping strategies use index (CSUI) generated based on the information gathered from respondents. The result of descriptive analysis shows that there were more female respondents (56.3%) than the male respondents (43.7%) in the study area. Most of the households were headed by male respondents (71%) as compared to the female respondents (29%). More women also had their major occupation as farming (56%) than the men (42%), with more men (13.8%) having tertiary level of education than the women (10.2%). Also, more female respondents were poor (43.7%) as compared to their male counterparts (33.3%). The results of the probit analysis shows that age, gender, level of education, major occupation, household size, amount of remittances received and extension services had significant effect on the poverty status of the respondents. Meanwhile, of the 11 coping strategies available in the study area, the study shows that relying on less expensive clothes which had a percentage of 11.2 was the widely used option by majority of the respondents. This is closely followed by spending of savings, reduction of in diversity of dietary intake, reduction in the number of meals taken per day and reduction of the quantity of food consumed respectively. The respective percentages of these strategies are 10.5, 10.2, 10.2, and 10.1. It is therefore recommended that improvement in human capacity building through investment in education should be priotized. Also, policies made to assist smallholder famers in the study area should be gender-mainstreamed.

DOI: 10.5901/mjss.2014.v5n27p49

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This work is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.

Mediterranean Journal of Social Sciences ISSN 2039-9340(Print) ISSN 2039-2117(Online)

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