): Effect of USAID Market Improved Practices on Rice Farmers in Kwara State, Nigeria.
This study examined the significance of USAID/Markets rice intervention programme on rice farmers ‘productivity in Kwara State, Nigeria. A two-stage sampling technique was employed in selecting 240 (120 network farmers and 120 non-network farmers) rice farmers drawn from the study area. Data collected were analysed using frequency counts, percentages and charts while correlation was used to make deduction from the study. The findings revealed that majority (48.8% and 33.6%) of male and female fell between 46-65 age brackets. Activities such as land preparation, selection and planting of cultivars, were the common activities among male respondents while harvesting, processing and marketing were the activities common to female respondents with male involving more in all the activities. Insufficient fund (65% and 52%), pest and disease attack (63% and 65%), high cost of input (56% and 59%) were some of the highest constraints to arable crop production common to both male and female respondents. Results of correlation analysis revealed that there were significant relationship between male and female respondents and their level of involvement in arable crop production activities and age (r=0.545), education (r=0.432), farming experience (r=0.653) at P≥0.05 level of significance. The study concluded that male were more involved in arable crop production activities than their female counterpart in the study area. The study therefore recommended that government should design gender policies that could strike the balance between male and female farmers with a view to encouraging more women to participate in arable crop production activities in the state.
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