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Credit and the technical efficiency of sheep and goat production among rural female farmers in Nasarawa State, Nigeria

Silong, A. K. F. (2017) Credit and the technical efficiency of sheep and goat production among rural female farmers in Nasarawa State, Nigeria. PhD thesis, University of Reading

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Abstract/Summary

Agriculture is the major source of food and livelihood in Sub-Saharan Africa, including Nigeria, employing about 3/4 of the population, and rural females play a significant role in agricultural production. Specifically, the participation ofwomen in small ruminant production in Nasarawa State in Nigeria is much higher than crop production and makes a significant contribution to their livelihoods. However, this sector is underperforming in the region because women, who are the dominant actors in the industry, lack the opportunities and the resources they require to make profitable investment in the industry. To overcome the problems of poor performance and declining productivity in their farms, the resources available must be efficiently utilized. Thus, the measurement of the efficiency of production of their small ruminants becomes necessary for productivity monitoring and ascertaining how to increase performances in their farm units. As such, this study investigates the major factors influencing technical efficiency (TE) of small ruminant production among farms in the study area with specific focus on the influence of credit and gender power relations (SECs) on the TE of small ruminant production among female farmers. Both quantitative and qualitative research methods were adopted for the study. Quantitative data collection methods employed the use '~f structured interviews and Harvard Gender Frameworks. Descriptive statistics were used to determine farmers' SECs, factors shaping and influencing gender power relations, and sources of credit. The Logit and Multinomial Logit regressions were employed to investigate factors influencing access to credit generally, and from the various sources ofcredit identified. The Stochastic Frontier Production Function (SFPF); Stata Version II was used to determine TEs and the major production inputs (PIs) and socio-economic factors (SEF) affecting TEs on male, female and overall managed farms separately. In addition, qualitative data collection methods employed focus group discussions (FGDs), open ended interviews and key informant interviews (KIIs) for in dept investigation into the objectives of the study, thus, both quantitative and qualitative findings were triangulated to address the research questions asked. Study findings reveal that female farmers were more involved in livestock and reproductive related activities and are also involved in other income related activities. However, men accessed and controlled more of the productive resources and services than women. There were significant associations between the control over productive resources such as land, equipment and labour among female farmers and some of their SECs such as flock size, their agency (marital status), education and age were significantly associated with their control over either of land, equipment, labour, credit and extension services respectively. The major factors influencing gender power relations were culture, socio-economic and religious factors among others. Majority of the farmers (males and females) accessed credit from semi-formal credit institutions; however, more males than females accessed credit from formal credit institutions, and more females from non-formal credit institutions. Among the factors investigated which influence access to credit by participants generally; the logit findings reveal that education, group membership and house hold size among others were positively and significantly associated with participants' access to credit. The MNL findings on the factors that significantly influence access to credit from formal credit institutions reveal education, information on sources of credit, deposits, household size and marital status among others. From semi¬formal credit institutions were education, deposits, group membership, and household size. Flock size, education, group membership and gender were factors that significantly influenced access from non¬formal credit institutions. In comparison to farmers who did not access credit, factors significantly influencing lack ofaccess were education and group membership. Output results from the SFPF reveal PIs that led to significant increases in output on male managed farms were livestock feed, labour, rent and water, whereas on female's farms were livestock, vaccines and water, and SECs that significantly affected TE among female farmers were household size, education, extension and formal credit. Male farmers were found to be 5.7% more technically efficient than female farmers (sig.at 1%). The major constraints to improvement on female managed farms were those emanating from power relations between the genders which resulted in their poor control over productive resources services. Policy recommendations for improvement were proffered in consultation with women.

Item Type:Thesis (PhD)
Thesis Supervisor:Garforth, C., Cardey, S. and Gadanakis, Y.
Thesis/Report Department:School of Agriculture, Policy and Development
Identification Number/DOI:
Divisions:Faculty of Life Sciences > School of Agriculture, Policy and Development
ID Code:75147

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