AGRICULTURAL CONTRIBUTIONS OF RURAL WOMEN TO LIVELIHOOD AND FOOD SECURITY: CASE STUDY: NGENDZEN MBAM, NKUM SUB DIVISION, CAMEROON

Ngah Dickson Yufonyuy | Department of Development Studies | Environment and Geo-information Science

ABSTRACT

Rural women have traditionally played a key role in promoting agricultural development, food security and livelihoods. Their contributions are probably constrained by inequalities in access and control of vital resources and inputs such as land, finance, and agricultural inputs, modern agricultural techniques, marketing as well as training and extension services that characterize most rural areas in developing countries. This work was done in the village of Mbam Nkum in Bui division of the Northwest region. Ngendzen Mbam Nkum is located in between 10,400 and 10,500 E longitude of Greenwich and latitude 6.100 6.200 N and north of the equator. Ngendzen Mbam is bounded to the north by the village Tatum, to the east by Ndu Tea Estate, to the west by Kitiwum and South by Mbiame town with an estimated population of about 2500 people. Sources of primary and secondary data were used in the data collection. Primary data weas obtained through interviews with farmers in rural areas, and with the presidents of common initiative groups registered (GIC) in Mbam Ngendzen. Secondary data was collected from textbooks, journals, previous reports published articles relating to this subject. Internet sources were used. The results revealed that 75% of women were in agriculture while 25% of them were both in agriculture and small businesses. In addition, 72.3% were into animal farming and crop cultivation for their livelihood and source of income. While 26.7% among farmers depended only on agricultural production for their livelihood and source of income. Most of the respondents were facing problems and challenges in their various activities. 86.5% of respondents facing difficulties in agriculture have had problems of farm to the market road and lack of fertilizers, while 20% of farmers had difficulties resulting from insufficient finances. Five percent of farmers had problems of insufficient land for cultivation. In conclusion, the different ways in which women in Mbam Ngenzden contributed to the livelihoods and food security includes crops, livestock and small-scale enterprises. Revenue from agricultural products such as corn, beans, potatoes has a positive impact in their lives as it helped them to buy other foodstuffs which they cannot produce such as rice, and other basic needs. It is recommended that the Council should encourage youth to participate in agriculture.  Download