Structural Adjustment and African Women Farmers

By Christina H. Gladwin; Center for African Studies University of Florida | Go to book overview

allocation. Second, women--whether they work outside their homes or not--have increasingly become responsible for catering to the needs of their families in addition to their productive roles. This trend has resulted in increased hardship for them in the era of structural adjustment, in view of government cutbacks in resource allocation to the social services (e.g., health, education, water supply, rural electrification, and transportation). These services, which provide support for meeting women's everyday survival needs, have now fallen further short of doing so.

In view of the findings of this study and their implications of hardship for Nigerian women, the need exists for a reassessment of the objectives of SAP and a reevaluation of the implementation instruments in order to add a human face to SAP programs. If women and their households are to benefit from the expected "gain" of structural adjustment, the need exists to invest substantially in human, physical, social, and institutional resources that address the broader issues of women's subordination, exploitation, and access to farm inputs and social services.


NOTES
1.
By "quality of life," I am referring to how everyday human survival needs of food, health care, and recreation and/or leisure activities are met.
2.
The Berg Report published in 1981 by the World Bank found the heart of the economic woes of sub-Saharan African countries not to be caused by external forces but by "domestic policy issues" which include overvalued exchange rates, inappropriate pricing policy, excessive state intervention, and costly import substitution policies.
3.
In neoclassical analysis, privatization and economic liberalization refer to the removal of various forms of government intervention in the product and factor market which are seen as "distorting" the price signals and "repressing" the market mechanism ( Cook and Kirkpatrick 1988: 9).
4.
The choice of selected locations was due to my familiarity with the peoples' language, customs, and socioeconomic characteristics by virtue of my schooling and working in the field of agricultural extension in those areas.
5.
Small-scale farmers are those farming less than 5 hectares of land; medium-scale farmers are those farming 5-10 hectares of land; large-scale farmers are those farming above 10 hectares of land who receive fewer ADP extension services (Nigerian Ministry of Agriculture).
6.
It should be noted that these two projects were set up in response to the Structural Adjustment Program and anticipated rural transformation. Bendel and Ogun States' ADPs were established in 1985 and 1986 respectively to conduct the training of small-scale farmers (both males and females), to provide extension services to the farmers, to provide access to farming inputs (fertilizers, high-yielding varieties of seeds and seedlings and pesticides), and to provide easy access to tractors and other technology

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