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University of Fort Hare (2013)

Role of women in achieving food security in South Africa : a case of rural MbasheLocal Municipality

Mgwali N. N

Titre : Role of women in achieving food security in South Africa : a case of rural MbasheLocal Municipality

Auteur : Mgwali N. N

Université de soutenance : University of Fort Hare

Grade : M. Sc (Agric. Economics) 2013

This dissertation has attempted to investigate the involvement of women in rural areas ofthe Mbashe local municipality. This was investigated to find out if the government foodse curity programs in rural areas have been designed to address the issue of women empowerment in irrigated farming, how involved women are in terms of farm decision making and management. A structured questionnaire was used to collect information on demographic parameters, Irrigation and water use information, production information and market and marketing information. A total of 69 structured questionnaires were administered to identify gender roles in irrigated farming with special emphasis to the roles played by women in farm decision making and management in Ngxakaxha Administrative Area of Mbashe local municipality of the Eastern Cape, South Africa. Own food production has been found to be the main food acquisition strategy in rural areas ; people involved in it farm for their own consumption and then sell the remaining produce. About 80 % of the farmers practise irrigated agriculture with or without the use of a formal irrigation system provided and managed by government departments. Descriptive statistics were generated using the Statistical Package for Social sciences (SPSS). Subsequently, the data were subjected to inferential analysis using the binomial logistic regression model. The perceptions influencing the predictor variable were defined and tested using the binomial logistic regression model. The statistically significant independent variables, at the level 5% significant level are as follows ; area and the number of years in farming. At the 10% significant level ; the total number of bags sold and the total amount received (revenue). Basically the area is negatively correlated with irrigation and own production in rural areas. The household head is the one that determines household own production. The number of years involvement in farming determine their experience in farming and the amount of yield he / she will get. Major constraints to sustainable irrigation, as revealed by the analysis, were lack of funding for the projects in terms of an rrigation system, lack of a source of water, lack of new information and workshops. Women were found to be fully involved in irrigated farming nowadays, but training is needed for both men and women in rural areas for their production and irrigation to be sustainable over time. It has been concluded that there are programmes which have been designed and are driven by the women and a number of these programmes are also addressing the issues of gender equality in rural areas.

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