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This study examined the effects of the activities of land speculators on the livelihood of women farmers in Kuje Area Council Federal Capital Territory, Abuja. Twelve villages were randomly selected from Kuje while ten percent (10%) of the population of each villages were randomly selected given a total respondents of one hundred and thirty four (134) women farmers, also sixty land speculators were interviewed during the survey period from May to September 2014. The data collected were analyzed using descriptive statistics and multiple regression analysis. Result from the analysis revealed that large numbers of women farmers were affected by activities of land speculators resulting to low crop output and low income. The study further revealed that death of members of families, confiscation of land, invasion on land, destruction of crops and double allocation had negative influence on crop output and income at 1%, 5%, and 10% respectively. The result of the study showed that lack of finance to purchase or rent land is women farmers’ major constraints to land acquisition in the study area. The study therefore recommended that the Land Use act of 1978 should be reviewed periodically to accommodate population increase and the demand for agricultural land, and there should be provision for support services and rural finance by establishing cottage industries in farming communities by Kuje Area Council and NGO’s to enhance quality life of rural farmers.
1.1 Background to the Study
In Nigeria, agriculture is one of the most important sectors of notable economic
relevance in her economic development and growth (Jonadab, 2006). It accounts for
more than one-third of total Gross Domestic Product (GDP), ensures food security,
alleviate poverty and reduce labor force wastage (IFAD, 2009). Nigeria Human
Development Index (HDI) value for 1989 was 0.459 in the low human development
category, positioning the country at 156 out of 187 countries (UNDFW, 2007) and in
2014; it was 0.471 positioning the country at 153 out of 187 countries (WB, 2000). In
order to reduce poverty situation in Nigeria, especially in the rural communities, women
must have rights to enough land and other natural resourcesin order to produce enough
food, generate income for her family and earn foreign exchange for the nation (Idris,
Agricultural activities are carried out on land to produce agricultural products.
Therefore land is primarily required for the production of food for human and animal
consumption. Importance of agriculture also includecultivation of plants for fibre, fuel
and other organically derived products (Ken and Cotic, 2005). There is a great advocacy
on focusing on investing in women in agriculture as farmers, fishers or workers in agro-
processing and marketing of agricultural produce, yet women farmers do not have equal
access to resources, but do the bulk of farm work (Enete and Achike, 2008).
According to Food and Agricultural Organization (2003) in many developing countries
women are the backbone of the agriculture. In some countries, they are even the
majority of small hold farmers. Women farmers do not have access to resources and this
significantly limit their potentials in food production.Effiand and Gold (1998)
reportedthat women are at severe disadvantage when it comes to security of land or
owning land out rightly, owning livestock, accessing financial services, receiving the
kind of extension services and resources that enable them increasetheir output. Women
do not secure land tenure rights for a number of reasons which include population
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