A COMPARATIVE STUDY OF WOMEN EMPOWERMENT IN CASSAVA PRODUCTION AND PROCESSING AS A MEANS OF HOUSEHOLD POVERTY STATUS IN NIGERIA
The right to food is a fundamental human right.Yet, millions of people suffer the “ravages of hunger and malnutrition or the consequences of food insecurity” It is no longer just a “moral imperative”, but“survivability imperative” and food and agriculture are central to the poverty issue. The goal of eradicating hunger will only be achieved if the voice of the silent majority of human kind is heard. That voice belongs to women. In the face of poverty, natural disaster and war, it is the resilience and ingenuity of women that enable families and communities to survive. Empowering women, who play the most important role as producers of food, is key to achieving food security. The legal system is an important tool for this empowerment, for it is the legal system that is capable of establishing an equitable and transparent framework for the functioning of a civilized society and for protecting the rights of vulnerable groups including women. It is through law that mechanisms are structured for both the short-term approach to respond to hunger in a crisis and the long- term approach to respond to hunger with agriculture and development policies aimed at food self-sufficiency. Food security exists when all people, at all time, have physical and economic access to sufficient, safe and nutritious food to meet their dietary needs and food preferences for an active and healthy life. Food security is fundamental to individual human dignity, growth, and survival. We all pay for widespread hunger and malnutrition through sacrificed human potential, lost economic opportunity, social tension, violence, and war.Creating feedback channels between all parties in the development equation would bring about the necessary equalization to the full participation of rural women in the economic benefits of Nigerian agriculture.
Empowering rural women for participation in agricultural decision-making and leadership in Nigeria represents the most appropriate and effective way forward.