ROLE OF RURAL WOMEN IN SUSTAINABLE FOOD PRODUCTION: A CASE STUDY OF MBUTU COMMUNITY IN ABOH MBAISE LOCAL GOVERNMENT AREA OF IMO STATE, NIGERIA
Considering the critical importance of food security to the global community, rural women are an indispensable tool to be reckoned with. Food security denotes complex targets because it does not simply mean to have food through sustainable production; it includes also to have access to food under markedly different conditions. This paper examined the role of rural women in sustainable food production, the challenges and prospects. The case study was conducted with eighty (80) women in Mbutu community in Aboh Mbaise Local Government Area of Imo State in 2014 and 2015, respectively. The results showed that flooding was an extremely severe factor (87.50 %) affecting sustainable food production in the rural areas. Loss of biodiversity and decline in soil organic matter (SOM) were ranked moderately severe (50-69 %), soil sealing was slightly severe (12.50 %), while soil contamination, compaction, salinisation and landslide were ranked negligible (0-19 %). The paper recommends immediate strong intervention in rural areas through effective erosion/flood control, aforestation instead of loss of biodiversity, among others, for effective and sustainable food production.
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