Impact of irrigation farming on women empowerment, food security and poverty status in North West Province, South Africa
Tekana, Sibongile Sylvia
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Women play a critical and potentially transformative role in agricultural growth in developing countries, but they face persistent obstacles and economic constraints limiting further inclusion in agriculture. This is because women are marginalised because of social and cultural exclusion they face in their communities. This study examine the impact of irrigation farming on women empowerment, food security and poverty status in the North West Province of South Africa. A probability sampling method involving simple random sampling techniques was adopted to select the respondents and a sample if 120 farmers was be randomly selected to obtain a representative sample :from the participating farmers on the schemes. A structured questionnaire with open and closed ended questions was used to collect demographic information on their socio- economic status, women empowerment, food security, competency and training needs, institutions that support women. Data was analysed by using the Statistical Packages for Social Science (SPSS). Descriptive statistics such as :frequency distribution, percentages, mean and standard deviation were used while Linear regression, Pro bit and FGT model were used as inferential statistics. The results shows that most of the respondents were in the age bracket of 41 to 50 years (72%), married (42.2 %), primary education (32.5%). 66.3% of farmers have farming experience ranging from 1-10 years. With regard to income sources pension was the greatest non-farm contributor (30%). Fifty percent of the women had low SES scores,40% low in competency skills and more than 50% get support :from different institutions for their farming productivity. Significant determinants of empowerment were expenditure (t = 1.68), drip irrigation type (t = 1.71). In the Probit model to analyse food security the results showed that the significant variables included household expenditure (t=-1.9), marital status (t= -2.37), non-farming activities(t=1.53), farming expenditure(t=l.76),income, central pivot(t=-2.71), sprinkler irrigation(t=0.77), micro(t=- 3.44) and drip irrigation(t=-2.19). The study also examine the empowerment indices to show different areas where women are empowered and this covered in this study include the use of income (53%) are disempowered, about 60.2% Ofwomen are disempowered in access to productive capital and access to credit ,while about 50% are empowered in leadership and decision making.