Africa is a region of female farming compared with other regions of the world where women have the responsibility for food production, processing, marking, cooking, child care and other home related activities. It is argued that women account for 70-80 percent of household food production in sub-Sahara Africa. However, case studies in Nigerian and in most Africa countries tend to point to the fact that women who have been described as the hidden productive force in the countryside have not fully benefited from food production development planning strategies, despite their increased involvement in agricultural production. The food production development programme has often focused in the designing of effective packages for generating surpluses in agriculture without particular focus on women. The basic needs approach which emphasis the expansion of people’s capabilities therefore points to the importance of re-examining the strategies for promoting participation in agricultural production with specific focus on women. Food development planning and execution strategies need to be re-oriented and re-designed to ensure that development packages reach women farmers as well as stimulate them to participate more actively to increase output though technology and other incentives. This paper therefore focuses on the importance of women’s participation in Nigerian agricultural production and its implications for national development. The neglect of women’s roles in agriculture and factors that have adversely affected rural women’s agricultural production is also reviewed. Finally, the paper proposes some socio-economic, socio-cultural and institutional structures that must be re-examined and redesigned to facilitate the increase women participation in Nigeria main streaming agriculture.


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