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Women Participation in the Activities of Melon (Colocynthis citrullus L.) Value Chain Enterprises in Kwara State, Nigeria

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The study examined women participation in the activities of melon value chain enterprises in Kwara State, Nigeria. Edu and Patigi local government areas in Kwara State were purposively selected for the study. Primary data were obtained using well-structured questionnaire which was administered on one hundred and twenty four (124) women farmers. Descriptive statistics was employed for data analysis. Results reveal that mean age was 36years, mean years of experience in melon value chain actor was 19years, main primary occupation were agricultural products processing (50.8%) and agricultural products selling (30.6%) and mean annual income was N446,277.44. Findings further reveal that all women farmers participated in washing, coring, drying, marketing and consumption activities and were less participated in activities such as cultivation of land, planting, weeding, harvesting/gathering of pods and breaking melon pods. Majority of the respondents added value through processing of melon (78.2%) and sorting of melon (80.6%). Most (90.3%) sold their melon in local market. Majority (85.5%) sourced for information on melon value chain enterprises from friends. Constraints identified in their order of severity were poor access to credit facilities (mean=2.96), high cost of chemical (mean=2.80) and inadequate capital (mean=2.74). The study therefore concludes that Kwara state women farmers’ participation in melon value chain enterprises were more in processing, marketing, and consumption activities and were involved in various value addition in the processing of melon. The study suggests the need for women farmers to come together as cooperative groups with name affiliated to any of the melon value chain enterprises. Extension agent need to render more assistance in providing adequate information on improved processing skills especially through training in order to increase competency of women farmers in this area.



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