Accepted 28th January, 2015.
The study investigates factors influencing women participation in National Special Programme on Food Security Niger state. Purposive sampling technique was used to select 103 participants through administration of pre-tested questionnaire supplemented with oral interview. Both descriptive and inferential statistics were used to analyze the data collected. Findings revealed that most (71%) of the participants are middle-aged and still active in agricultural production. Majority (87.4%) of the participants involved in the programme are married, thus, contributing to the family welfare in cash and kind. The results indicated that the majority (71.9%) of the participants had non-formal education, with an average household size of 8.7%. In addition, analyzed results indicated that (55.9%) participated in crop enterprise, (30.2%) participated in livestock production, (13.7%) participated in marketing. The study also revealed that age, education and household size influenced women participation in the programme. However the effects of education indicated that literacy level as a result of basic literacy skill acquisition introduced by the programme facilitators has improved; large household size as a result of enormous family responsibility affect the level of participation in the programme and middle aged are most of the participants. The study concluded that women participation in NSPFS programme actually reduced poverty level and significantly contributed to food security. The programme should be expanded to cover more areas, thereby increasing the number of sites and participants so as to extend its benefits to many rural poor.
Keywords: Food security, poverty alleviation, women participation, NSPFS, Niger State