From time immemorial in Nigeria and Africa, women have generally contributed to agriculture and ultimate economic development of Nigeria and Africa, through active and effective participation in agriculture.
Women have generally contributed their own complementary quota to Nigeria in all respects. This includes Nigeria’s economic development and well-being, as well as in education, health, community development, social welfare, and social development; as well as in positive activism and most importantly, in agriculture.
Before the discovery of oil in Nigeria before 1958, agriculture, in particular, has been the mainstay of not only food security for the Nigerian masses (including women) but also the mainstay of the Nigerian economy.
In the field of positive activism for instance, a case in point where women were instrumental was the Aba Women Riots, in Aba Town, Abia State of Nigeria, more than eighty years ago, during the colonial period, when women successfully protested inequality, injustice, suppression, and oppression, by the then colonial government. These women from Aba Town, Abia State, organized themselves effectively, and demanded for their rights from the then British colonial government.
Nigerian women in both the Southern and Northern Regions of Nigeria are participating actively in agriculture, more or less as much as their men counterparts.
During the colonial and post-colonial periods especially, up to the start of the Nigerian Civil War in 1967; and after the Civil War in 1970; and up till at least 1979 and even thereafter, when cooperative societies, especially in agriculture, held sway nationwide. During these periods in particular, women in Nigeria, especially in the South, effectively organized themselves into cooperative societies and groups on the one hand; and their respective communities and localities; as well as provincial, and later, state and federal governments.
Women also used to massively organize themselves either as members of cooperative societies, or otherwise; to make personal and group periodical monetary contributions among themselves; for their own mutual personal, group, and societal benefits.
This later mentioned cooperative effort by the women in Nigeria still survives, and is being undertaken by women nationwide, even though apparently on a lesser scale than hitherto.
Women in Nigeria generally undertake agricultural activities through farming, alongside their male counterparts. As family members in the villages nationwide in particular, women usually farm side by side with their husbands, fathers, grandfathers, uncles, brothers, sons, nephews, neighbours, and fellow villagers nationwide.
Among other farming activities, women participate actively in clearing bushes for farmland; tilling the land, planting different crops, removing and weeding out grasses and weeds on their farmlands continuously; and tending to the different crops from planting up to the time of harvest. Specifically, women are generally good in planting and tending to the crops continuously, until harvest time. However, the women are also not left behind during harvest time, as they also participate actively in harvesting all the crops grown and that are to be harvested.
TO BE CONTINUED