Women’s contribution to local economic development: A study of women in cassava production and processing in Central Tongu District.

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The study examined women’s contribution to local economic development (LED) via cassava production and processing in Central Tongu District of the Volta Region of Ghana. Survey research methodology using questionnaires and guided interviews were used in collecting data required for the study. Proportional stratified probability sampling with simple random sampling technique was used to select 171 respondents out of 296 in the sampling frame. The objectives of the study were to examine the effects of women’s socio-economic factors on cassava production and processing, assess activities performed by the women, ascertain their sources of support, assess profitability of cassava production and processing as economic activities and examine problems women faced in cassava production and processing in the study area. Data collected were analysed using descriptive and inferential statistics. The coefficient of determination (R2) was only 0.063 indicating the model used had low goodness of fit. Out of six socio-economic factors analysed, only educational level and family size had significant effects on cassava production and processing in the district. The analysis revealed also that cassava production and processing were profitable economic activities in the district. In addition, the results showed that 65 percent of the women were married, 79 percent completed formal education and 29 percent performed farm activities such as land preparation and 45 percent the post farm activities such as processing and products marketing. The majority (64%) of the respondents depended on ploughed back profit for their cassava businesses. The results revealed again that only 37 percent of the women received cassava varieties and 75 percent of them did not have access to extension services delivery. Finally, the results showed that 17 percent and 11 percent of the women hired labour services at the farm and post farm levels of their activities respectively.
A thesis submitted to the School of Graduate Studies, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of MASTER OF SCIENCE IN Development Policy and Planning. 2014