Empowering Women in Agri-Business and Agri-Preneurship: The Dialectics of Socio-cultural Impediments on Economic Development in Nigeria

Sunday Ijuo Ukpata, Pauline Ebere Onyeukwu


Women in agri-business and related entrepreneurship ventures are household identities of majority of the Nigerian rural and urban dwellers. Yet, full empowerment of women and the girl-child in most Nigerian rural communities is often faced with the dialectics of social and cultural impediment which has hitherto retarded the economic developments of the Nigerian rural dwellers. The objectives of the study are to correlate the implications of these cultural and social norms on the development, training and empowerment of women and the girl-child and their attendant effects on the fortunes of the Nigeria national economy and how they negatively affect Africa development as a whole. A descriptive survey method was used and conducted amongst women in agri-businesses in different markets of two (2) states; Benue and Taraba the highest agricultural productivity in Nigeria. Oral interview was conducted amongst 50 female entrepreneurs who are in Agri-related and other business ventures in the markets surveyed to determine the extent to which dialectics of cultural norms influence their success or failure in choice of business or careers. Pearson Product Moment Correlation Coefficient (r) was used to measure these associations and our findings revealed that the socio-cultural norms negatively affect empowering women in their choice of career, business, trade and politics in Nigeria. Despite large number of women entrepreneurs that outweighed the males in all the markets surveyed, it was discovered that women are the bread winners of most families in Nigeria, cultural beliefs do not support empowering women beyond certain levels in most Nigerian communities. The study recommends a multilevel approach that would provide equal recognition to women and the girl-child against their male counterparts at the grass root – nuclear level in terms of formal and informal training and development, business, career placement and politics as the only way to grow a self-sustaining economy.

Keywords: Agri-Business,  Agri-Preneurship, Cultural Norms, , Dialectics of Socio-Cultural,  Groups, Rural-Dwellers

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