Understanding gender risk behaviour: panacea to adoption of innovations and technology for mitigating the effect of climate variability

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Oluwafemi O Ajewole

Abstract

Innovative research aimed at mitigating the effect of climate variability on farmers output must be adopted before the desired outcome can be achieved. Adoption of any innovation, which is deeply rooted in risk behaviour and may differ according to sex and social role, has been reported low. We used both pooled and disaggregated data to investigate gender risk behaviour to a Stress Tolerant Maize variety, an innovation aimed at mitigating the effect of climate variability in Africa. Using randomized data from 360 household sampled across Derived Savannah zone of Nigeria, we investigated the socio-economic characteristics of men and women farmers, the differences in men and women risk behaviour and the determinants of these risk behaviours from a gender perspective. The result showed that gender is an important factor to be considered by policy if farmers are to take the risk in adoption of innovation. Further, for women farmers to take risk and adopt any innovation, the innovation must meet their labour demand while for men farmers the innovation must have effect on the area of land available to farmers. We therefore recommend that aside from other issues that affect adoption of innovation, the issue of risk behaviour of farmers should be captured in policy aiming at fostering innovation adoption and specifically, men and women risk behaviour should be given due attention.

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