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Abstract

Moringa oleifera (horseradish tree - English) is a perennial plant, which has been found to possess high economic and cultural values in many countries of the world. This study was carried out to analyse the socio-cultural perception about Moringa oleifera according to farmers’ gender in Southwestern Nigeria. It specifically established the correlates of perception of Moringa oleifera among the farmers; described the socio-demographics of the farmers; examined the gender gaps in the level of awareness and propagation of Moringa oleifera; compared their willingness to adopt innovation on Moringa oleifera and analysed the constraints associated with men’s and women’s propagation of Moringa oleifera. A snow-ball sampling technique was used to select equal number of male and female respondents across the region. The results revealed amongst others, that widowhood and illiteracy were the likely interlocking system, which has reshaped oppression among the female respondents. Statistically significant gender gaps or inequalities at P ≤ 0.05 level, existed in the level of awareness (F = 6.29), propagation (F = 15.56), willingness to adopt innovation (F = 12.61) and socio-cultural perception of Moringa oleifera (F = 11.34). The study concluded that the gender differential gaps could reverse the gains of innovations on Moringa oleifera by limiting the adoption of innovation and propagation of the plant among the farm families. It, therefore, recommended that the generated innovations should be properly screened to ensure that they do not upset the delicate economic power balance between men and women in the farming sector or widen the gender inequalities or create other vectors of oppression. So, policies that encourage women’s literacy as well as access to innovations and farm labour, most especially amongst the widows are indispensable in enhancing socio-cultural perceptions and adoption of innovation as well as propagation of Moringa oleifera for sustainable development in Southwest Nigeria.

Note on the Author

Dixon O. Torimiro is a Rural Sociologist and an Associate Professor in the Department of Agricultural Extension and Rural Development, Obafemi Awolowo university Nigeria.

Simisola M. Odeyinka is an Animal Scientist and a Professor in the Department of Animal Science Obafemi Awolowo University Nigeria.

Victor O. Okorie is a Rural Sociologist and an Academic Staff in the Department of Agricultural Extension and Rural Development, Obafemi Awolowo University Nigeria.

Moses A. Akinsuyi is affiliated with the Department of Animal Science, Obafemi Awolowo University Nigeria

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