The level of unemployment, poverty, hunger and disease is growing at an alarming rate in developing countries despite global technological and entrepreneurship development. Fish is known to be the most important food commodity handled by rural women in Katcha Local Government area of Niger State because of abundant water from River Niger and streams. This study examined the socio-economic characteristics of rural women involved in marketing; the problems and constraints associated with fish marketing, as well as its socio-economic benefits and profitability. Four markets randomly selected were used for data collection. Structured questionnaire was designed to elicit information from twenty (20) respondents in each selected market. Analytical tools used were simple descriptive statistics such as percentages and benefit cost ratio. The results showed that 32.5% of the respondents were within the age range of 36 to 45 years. The percentage profits margin were 10.33, 9.77, 8.48 and 7.26% for Katcha, Chapo, Dibbo and Ndalada markets while percentage of total profit were 32.23, 26.74, 22.34 and 18.68% respectively. Similarly, benefits/cost ratio for Katcha, Chapo, Dibbo and Ndalada markets were 1.10, 1.09, 1.08 and 1.07 respectively; indicating that fish marketing is a profitable venture. This index can be used as a tool for economic empowerment and poverty reduction among rural women.
Key words: Rural women, fish marketing, poverty reduction, economic empowerment.
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