Women’s Participation in the Aquaculture Value Chain in Selective Regions of Sierra Leone
Keywords:Women, aquaculture, value chain, Sierra Leone.
This study was conducted to examine the socio-economic activities of fish farmers in the different study areas, investigating the extent of women’s participation in the aquaculture value chain and identifying critical areas where women lack knowledge and need improvement or encouragement to participate fully. This research was conducted in three provinces in Sierra Leone namely Northern, Southern and Eastern Provinces with a total of 59 respondents randomly chosen from the various districts. Respondents include fish farmers, processors, marketers, pond owners and stakeholders. Instruments used for valid data collection were a well-structured questionnaire, personal interviews, group discussions and observations. The information generated from the completed questionnaire were analyzed using a statistical package for social sciences which present the data in the form of patterns emerging from bar charts. Results from the research reveal the different areas of the value chain where women fish farmers are majorly engaged, highlighting their strengths and weaknesses. Conclusively the research reveals that daily fish farming activities are almost entirely in the hands of women with them being actively involved in marketing and processing commonly perceived by fish farmers as a job fit for women. From this research study, it is safe to say that the men may be the pond owners but the aquaculture value chain is dominated by women in Sierra Leone. Therefore, this research recommends the empowerment of women through granting loans, capacity-building training and easy access to land for their full participation in aquaculture activities.
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