It is important to identify the real needs of vulnerable people so that responses to these will be specific; especially where the paradox of poverty, hunger and misery amidst plenty exists. But, who are the vulnerable groups? What resources are available to them? Is there an underlying relationship between household food security situation and the gender of the household head? What is food requirement? Is there a linkage between factors which influence food supply and food requirement? These are pertinent issues in the development of farming and rural systems in Nigeria. This book serves to proffer some answers.
The study shows that the structure of subsistence; gender roles and relations are changing while development of infrastructure is low. As such poor people remain ill equipped to take advantage of any positive change. It gives disaggregated information on factors that drive intra-household decisions and the value structure for the poor. Gender relations in the household are shown to be dynamic implying that factors which influence gender roles and relations differ among households and change over time. It also shows that the dimensions of poverty include income, food supply and requirement and cultural limitations. Human and capital resources available to the farm family determine the minimum subsistence and cash requirement level. The efficient use of these is limited by low returns, environmental problems and cultural limitation, as a result families are dependent on the goodwill of resource owners. Food supply and food requirement are presented as ‘mirror images’ and as the main components of a family’s food security situation; hence they have to be tackled simultaneously for significant effects to be achieved. Infrastructural development has the potential of making farming attractive and of creating equal opportunities.