The Influence of Agricultural Cooperatives in the Development of Food Production in Cameroon
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Background to study
The international development community has recognized that agriculture remain an engine of economic development and poverty reduction in many developing countries. Agriculture has been the main form of economic activity in rural and national economies of many African countries. It constitute the production of both export crops which were grown and dominated by men farmer and food crops which were grown by women farmers especially food crops such as cassava. Thereby, setting gender roles. The significance of women farmers’ entry into the workforce over the past decades has produced a profound transformation in the organization of families, society, and the economy. From the late 1950s, women farmers’ economic activities have been steadily increasing, with women farmers participating actively in their local economies.
The major agricultural produce produced by the women farmers were the tuber crops like cassava. Tuber crops such as cassava were processed by the women farmers into semi-finished and finished products such as garri. The production of garri made women farmers to be more responsible for a variety of tasks, such as, providing labor to families commercial plots, producing household food and covering a wide range of household and community needs, including health and child care.
The economic role of women farmers in the production of household and community needs in historical literature have received attention in Sub-Saharan African countries even though the programs developed were far from addressing the needs of the women. As they were neither involved in policy making nor were they directly consulted in order to articulate their needs. The researcher discovered some historical information which unraveled the fact that, the production of agricultural products for household welfare and commercialization has employed a significant proportion of landless workers and small farm holders, of which are women and generates over thirty two percent of GDP growth in West African countries. The agricultural sector has possessed strong potential in development, growth, welfare and employment creation as the researcher examined.
The agricultural sector in Cameroon in the 1980s has continued to play a veritable role in the economy as it employed over seventy percent of the population from the data analysed by the researcher. The researcher has targeted the role of the rural women farmers in food security, food production and processing, surplus production for commercialisation, marketing and other economic activities which were hitherto performed by the men farmers. As a significant proportion of agricultural and other socio-economic activities takes place in rural areas and the women farmers forming the majority of the commercial sector at micro-levels.
The rural women farmers in addition to their domestic and reproductive responsibilities produce over sixty to eighty percent of the agricultural food products which are widely consumed in Cameroon as the researcher noticed from historical literatures. From historical data, the researcher has examined the contributions put in place by the rural women farmers to the socio-economic and political development of the rural and national economies of the country as compared to their male counterparts.
In the South West Region of Cameroon, where traditional mode of agricultural production and commercialization for household and community needs co-exist with state run farms, the rural women farmers also engaged in the formation of groups and cooperatives organizations. The formation of these organizations as it was argued by social scientists and gender experts was to balance the inadequate representation in existing rural organizations and improvement of agricultural production and independence in the rural communities.
The agricultural sector was one of the key fields of economic activities in the Bakunduland. The women farmers constitute over sixty percent of the active population as compared to the men farmers and grow about eighty percent of food products at subsistence and commercial levels. The agricultural activities of the rural women even go beyond food crop production to other economic activities like fisheries and hunting. This enabled the women farmers to convey or participate much to the Self-Help Schemes of the rural and national developmental programs in spite of their limited access to productive resources. The rural communities of the Bakunduland have women farmers, who depend mostly on the production and transformation of food products such as cassava for garri in order to provide for households, communities and dealers.
The rural communities which constitute the Bakunduland possess synonymous idiosyncrasies which could be fitted in every aspect of the communities. Such idiosyncrasies can be spotted in agricultural activities, language, tradition, dressing, diet, and structure of authorities even though they have distinct aspects among the various communities. The Bakunduland existed in two sections as lower and upper, and some of the communities include, Bombe, Bopo, Banga, Pete, Kake Bongwana, Kake Bokoko, Marumba Bongwana, Marumba Boah, Kombone, Boa, Nake Bongwana, Nake Bokoko, Foe, Bole, Ngongo, and Mabonji Bakundu.
The impacts of the women farmers in the Bombe Bakundu community were visible in all aspects of the socio-economic and political status of the rural and national territory. The researcher therefore centered the research on the Garri Women of Bombe Bakundu, Cameroon, 1960-2015. The garri women have over time and space take on the responsibilities which were hitherto carried out by the men. They have been responsible for “putting the bread on the table” and thus, reversing gender roles while given the problem impetus.
Statement of the Problem
It has been widely demonstrated that garri women farmers as well as men farmer engaged in a wide range of socio-economic and political activities essential to household welfare and management, agricultural productivity, economic development and growth of rural and national economies. But there exist misconceptions and controversies in the evaluation of the relevance of the garri women as their substantial contributions and impact continue to be undervalued and plagued by limited attention in conventional agricultural and economic analyses. While the men’s contributions and impact remains at the centre, often the sole focus of attention. Certain questions patterning to what and how garri women activities have been beneficial in all sectors of the society have remained unanswered and controversial. This hs unveiled a gap in historical knowledge.
This therefore prompted the researcher to venture into that area in order to bring out answers and information not taken into considerations to justify the worth and clear the misconceptions of garri women’s impact in societal development and growth. As the garri women’s impact in the socio-economic and political sectors has not been thoroughly investigated. The garri women are the hidden force behind the economic development and growth of the rural and national economies. They partake in combating poverty, malnutrition, and food insecurity. In spite of the lack of appreciation and consideration of their activities to be just a “help” and not an important contribution to social welfare, economic development and growth of rural and national economies. The research brings out the hidden potentials of the garri women farmers of Bombe Bakundu as their objectives to the socio-economic and political development of rural and national economies.
Objectives of the Study
The general objective of the study hopes to give an historical appraisal of the garri women of Bombe Bakundu, Cameron, 1960-2015.
The specific objectives comprised of:
To examine the geography and economic history of Bombe Bakundu .As a prelude to the changing roles of the garri women in ensuring better living standards in household s welfare, economic development and growth of the rural and national economies.
To examine why garri women tend to specialise in this specific activity in Bombe Bakundu.
To examine the role of the garri women at economic development and growth in Bombe Bakundu. And equally within the context of the rural and national economy.
To strengthen and promote self-reliance of the garri women in improving on the production and productivity of garri and other food product in a sustainable manner and ensuring food security , while also ensuring that risks to the ecosystem are minimized.
To economically empower the garri women through their garri women common initiative groups and co-operatives that strengthens economic growth and independence in Bombe Bakundu.
To examine the status of the garri women in the management and maintenance of their households and production of community needs even with little resources as compare to their male counterparts.
To assess the innovations and mechanisms enacted by the garri women in kombating poverty, malnutrition and ensuring food security.
To analyses the impact of the garri women in ensuring sustainable socio-economic, political and cultural development in the rural and national economies.
To show how these garri women can be better organised, and recognized by planners and policy makers in the interest of enhancing national development.
To asses some of the major obstacles plaguing the garri women in ensuring better household welfare, economic development and growth of the rural and national economies coupled with attempted remedies.
To determine what could be done to provide the garri women with a more enabling environment for their economic, social and political activities due to their significance to rural and national territories.
Significance of the Study
This research is of some significance to the Republic of Cameroon Government and the entire population of Bombe Bakundu community. Works have been written on historic and social scientific dimensions about women in African and Cameroon with facts justifying different perspective, but the current research still remain very relevant because no specific work has been carried out on the garri women of Bombe Bakundu. Considering the relevance of the agricultural sector and the ‘garri women’ to the economy of the area under study and the country, it is important to carry out the current research for economic, social, and political analysis by experts and policy makers.
The research remains relevant to the Cameron government because, it educates the policy makers on the importance of the garri women on the societal development and nation building. Reading through the work, one would be able to situate and unravel the vibrant role of the garri women and positions they occupy in the nation building process of the country. This would cajoled the policy makers to adopt and enact reforms in order to integrate and improve on the status of the garri women as the work exposed valuable recommendations on this set of women farmers known as garri women in their performance to build the nation.
The research is of significance to the Ministries of Women and the Family, Agriculture and Rural Development and Social Welfare in that, it educates the Ministries on the strengths and might of the new set of women known as ‘garri women’ in social and cultural developments and growths. The research targets important issues of the society and the performances of peasant women (garri women) in the management of household and provision of community needs. Also unveiling the garri women as nurturers and breeders of future generations as compared to their male counterparts. Through this, the ministries would have and enforce policies in order to enhance the plight and set backs of the garri women as the garri women would be noticed of been the brains and machines of household welfare and combating malnutrition and other health issues in their contributions( socio-economic activities).
The research also educates scientific and gender scholars on the relevant contributions made by the garri women on the development of agricultural productivity, food security and the socio-economic development and growth of rural, national and international economies. Reading through the research , one will be able o situate the strengths of the garri women’s agricultural organizations and their impact in household welfare, economic growth and the independence of the area under study in terms of food security. This actually cleared the controversies in the evaluating the relevance of the garri women in agricultural conventions and economic analyses. Thereby drawing attention, appreciation and consideration of the importance of the garri women in fostering rural development.
The research educates readers and the rural communities that the development of rural communities does not only rely and depend on the government. Thereby encouraging the rural communities to strengthen the position of garri women (rural women) in the society in order, to achieve sustainable development as the garri women farmers are the hidden catalyst in the development of the rural and urban communities. The potentials of the garri women were spotted in their innovations and mechanisms for sustainability.
The research also educate readers on the innovations, mechanisms and forces put in place by the garri women farmers to ensure high yields of garri and other food crops produced and sustainability of livelihoods in the area under study. The research also stressed on the obstacles confronted by the garri women farmers which would enable those involved in the socio-economic sectors as experts and dealers to provide possible remedies to other scholarly works on women’s activities in the rural and urban communities.
Therefore, apart from adding to the scholarly works of women in various fields in Cameroon, it equally educates the rural garri women on some of the prerequisites, criteria and techniques put in place to enable the production of food crops (garri) in huge quantities essential to the welfare, development, and growth of households, rural and national economies. This was also aided in the theoretical and conceptual framework devised to deepen minds on the potentials of the garri women in enhancing sustainable development.
Theoretical /conceptual frame work
The theoretical frame work of this research is base on three theoretical approaches. That is, Women in Development, Women and Development, and Gender and Development. Women and development propagated by Longwe also elaborates on the foundation through which the research will be based on providing justifications to support the theory. The theory by Longwe advocates empowerment and an increase in women’s share in resources, land, employment and income. This empowerment theory of the women was also set forth by Eleonora Masini with aid from other framework on gender and development.
The gender and development theoretical framework or approach enacted by Kwesi Prah et al, advocates a focus on equal power relations between the men and the women. Also it focuses on the social constructed basis of differences between the men and women and emphasis the need to challenge existing gender roles and relations. This work takes all the roles and relations of the women and provides the base with which recognition was and is to be emphasysed on women and development.
Women and development theoretical framework or approach instigated by Amartya Sen et al give an insight on the approach to integrate into economic development by focusing on women’s productive work. It is associated with the wide range of activities concerning women in the development domain which donor agencies, governments, and NGOs have been al involved since the 1970s. It is in this direction that the researcher targets the women’s abilities and responsibilities in societal development. This was also enforced by the 1975 World Conference of the international Women’s World at Mexico and UN decade for Women 1976 -1985 which gave the expression to the major pre-occupation of the women around the world. Improve educational and employment opportunities, equality and social participation, increase in health and welfare services. Thereby, establishing favorable conditions for women in development.
The women in development framework that emerged during this period demanded social justice and equality for women. On these bases, the research drew stands in the socio-economic dealings with the environment, and male counterparts. From all these theories, the historical research would bring to lamplight clear justifications on the position and relevance of the garri women in the socio-economic analysis. Thereby adding more support to the ideologies of the theories and the conceptual framework.
Based on conceptual framework on this socio-economic field, the main concept which also cut across the theories to be brandished will be development and growth. Development in this research aims to establish social structures and of institutions like the family, traditional authorities, and other economic structures such as labor organizations both formal and n formal . Economic development is assumed to be the key to the improvement of wellbeing of both women and men. For every development program or project is gendered in nature, its assumptions, goals, implementation, and impact. Growth and welfare as concepts in these perspectives are the improvements in all aspects of the societies shown in the scope of the area under study. It is from this direction that the research has been based.
Scope and Delimitation
Geographically, the research is limited to Bombe Bakundu which is located in Mbonge Sub-Division, Meme Division, of the South West Region of Cameroon. The Bombe Bakundu municipality is bounded by Banga Bakundu to the north, Mbalngi Ekombe to the south, Bopo and Pete Bakundu to the west and kaka Bokoko to the east. Meanwhile on the historical scope, specific epochs were used to unfold the manifestations of the events that characterised the work.
Based on the historical scope, the research in terms of time frame covered the period from 1960-215. The year 1960 was chosen because; it was around this time that garri women farmers of Bombe Bakundu started intensive commercial scale of food crop production (garri) and provided the much needed labour and responsibi9lities to household and community needs as most of the men tend to migrate to urban centers. The year 2015 was chosen because; it was around this period that the garri women were recognised to be associates and partners of the household welfare, economic development and growth of the rural and national community in respect to the national emergence vision . This period saw the mechanisms of the garri women in their economic activities in the community.
In the period before 2015, the garri women of Bombe Bakundu operated their agricultural and other economic activities with the use of primary methods for instance, the garri women farmers made small beds and ridges to nurse food crops like vegetables, tomatoes, pepper and coco yams. This was done around their area of residence before their products were transferred to their farmlands. The garri women were noticed of been the bread winners, who provided for the families, communities, national and international economies.
The year 2015, marked a turning point in the experimentation of garri (food crops) by the garri women farmers. New and improved methods of ensuring the survival of food products (garri) to kombat the rapid growing food insecurity, malnutrition and poverty included the application of compost manure and fertilizers to boast production. Such transformation coupled with domestic and reproductive responsibilities of the garri women has increased the quality and quantity of agricultural products to the extent that the local market could not absorb the quantity of agricultural products (both food and cash crops). This paved the way for intensive external trade.
Huge number traders came to the local market every market day with the intension of purchasing garri and other products in huge quantities for their markets elsewhere in the country. This however, this unraveled the garri women effort to shape the rural and national economies with new breeds. The garri women activities in Bombe Bakundu exposed concepts such as welfare, production, transformation, commercialisation, development, labour and many others. These concepts described the activities of the garri women of Bombe Bakundu in their strived to enhance changes and continuity recorded over the years within the time frame and delimitation.
In terms of delimitation, the research would have loved to include the entire communities of the Bakunduland, but the work only includes the Bombe Bakundu municipality. This is because; the municipality severed as the center of economic activities in the entire Bakunduland with the production of garri intensively performed. Other Bakundu communities like Mabonji, kake Bongwana and Bokoko, Nake Bongwana and Bokoko did not engage in intensive production of garri and so, did not provide the relevant information on the activities of the garri women. But, informations that were found relevant in some Bakundu communities like Banga Bakundu were depicted with guidance from literatures.
Though not much has been written on the garri women of Bombe Bakundu, there are few sources of work in women in agriculture and household maintenance that were relevant to the current research.
Charlotte, O’kelly, Women and Men in Society,(Newyork: D.Van Nostrand Company, 1980),p.32. The work examined labour as the main focus of agricultural and societal production and development. The author examined the labour force of the women as the only contribution of the production of agricultural products as they performed most of the farming operations which ensured high yields for households and community needs. This study is relevant to the current research because it indicates the relevant aspect required by the garri women farmers of Bombe Bakundu to produce garri and other food products for household, and communities in a commercial scale. the current research is different and innovative in that it does not only focus on the labour provided by the garri women as compared tom their male counterparts but also on the various mechanisms initiated buy the garri women in conformation to the changes and evolution in the society. Also exposing the fact of who bears the burden in household and societal development.
Sonya Salamon, Women And Resources Control, (Boulder: Westview, 1988),p.22. The work analysed the struggle of the women in getting hold of resources necessary for enforcing better living standard and development of rural and national communities. The author brandished the women’s ability of controlling the resources and factors of production for effective socio-economic development. The research is relevant to the current research in that, it exposed the capabilities of the garri women in managing the natural resources for effective socio-economic boom. And it is different from the current research in that, it did not sample justifications of aftermath of women’s capabilities of controlling the resources at their disposals. The current research is relevant in that, it unveils expertise of the garri women in resource control while limiting the risk in destroying the ecosystem.
Andreas Wimmer, “Nation Building. A Long-Term Perspective and Global Analysis”. European Sociological Review, Vol. 0, No. 0. 2014, p.1-8. The study dealt with pertinent concepts and analyses of nation building from diverse points of perceptions. The author reiterated that nation building involved the development and growth of all the sectors of the territory, be it political, economic, social and cultural. And the assurance that, the obtainment of nation building can only be characterised by enhancing equitable distribution of resources as sampled by diverse arguments from other writers.
The work is relevant to the current work in that, it provided the basis through which nation building can be elaborated from diverse perspectives and the garri women abilities to ensure nation building by devouring these conceptions. The current research is different and innovative in that, it did not only provide arguments on the diverse views of nation building but also brandished the motives accelerating the garri women’s notion of enhancing nation building.
Esther Boserup, Women’s Role at Economic Development, (Rome: St Martin’s Press Inc, 1970),p.211-226. This work focused on the mechanisms and innovations implemented by women to ensure economic and social recognition in the quest of improving on the welfare and development of the population and the economy of the state. The author examined women’s involvement in agricultural activities seen and conceived as the main economic activity that sustains livelihoods. By sampling the roles played by the women in agricultural production, the work unveiled its relevance to the current research as it made it vividly plausible that, women were at the center of healthy living and welfare of households. The current research remained innovative but different with the work in that, it did not only focus on the abilities and capabilities of women to ensure economic development but also unraveled the potentials of the garri women in ensuring economic growth in the community of Bombe Bakundu.
Helen O’Connell, Women and the Family, ( London: Zed Books ltd,1994),p.22. This work analysed the roles enforced by women in enhancing household welfare and social relation with the public. The author highlighted the mechanisms and duties performed by women in the quest to ensure better living standard and economic development of communities. The author also addressed the social efforts implemented to battle with social recessions that affected household and community affairs. This work is relevant to the current research as it dealt with socio-economic issues and attempted efforts put in place to remedy setbacks especially at the social domain. The current research remains important as it also reflected the activities of the garri women farmers in reversing gender roles and taking the center stage of decision making in the households and community.
Terri and Gustavo. The Role of Women in Agriculture. ESA Working Paper. No.11, 7th March 2011.p.7-22. This paper examined labour as the main point of concentration in of the women farmers in their agricultural production. The writers examined the labour force of the women as the only contribution to the production of agricultural products as they perform most of the farming operations which ensured high yields. This study is relevant to the current research as it dealt with the labour which was an important aspect required by the garri women to produce garri and other food crops in a small and large scale. The current research is different and innovative because it focused not only on the labour provided by the women farmers in their agricultural production but also on the different farming systems, techniques, and innovations used by the garri women farmers in the production of garri and other products in Bombe Bakundu.
Yash Tandon, “Development is Resistance”. Council for the Development of Social Science Research in Africa, XL(3), 2015, pp. 139-159. This work exposed the prerequisites through which development and growth could be attain while providing justifications that there is a price before development could be realised. The author brought out arguments to justify the fact that obtainment of development in any sector of the African economies always set the bases for another predicament of other essential sectors of territories of the African states. The work is relevant to the current research in that it unraveled the ways through the garri women struggle to enhance development despite the recessions. The current research is different and relevant as it did not only targeted criteria necessary to achieve development but also targets the trends ad manner through which the garri women struggle to enhance development and growth while providing remedies for unforeseen setbacks.
Margrate Snyder, African Women and Development: A History, (London: Zed Books Ltd, 1995),pp.22-23. The work gave a general framework of women’s participation in ensuring sustainable development. The author brandished justifications on the effective participation of women in development from the Pre-Colonial era to the Post-Independent. The research is relevant to the current research in that it traced the garri women participation in societal development over the years. The current research is different and relevant because it also provide and insight on the changes and continuity of garri women participation in the economic development over the time frame.
Graham Walters. Geography of Equatorial Africa (London: Macmillan, 2002) 16. This work examined the physical features and their influences on natural evolution. The author sampled in depth argument on the structure and nature of natural creations to live on land, water and air. The work is relevant to the current research as it provided geographical contours and directions which the location of the area under study could be depicted and spotted. The current research is different and relevant in that, it did not only dealt with physical features but also provide and in depth knowledge on the physical transitions recorded over the decades of mass movements and continental drifts.
Emmy Irobi,” Ethnicity and Nation Building in Contemporary Africa: A Perspective for Nonkilling”, (ed)Joám Evans Pim. Center for Global Nonkilling, 9, 2013, pp.1-34. The work discussed on issues concerning ethnic groups and their influences in fostering their interest and the same time enhance development for nation building. The author discussed the priorities of regional ethnic groups and the force they exert especially in the political scenario of African states in the quest to obtain the development of their section for nation building. This work is relevant to the current study as it exposed the ways through which the garri women were involved in party politics in order to achieved gender equality and enhance nation building. This current study is different and relevant in that, it did not only sample justification of ethnic interest but also provided the bases which the garri women utilised for effective recognition and enhancement of nation building.
Raphina Phillott, A Profile of the Roles Women as Economic Producers and Family Supporters, (Dakar: UNESCO, 1994),p.36-48. The work works out the roles of women and responsibilities they bear in fostering economic and social development. The author unraveled the effective participation of women in the various sector as the producers and supporters of family and societal needs. The research is relevant to the current research in that, it provided then base through which the garri women operated in meeting up with societal and family needs. The current research is relevant in that it does not only tackle the fact that the garri women were economic producers and supporters of family and community needs but also providing the much needed labour in garri production , family and societal activities that were performed by the men. Thereby, reversing gender roles.
Daniel Bunde, Linking Trade and Development in Africa, (Newyork: Rowman $ Littlefield, 2004),p.10. The book tackled trade and other commercial activities as the main icon of economic and social development. The author made use of trading influences among the African societies as a catalyst which accelerates the growth of economies. Through socialisation, the author examined the forces which influenced the emergence of trade and the consideration of trade been an aspect of economic and social development of rural and national economies.
This work is relevant to the current research as it exposed trade as the properties and one of the activities of the garri women in fostering the development of rural and national economies. The current research is relevant in that it does not only target the trading capabilities of the garri women of Bombe Bakundu but also the magnitude and economic basis through which the quantity of agricultural production and commercialisation are enforced and carried out by the garri women in order to ensure sustainable development in rural and national economies.
Michael Kevane, Women And Development in Africa: How Gender Works ,(Boulder: Lynne Riener Publishers, 2004),p.19. This work sampled the contributions of women in development in African societies. The author examined the practical mindset and innovation inserted in order to show the different ways in which the women and men operate in the society. This research is relevant to the current research in that, it provided a wide mirror of which the activities of the garri women can be visible and examined independently before evaluating it with the activities of the men. The current research is different and relevant in that it does not only sample the contributions of the garri women of Bombe Bakundu but also provide a broad spectrum of the garri women activities through which credit can be awarded not only in the society development but also the management of household and breeds of the younger generation.
Africa Progress Report, Jobs, Justice, and Equity: Seizing Opportunities in Times of Global Change.ISBN:978-2-9700821-0-1, 2012,p.5-61. This report provided the state through African countries is growing both politically and socio-economically. The writers discussed economic issues of patterning to the rate of development and growth registered in the African economies. The report is relevant to the current research in that it touched the most essential economic activity which most African economies rely on, that is, agriculture which was the main economic activity of the garri women. the current research is different and relevant in that it did not only discussed mechanisms instituted by African government to boast production but also examine the impact of the garri women’s agricultural activities to the development and growth of households, rural and national economies .
Sibonokuhle Ndlovu and Sani Boniface Mutale,“Emerging Trends in Women’s Participation in Politics in Africa”. American International Journal of Contemporary Research, 3(11), November 2013, p. 72-79. This work sampled evidence of women’s involvement in decision making of party politics in African countries with specific citations from the Southern part of the African continent. The author utilised some African governments such as Zimbabwe to demonstrate the important and struggle of women to adopt and press for recognition in the political domain. The work is relevant to the current research in that, it stressed on some of the mechanisms and worth of the women in party politics of the nation. The current is different and resourceful in that, it exposed the mechanisms put in place by the garri women(rural) to guarantee a way for their voices to be heard while also participating fully in the decision making process of the Cameroon nation.
Elda Hungwe and Chipo Hungwe, “Nationhood and Women in Postcolonial African Literature.” CLCWeb: Comparative Literature and Culture,12(3) ,2010.p.2-6. This work dealt with lyrics of drama and poems which describe the state and position of African women in the society. The authors used literature storylines of different view points from writers like Bole Butake to demonstrate the relevance of women in the society in enhancing economic welfare, development and growth of national economies. The work is relevant to the current research as it showed the importance of women in the society in a way that their worth cannot be debated but praised of been the force behind economic development and growth. The current remained important and different from the work in that, it unraveled some undocumented and unrecognised roles of the garri women which were not taken in to recognition to justify the relevance of the garri women( women in general) as an agent of development and growth in the economic, social and political sectors of the national territory of Cameroon.
Marty Chen, Women and Employment in Africa: A Framework for Action .Working Document for the Second Conference of the Africa Commission at Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, November 2008. This working document stressed on the women in the informal and formal sectors in African nations with specific arguments on the fact that women provided opportunities to the unskilled and skilled as a means to kombat poverty. The writer exposed the activities of women in African countries in a bit to reverse the recessions and predicaments of the national economies. And also set forth recommendations aimed at providing remedies to setbacks encountered by women in their strived to ensure social cohesion and economic growth of their nations.
This work is relevant to the current research in that, it targeted the objectives of the garri women to ensure the economic development and growth of the rural and national economies through their contributions. The current research remain relevant as it, unveiled the creative innovations and mechanisms of the garri women not only to provide jobs to the entire population but to build the nation and ensure a fair attention in economic evaluation and analysis with their male counterparts.
Lydia Mawuenya Amedzrator, “Breaking the Inertia: Women’s Role in Mediation and Peace Processes in West Africa”. Kofi Anan International Peacekeeping Training Centre, 38, October 2014. The work analysed in warlike terms the strength of women in ensuring the reign of peace in African countries of West Africa. The author utilised the abilities of the women to deal with issues concerning household welfare and national security. With specific examples of West African countries like Liberia and Sierra Leone were crushed in reflecting the muscles enforced by the women to press for peace through mediation.
The work is relevant to the current research as it, focused on the skills of the women in maintaining peace within the households and the community. The current research is different and relevant in that, it also focuses on the potentials and activities of the garri women in enhancing unity and peace within folks while shaping the general gender notion of the community that women not having the skills to do anything substantial than family maintenance.
D.Mcall, Trade and the role of a wife in modern African Town, (Oxford University Press: London, 1959),pp.1-16. This work examined trade as the most visible socio-economic activity of women in post-independent Africa. The author set forth justifications of the level and magnitude with which women were operating their activities in commercial avenues and households as household and economic agents. The work is relevant to the current research as it justified the importance of women in fostering household and economic development of rural and urban communities. The current research is different and innovative in that, it deeply brought out evidence to justify the relevance of the garri women to the rural and urban communities and also placed the garri women of Bombe Bakundu at the center of economic development and growth of rural and national economies.
Paul Kagame. The Challenges of Nation-Building in Africa: The Case of Rwanda. Working paper presented at the International Institute for Strategic Studies, September 16th, 2010. This speech reflected the predicaments confronted by African nations in their strived to enhance nation building in Rwanda. The writer drew experiences from African countries like Rwanda and justified that, the political and socio-economic recessions experienced in the nation have been the main obstacle to development and growth of the nation. This speech is relevant to the current research as it sample some major concepts and pertinent issues concerning nation building which broadens the minds of readers on the role played by the garri women of Bombe Bakundu to foster nation building. The current research is different and relevant in that, it did not only digest issues concerning nation building but also sampled justifications patterning to the fact that the garri women of Bombe Bakundu were nation builders.
Walter Rodney, HOW EUROPE UNDERDEVELOPED AFRICA,( Abuja, Nigeria; Panaf Publisher,inc,972),p.1-2. This work examined the developments and underdevelopments in the African continent before and under the influence of Europe. The author targeted relevant issues concerning the modes utitlised by the Eurpean powers to enforce their interest. The work is relevant to the current research as it dealt with important concepts such as development and the struggle to enhance economic development and growth. The current work is different and relevant as it digested the skilled full abilities of the garri women not under direct western grip to ensure household and community welfare
Gbasouzor Austin Ikechukwu and A. I. V. Maduabum, “Improved Mechanized Gari Frying Technology for Sustainable Economic Development in Nigeria”. International Multi-Conference of Engineers and Computer Scientist, II, March 2012,p.1-6. This work anaysed the development of new forms of processing (frying) garri within which will reduce stress and increase the quantity of garri production in a short period of time in Nigeria. The authors reiterated that, the mechanisation and effective remuneration of the traditional processes involved in garri production will also foster and ensure a steady supply of food to kombat food insecurity, malnutrition and poverty in Nigeria. This work is important to the current research as it deeply reflected the innovative processes utilised by the garri women of Bombe Bakundu to produce garri. The current research is relevant in that, it also focused on the transitions recorded in the processing stage and its impact on the overall production of garri by the garri women of Bombe Bakundu.
J.A. Ngaw, A New Geography of Cameroon, (London; longman, 1979), p.5. This work analysed physical and human elements of Cameroon. These elements provided the base within which explanations were dished out concerning the trends of physical and economic activities in the country. The author examined the theoretical and conceptual frame work of scholars to explain the current nature and structure of natural impact and to the environment. The work is relevant to the current research in that, it discussed relevant issues of physical and human impact on the economic activities of the garri women farmers. The current research is different and relevant in that; it did not only digest the elements of the physical nature but also provide remedies to the negative impact of the physical feature to economic development and growth in Bombe Bakundu.
Ajedepang Koge, Change in Cameroon, (Virgina; Arc Alexandria, 1985),p.78. This work drained the farming method used by the farmers to produce agricultural products in Cameroon. The author spiced the study by elaborating on the transitions recorded in the method of agricultural production and adaption. He explained that the mixed cropping system has dominated the shifting cultivation method widely practiced by the farmers. The work is relevant to the current research in that it unveiled the channels of transitions in farming methods used by the garri women farmers in the production of garri and other agricultural products in Bombe Bakundu. But, the current research is relevant in that, it also explained the different farming methods and the manner in which these methods were practiced throughout the time frame in conformity to the evolution of the rural and urban societies.
Victor Julius Ngoh, History of Cameroon since 1800, (Limbe, Cameroon; Presbyterian Printing Press, 2002),pp.258-301. This work examined the events which unfolded in independent Cameroon in order to enhance nation building. The author analysed the socio-economic and political developments and recessions of the different political leaders (presidents) and their impact on the civilians. On an economic and social base, the author sampled arguments on the intentions of the political leaders to provide suitable conditions for the farmers in the agricultural field.
The work is relevant to the current research as it unraveled the intentions and actions of the diverse governments in encouraging agricultural productions. The current is different and relevant as it did not only dealt on issues concerning the mechanisms instituted by the governments to enhance agricultural work but also provided arguments on the innovative mechanisms put in place by the rural garri women of Bombe Bakundu in order to overcome the socio-economic recessions which plagued the rural and national economies.
Roger Tchoungui, Steve Gartlan, J.A Mope Simo,Fondo Sikod, Augustin Youmbi, Michel Ndjatsana, James Winpenny, STRUCTURAL ADJUSTMENT AND SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT IN CAMEROON ,(London ;chameleon Press Ltd,1995),p.40. This work examines the resources in Cameroon and its impact on national development and growth. The authors sampled arguments on the agricultural and mineral potentials of the nation. The work is relevant to the current research as it deduced issues concerning agriculture which consist the production of food and cash crops and its influences of livelihoods. The current research is relevant and innovative as it digest a particular segment of food product that is cassava which was produced by the garri women farmers( another specific sector of farmers).
Tolly Lolo EMMANUEL, “Enhancing cassava marketing and processing in Cameroon: Drivers, constraints, and prospects of the value chain” in A. Elbehri (ed.) Rebuilding, West Africa’s Food Potential, FAO/IFAD,2013,pp.506-510.
This work examined the various mechanisms and procedures required in the cultivation and production stages of cassava and at the same time reiterating the worth of cassava as food product and the different output of cassava with the features which influenced its production in Cameroon. The author sampled evidence in a quantitative manner to illustrate using tables and graphs to digest and diagnose the relevance of cassava in combating food insecurity while broadcasting suggestions which can better enhance the production capacity of the product.
The work is relevant to the current research in that it focused on the trends and manner in which the cassava is cultivated, processed and produced to other products especially garri. The current work is different and relevant in that, it provided not just the motives behind cassava production but also the transitions recorded over the decades and the impact of garri production to garri women’s households, rural and the national economies.
John W Forje, “The Dynamics of Political Competition and the Future of Democratization Process in Cameroon: Challenges and Opportunities. Educational Research and Reviews, 1(3), June 2006, pp.85-97. The work analysed the evolutions and patterns of politics in Cameroon. The author sampled argument and justified that the political environment of the Cameroon nation determined the trends, activities and mindsets of politicians and civilians. The work is relevant to the current research as it diagnose the issue of the political affairs in Cameroon and manner through insentives change. The current research remains relevant and different as it digested properties of the garri women political minds of recommending reforms and bridging the inadequate representation in rural political matters of decision making.
Nguetse Tegoum Pierre and Hevi Kodzo Dodzi, “Child Poverty And Household Poverty In Cameroon: A Multidimensional Approach”. Working Paper, Jel Classification: D13; I31; I32, January 2009,pp.1-29. This work examined the impact of poverty in households and children. The author used an economic perspective to demonstrate in a qualitative and quantitative trend, the level of poverty and its properties in Cameroon. The work is relevant to the current research work as it dealt with issues concerning the influence of poverty to households at rural areas. The current research is important and different as it examined the actions, ambitions and intentions of the garri women of Bombe Bakundu to eradicate poverty not just at the rural but urban communities.
Henry Kam Kah , “Socio-Cultural Groupings and the Gender Phenomenon in Local Elections in Cameroon since the 1990s”. Working document, University of Buea, Cameroon, pp.1-11. This work examined the influence of social ethnic groups in the political evolution of Cameroon. The author examined the influences of women organizations which dominated most of the socio-cultural ethnic groups in the electoral scene of determining the future of the nation. The work is relevant to the cuyrre4nt research as it dealt with the might of the women in meeting up their aspirations. The current research is relevant as it also dealt with the garri women smuggle utilise their organisations for economic purposes.
Henry Kam Kah, “Jeunesse Active pour Chantal Biya (JACHABY)/Cercle des Amis du Cameroun (CERAC) and Femocracy in 21st Century Cameroon”. African Nebula,7,2014,p.114-128. This work examined the political evolution and women participation in the political scenarios. The author sampled arguments on the positions held by women which justified their participation in the decision making process of issues concerning nation development and integrity with attributes from women organisations and youths. The work is relevant to the current research as it looked at issues on women involvement in decision making for sustainable development. The current research is relevant and innovative as it dealt with manifestation of women’s authority in the economic and social domains.
Cosmas Cheka, “Traditional Authority at the Crossroads of Governance in Republican Cameroon”. Council for the Development of Social Science Research in Africa, XXXIII (2), 2008, pp. 67–89. This work examined the strength of local administrative governments in governance in the Republic of Cameroon. The author established the strategy of effective implementation and impact of the decentralization policies in governance in the local traditional system of administration with arguments that the local traditional authority will better relate to the local population while enforcing government policies for complete development. The work remained relevant to the current research in that, it analysed the position and role of the local traditional administration in governing the affairs of the garri women. The current research is different and important as it also unraveled the position of the garri women and their influences in local governance and administration.
Fondo Sikod, “Gender Division of Labour and Women’s Decision-Making Power in Rural Households in Cameroon”. Council for the Development of Social Science Research in Africa, XXXII (3), 2007, pp. 58–71. The work stressed on the different roles played by the women and men in their activities to ensure economic development and social cohesion in Cameroon. The author pressed on augments that there are specific roles played by women despite their states in the socio-economic domains and additional burden in the domestic sector. The arguments also characterized the women of the rural areas in to three types, that is, the divorced, married, wedlock (single head), and contract. The economic activities and decision making abilities of these types of women differ in the entire situations they found themselves while bent to perform the essentials like enhancing food products for the households much more to the detriment of export crops (cash crops).
The work is relevant to the current research as it discussed pertinent issues relating to garri product as a food product and the role of the women in agricultural production which was important element of the current research. The current research is relevant in that, it did not only devoured the position of women in managing and ensuring household welfare in their socio-economic activities but also the policies and strength put in place by the garri women to bridge the gender gap in decision making in the political, economic and social domains for sustainable economic development and growth of households and the rural and national territories.
Teke Johnson Takwa, Differences between the Socio-Economic Characteristics of Male and Female Household Heads and their Households in Cameroon (Yaounde, Cameroon: BUCREP, 2002)1-20. This work examined the parameters that determined the structures which characterized the male and female headed households in Cameroon. The author examined the characteristics of male and female headed households which made them distinct and operational and manageable in a completely diverse strategy with diverse consequences on the households and community. The work is relevant to the current research in that, it dealt with different strategies and decisions implemented by the women in order to provide for the family and manage the household. The current research remain relevant in that, it consumed and exposed the important skills of the garri women of Bombe Bakundu in reversing gender roles to ensure household welfare, economic development and growth of the rural and national economies.
Patrick M. Boyle,” Parents, Private Schools, and the Politics of an Emerging Civil Society in Cameroon”. The Journal of Modern African Studies, 34(4), December 1996, pp. 609-622. This work examined the mindsets of the parents in bringing up their children to be patriotic citizens in a conducive civil society through non-government academic institutions in Cameroon. The author discussed the potentials and credibility of private academic institutions and their moves towards creating a patriotic civil society in the midst of training and educating children. And, for the parents to testify of the worth of the private institutions in building the future generations.
The work is relevant to the current research in that, it sampled justifications of children’s welfare in households and academics and the powers of decision making between the men and women in a gender perspective. The current research remain relevant as it deduced the strength of the garri women farmers in ensuring ethical and educational development of their children both in government and private academic institutions for better well-being and nation building.
Johannes Tabi Atemnkeng, “Household-level Social Capital in Cameroon and Children’s Schooling: A Gender Analysis”. Council for the Development of Social Science Research in Africa, XXXV (4), 2010, pp. 211–236. This work analysed the degree through which household budget is been managed and utilised to enhance children’s academic development in Cameroon. The author reflected the responsibilities of parents, be it single or double headed households to ensure better education for their seedlings through the level of capital they budgeted for academic. The author went further to demonstrate that the magnitude and availability of social capital determined the type and kind of institutions the children attend.
The work is relevant to the current research in that, it digest issues concerning household management and the ability of household budget to determine the educational facilities and training of children. The current research remain different and relevant in that ,it did not only deduce children’s schooling capabilities and amenities but also the abilities and potentials of the garri women of Bombe Bakundu in nursing future generations that would foster the socio-economic and political development and growth of the rural and national territory.
Annett Fleischer, “Family, obligations, and migration: The role of kinship in Cameroon”. Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, 16,(13), 8 May 2007 ,P 413-440. This work looked at the decision making and contributions of kinship in determine the trend of migration in Cameroon and beyond. The author brought out justifications of family rights and influences in fostering the migration of their loins. The author went further to demonstrate that family kin influence the migration decisions through their moral and financial contributions. The work is relevant to the current research as it dealt with important facts concerning migration and the motives behind the movement of people from one place to another. The current research is important as it stressed on the essential economic issues which cajoled garri women of Bombe Bakundu to migrate in order to ensure family economic development and nation building.
Bame Nsamenang, Fathers, Families, & Child Well-Being in Cameroon: A Review of the Literature,(Bamenda, Cameroon: National Center on Fathers and Families, 2000),p.1-17. This work digested arguments set forth by other writers to justify their view points on the role performed by men as fathers to ensure family economic development and well being in Cameroon. The author examined the diverse activities enforced and encouraged by the parents to ensure better living conditions for their families from different viewpoints and arguments. The work is relevant to the current research as it brought forth synthesised justifications of the relevance of fathers in battling for families well being. The current research is different and innovative in that ,it did not only digest the activities of the men as fathers to ensure better living standard but also the role of the garri women of Bombe Bakundu in kombating rural poverty, malnutrition and food insecurity which affects the well being of children and families.
Francis Menjo Baye and Samuel Fambon, “ Linking Parental Education, Child Health and Economic Well-being in Cameroon”. Paper Presented at the Centre for the Study of African Economies (CSAE) Conference, at St Catherine’s College, Oxford, 22-24 March, 2009, 2 quato page found among ‘Introduction”. This paper analysed pertinent aspect of the relevant of education on folks and the manner in which they handled social and economic issues of their children and households in Cameroon. The author touched the impact of exposition on parent’s abilities to handle issues of the health care and economic wellbeing of their children and households.
The work is relevant to the current research as it washed issues concerning child health and economic well being which are important point of interest of the garri women of Bombe Bakundu in their strive to enhance better family well being. The current research remains important as it sampled evidence of garri women’s involvement in social and economic activities and services for the welfare and development of households, the rural community and the state of Cameroon.
Aloysius Ajab AMIN, “Rural Poverty and Agricultural Development in Cameroon”. UNESCO, 22 and 23 November 2001, p.1-19. This work examined the magnitude through which agricultural activities were performed to evade poverty. The author elaborated on the fact that poverty is a rural phenomenon which can be rendered impotent with the development of the agricultural sector. At the same time, the author set forth prospects like people should get involved in the agricultural job market in order to foster the elimination of rural poverty from the door steps of rural households as everybody would be working.
The work is relevant to the current research as it touched the main poverty which was the main setback that made the garri women of Bombe Bakundu to engage in agricultural activities. The current research different but remain important as it also unveiled evidence used by the garri women of Bombe Bakundu to justify that the rural community was the catalyst behind nation-building. The current research also devoured the different economic and social activities which the garri women of Bombe Bakundu got involved in order to eradicate poverty that affects the livelihoods.
Wilfred J Awung and Mufor Atanga, “Economic Crisis and Multi Party Politics in Cameroon”. Cameroon Journal of Democracy and Human Rights, 5, (1), June 2011, p.23-44. This work examined the evident manifestations of the economic crisis of 1986 that crippled the economy of Cameroon and pressed for economic as well as political reforms. The author analysed the trends with which the economic crises and external influences like the Structural Adjustment Program of the Bretton Woods and the eruption of political parties to challenge the one party system. The work is relevant to the current research in as it examined the economic crisis which affected the entire country and production and marketing of agricultural products. The current research is different but remains relevant as brought out the practical and theoretical efforts of the garri women of Bombe Bakundu in providing solutions to kerb the predicament from the rural perspective without foreign intervention.
Gérard Tchouassi, “Genre et commerce équitable au Cameroun”. Conseil pour le dévelopement de la recherche en sciences sociales en Afrique, XXXII, (1), 2007, p.145–160. This discussed the commercialisation from a gender perspective in Cameroon. The author examined the level and weight with which men and women were involved in fair trade. The trading influences and the market social relations were essential notes highlighted with justification of women securing and ensuring equitability in world commercial trade and recognition in terms of negotiations as their male counterparts.
The work is relevant to the current research as it dealt with issues concerning gender and commerce which happened to be essential figures in the current research. The current research is different but remains relevant as it, exposed the initiatives and strategies devised by the garri women of Bombe Bakundu to foster the cultivation and distribution of their products and at the same time reducing male dominance and influences in the economic and socio-political domains of the rural and national territories.
Bime MJ and Mbanasor J, “Determinants of informal savings amongst vegetable farmers in North West Region, Cameroon”. Journal of Development and Agricultural Economics, 3(12), 26 October, 2011, pp. 588-592. This work analysed the motives guiding vegetable farmers in the North West Region of Cameroon to reserve income earn from the commercialisation of vegetable for unforeseen moments and development. The author highlighted that, savings made by the vegetable farmers sustained their continuous production in extremely large quantities and providing the basic needs of the households and community. This work is relevant to the current research as it diagnosed pertinent issue related to the maintenance of social welfare in the rural and urban communities. The current research is different and relevant as it did not only deal with the savings of revenue by the garri women from the commercialisation of garri but also digest the actions of the garri women in remunerating gender held mindsets in the economic and political domains.
Walter Gam Nkwi, “Men Stay At Home While Women Move Out: New Trends Of Mobility To China Amongst Bamenda Grassfield Women (Cameroon)”. Modern Africa: Politics, History and Society, 2(1), 2014, pp.95-113. This work examined the migratory trends of women in the grass field in order to meet their aspirations. The author examined the indepth degree within which women got involved in the foreign activities for the purpose of providing for their families. The work is relevant to the current research as it dealt with issues concerning the length and width which women undergone to secure and maintain their authority as bread winners. The current research is relevant and different as it digested aspects meant to justify the insentives and impact of the garri women to the rural community of Bombe Bakundu and neighbouring communities.
Brian A. Bartelt, “Healers and Witches in Oku: An Occult System of Knowledge in Northwest Cameroon”. Published M.A Dissertation, University Of Southern California, December 2006, p.20-41. This work examined the natural force operating behind and beneath human minds and existence from an anthro-phylosophyical perspective. The author digested relevant issues of the manifestations of natural plants and occult orders in rendering natural and spiritual services. The work is relevant to the current research as it dished out the importance of vocational training in using natural plants to remedy natural inflictions and predicaments. The current research is different but remains relevant in that, it exposed the potentials and abilities of the garri women to use natural creations to remedy spiritual and natural inflictions not as witches but as traditional healers in the bid to ensure healthy living in the Bombe Bakundu community.
Chi Elvire Neh Mendomo, “Women in Small-Scale Businesses: Opportunities and Constriants of Small-Scale Business Women in Kumbo, Northwest Province of Cameroon”. Published M.A Dissertation, University Of Oslo, Norway, May 2005, p.14-52. This work examined the magnitude and the degree with which women got involved in petty trading businesses in order to provide for their families in Kumbo, Cameroon. The author discussed the level and impact of small scale businesses which served as a paradigm to family and community welfare. The work is relevant to the current research as it dealt with issues patterning to business ventures which characterized some of the social activities of the garri women of Bombe Bakundu. The current research is different but remains relevant as it unveiled the base with which the garri women of Bombe Bakundu operated their businesses in small and large scale in order to sustain family welfare.
Nathanael Ojong, “Livelihood Strategies in African Cities: The Case of Residents in Bamenda, Cameroon”. African Review of Economics and Finance, 3, (1), December 2011, P.8-18. This work analysed the different means with which inhabitants of urban areas devise to ensure better living standards and welfare. The author digested the various economic and social sectors within which inhabitants relied on to sustain life with business as the essential. The work is relevant to the current research as it focused on the strategic survival schemes. The current research is different but remains relevant as it also stressed on strategies devised by the garri women of Bombe Bakundu to meet households and community needs.
Lotsmart N. Fonjong and Mbah Fongkimeh Athanasia, “The Fortunes and Misfortunes of Women Rice Producers in Ndop, Cameroon and the Implications for Gender Roles”. Journal of International Women’s Studies, 8 (4), 2007,p. 133-147. This work examined two sided coins of progress and recessions witnessed by the Women Rice Producers in their economic and social activities in Ndop, Cameroon. The author analysed the outcome of women empowerment as rice producers in the financial and decision making domains and the impact on households. A comparative analysis was targeted to deduce the essence of the bold steps and setbacks encountered by the women rice producers as economic and household agents. The work is relevant to the current research as it painted the picture of the work load of women as economic and domestic agents. The current research is different and important in that, it did not only exposed views on the economic activities of the garri women farmers of Bombe Bakundu in their effort to battle rural poverty but also the socio-political activities of the garri women in the course to provide for the rural and national territory.
Nchinju Eric, “The Garri Industry in Baligham: A Socio-Economic Survey, 1960-2000”. Unpublished Long Essay, University Of Buea, July 2009, p.20-32. This work centered discussions and arguments on the magnitude of cassava cultivation for garri in the rural area of Baligham in the North West region of Cameroon. The author examined the intensity and reliability of the rural population on garri production over the decades. The work is relevant to the current research as it provided an inside upon the processes involved in cassava production for garri that was undergone by the rural farmers. The current research is different and relevant in that, it did not only focused on the stages involved in the production of cassava and garri but also digested the evolutions and transitions recorded over the past decades in enhancing the development and growth of the garri industry, the population and the community of Bombe Bakundu.
Mark W. DeLancey, “Women’s Cooperatives in Cameroon: The Cooperative Experiences of the Northwest and Southwest Provinces”. African Studies Review, 30(1) March, 1987, pp. 1-18. This work analysed the level with which women’s cooperatives manifested and impacted the lives of the women and their folks in Cameroon. The author elaborated on the abilities of women’s cooperatives to organise and set forth goals that gingered their interest in respect to their agricultural productions. The work is relevant to the current research as it digested survival strategies put in place by the (garri) women in order to ensure better living standards. The current research is different but relevant as it, unveiled the initiatives cajoled by the garri women of Bombe Bakundu to conform to family and community expectations while assuring respect to their existence as providers of the family and the state.
Joseph B. Ebune, The Growth Of Political Parties In Southern Cameroons,1916-1960,(Yaounde;CEPER, 1992),p.36. The work examined the growth of political organisations in the Southern part of Cameroon. The author stated justifications on the trends, motives and manifestations of these political parties’ intentions and strives to achieve their interest in the political arena. The work is relevant to the current research as it; provide geographical and historical economic justifications on the changing trends of events which unfolded. The current research remains different and relevant as it consumed and elaborates on the strength of the garri women organisations in an economic perspective.
Ejedepang Koge, Tradition and Change in Peasant Activities: A Study of the Indigenous People Search for Cash in the South West Province of Cameroon, (Virgina: Arc Alexandria, 1975), p.34. This work exposed the different farming activities, new framing techniques and modes involved in the production of agricultural products at different seasons. The author sampled the new farming technique that emerged during the period such as terrace farming to improve on the use for higher income. The research is relevant to the current research in that, it elaborates on some innovations implemented by the garri women farmers in the different operations. The current research is different but remains relevant in that it will provide and inside on the different farming mechanisms enacted by the garri women to kombat poverty and food insecurity.
Joseph B.Ebune, “Contributions of Self-Help Associations to the Growth and Development of British Southern Cameroons, 1922-1962: A Historical Perspective”. Epasa Moto: A Balingual Journal of Art, Letters and Humanities, 2(1), March 2004, p59-77. This work dealt with the strength of associations in fostering national in British Southern Cameroons administered under the League of Nations and United Nation Organisation as mandated and trust territories respectively. The author sampled the socio-political activities of prominent associations like Old Boys’ Association in order to conform to their objectives. The work is relevant to the current research as it discussed relevant issues such as the principles behind the formation of organisations to protect their interest. The current research is different and relevant as it did not only digest garri women organisations but also reiterate the extent undergone to achieve household, and community economic development and growth.
Lotsmart Fonjong, “Challenges and Coping Strategies of Women Food Crops Entrepreneurs in Fako Division, Cameroon”. Journal of International Women’s Studies,5(5), June 2004, pp.1-17. This work dealt with aspects of obstacles and mechanisms implemented by women to enhance their role as food providers in Cameroon. The author sampled evidence to justify the notion that women food entrepreneurs influence the cost of living and living standard in the Country with reflections on their ways of production and the means to override their constraints. This work is relevant to the current research as it focused on aspects which determined the level of economic development in households, the rural and national communities. The current research is different but remains relevant in that, it provide a broad spectrum on the activities of the garri women of Bombe Bakundu to enhance social welfare and cohesion.
Joseph Ebune Betoto, “Missionary Activity in Bakunduland, Cameroon, 1873-1960: An Historical Appraisal”. Global Advanced Journal, 2(5), 2012, p. 6 -14. The work gave an appraisal of the economy of Bombe Bakundu which was mainly agriculturally orientated. In this work, the author analysed the different farming techniques introduced by the European missionaries to the farmers in order produce food products to feed the Christian population. The work is relevant to the current research as it addresses some of the farming techniques used by the garri women in the labour donation system which characterised the society. The current is different and relevant in that it provides an appraisal of the economic history, the strengths of farming techniques and cooperation labour organisations put in place by the garri women in order to ensure family and society sustainability.
Joseph B. Ebune, “Colonial Rule and Bakundu Traditional Authority”. International Journal of History and Cultural Studies (IJHCS, 1,(2), 2015, P. 10-16.. This work centered arguments on the nature and structure of Bakundu traditional administration. The author examined the trends with which the Bakundu traditional authority operated on the German colonial rule after annexation with specific emphasis on the political organs activities in managing the socio-economic and political affairs of the communities. The work is relevant to the current research as it reiterates the ways through which the traditional authority managed the affairs of their subjects while providing the nature of the traditional economy over the decades. The current research remains relevant as it examined the main economic and political activities of the garri women in their struggle for gender equality in the socio-economic and political analyses and also household and community development.
Timothy Musima Okia, “Social Developments in Bakundu during German Colonial Rule in Cameroon: 1884-1914”.Przeglad Zachodni, 1, 2014,P.179-188. The work examined the degree of developments in the social domain and the relations between the Bakundus and the German officials and administration. The author sampled issues concerning education and the Christian religion which were the essential elements of missionary activities in the Bakunduland. The work is important to the current research as it digest aspects relating to the Christian religion which shaped minds towards the ways of good deeds while abandoning other negative social ills. The current research is relevant as it set forth the impact of the garri women Christian faith and religion to the young generation in the quest to build a favourable civil society free from negative socio-economic and political setbacks.
Ewane Basil Ewane, Ewane Bertrand Olome and Heon-Ho Lee, “Challenges to Sustainable Forest Management and Community Livelihoods Sustenance in Cameroon: Evidence from the Southern Bakundu Forest Reserve in Southwest Cameroon”. Journal of Sustainable Development, 8,(9), 2015, P.226-239.This work targeted livelihoods of the inhabitants in the Bakunduland around government reserved areas (forest). The author set forth justifications of the local inhabitants depending on the forest for wood, and agriculture. The massive increase in population was digested as a means to through which forest reserved suffer from massive deforestation in the quest for arable land. The work is relevant to the current research as it sampled evidence of farmers (women) who ventured in to the forest in order to increase their agricultural spheres. The current research is relevant as it unraveled the mechanisms put in place by the garri women to guarantee and prevent risk to the ecosystem such as tree planting.
Betombo Jenkins Diomo, “Rural Women in Agricultural Food Crop Production in Bombe Bakundu, 1982-2012”. Unpublished Long Essay, University Of Buea, 2015,p.13-53. This work examined the level with which rural women got involved in food crop production for their households and the rural community. The author sampled arguments on essence that rural women tremendously impacted the community with their outstanding performances in their roles as social and economic agents of household welfare and community development. The work is relevant to the current research as it dealt with issues relating to rural women’s economic and social manifestations for economic development. The current research is different but remains relevant as it also provided recommendations for the improvement of women’s status in their goals for sustainable development and growth. These literatures examined served as sources utilised by the researcher in the work
This research made use of primary and secondary sources. The primary sources included oral interview, letters, manuscripts, speeches, minutes, and archival materials. The secondary materials comprised published articles and books not leaving out published materials like dissertations.
Primary sources constitute first hand materials such as interview which provided information for the garri women activities. Other primary sources like, letters, manual documentations, and archival material have been used as the researcher visited the Buea National Archives and the Presbyterian Church Archives for related information and documents about the activities of the garri women. Secondary sources like books, articles, published and unpublished dissertations and working papers or documents of conferences obtained from the University of Buea Library and some libraries of other institutions like “CEFAM”, the Meme Divisional Delegation of Small and Medium Enterprise of the Ministry Of Small And Medium Size Enterprise. And also the Buea Road Farmers Cooperative Union, with the Bombe Bakundu Village Barn and other personal libraries and internet. These sources were consumed with diverse methods in the work.
The research utilised the qualitative and quantitative methods. Qualitative study was done in the form of a field work with in depth interview to gain an understanding of the interconnections and get a personal insight into the context of importance for analysis and conclusion. In conducting the field study of great importance, observations that were at times difficult to capture through literature such as body movements, language, expressions, feelings and the context under which the interview was conducted were taken into consideration. It also provided an opportunity to gain an insight into and experiences of the present-day Bombe Bakundu society, thus, obtaining a reference frame work to the Cameroon history of Women Affairs and their contributions to rural and national development and growth.
Interview guides and questionnaires were the principal instruments used for data collection. Both research instruments complimented each other, while the interviews provided an overview of the conditions of garri women in their activities in the Bombe Bakundu community where the study has been carried out. The questionnaires concentrated on a survey in this particular locality even though the interviews were absolutely necessary to get information from a population, which was barely literate, and sometimes, not readily willing to speak out on certain issues and occasions.
Based on the outcomes from a preliminary survey carried out in the area under study by the researcher, the interviews were conducted with randomly selected garri women in the locality of Bombe Bakundu. No particular numbers of garri women were targeted but the interviews were conducted to anyone who was willing to participate in the survey in the locality. However, the researcher noticed that there exist female and male headed homes under four categories of garri women in the area under study based on their trends of responds in the manner in which their activities were been performed. These constitute, married women, divorced, widowed and wed locked. The researcher also noticed that one general outcome of the field study was that all the women who lived and are still living in Bombe Bakundu were garri women.
The interviews were conducted as semi-structured individual interviews. An interview guide was used, but the questions were also memorised in advance so that an open conversation was created where the respondent could feel comfortable. The questions were not raised in a specific order, but the direction of the conversation was made to lead how the questions were forwarded. Certain flexibility has been obtained during the conversation so that additional questions could be added according to the respondent’s answer. The interviews were conducted as a discussion/conversation and, if the respondent did agree, the interviews were also recorded even though hand writing of major facts was taken down. Interview responses were analysed to see how they corresponded with the objective for the research.
The research was also quantitative as the researcher made use of statistics and data presentation to elaborate on transitions and continuities of the garri women activities and out puts. The utilisation of this brand of method was intended to make the study vividly plausible using an inter-disciplinary mode as it cuts across other disciplines like economic, mathematics, and sociology. This made the researcher to work with the experts in the various disciplines of interest. Such wide range provided the bases with which information flew for the organisation of the research work.
This chapter focused on the garri women and their different economic and social activities undergone to ensure healthy, better living standards and economic growth of the households, and the Bombe Bakundu community. In this direction, the researcher examined the skilled full abilities, capabilities and insentives of the garri women in managing households, social relations with extended families, producing food products including garri for household and community sustainability. The quest for sustainable development and growth also targeted garri women engagement in business ventures, and how they kombated rural poverty, malnutrition, and food insecurity. The garri women and organisations in community development and growth, was also analysed with traditional authority involvements in garri women affairs.
The impact of garri women to societal development and growth remained the main focus of this chapter as the researcher brought out justifications to elaborate on the strived of the garri women in reversing gender roles and given worth and recognisance to their economic and social activities. The garri women farmers got involved in all the segments and sectors of economic and social activities in a bid to ensure family welfare and the socio-economic development and growth of the Bombe Bakundu community. In this framework, some basic definitions and in depth analysis of some key elements to wider the knowledge in the rate within which garri women activities manifested were cumbed.
Some Definition of Key Terms and Relevant Frame of Analysis
From an economic perspective, development, economic development, growth and economic growth are very important concepts used to justify the nature and progress of human action and community. In this perspective, scholars had expanded knowledge on the positions of these concepts in human existence. The researcher sampled some pertinent elaborations made by some scholars to justify the actions, ambitions, emotions and intentions of the garri women farmers of Bombe Bakundu in their struggle to enhance the different economic concepts. However, the strategic geographical setting of Bombe Bakundu also gingered the manifestation rate of the socio-economic concepts .
Development was universal, Walter Rodney exclaimed and stressed on the essence that, development could be viewed from diverse perspective. At an individual perspective, “development implies an increase in skill, capacity, greater freedom, creativity, self- discipline, and responsibility and material well-being”. Meanwhile, at a social group perspective, “development implies an increasing capacity to regulate both internal and external relationships” . These explanations cited the objectives of the garri women on a single and organisational dimension, where activities were mainly for survival and sustainability.
Michael Todaro also held the on the economic development concept as, “ an increase in living standard, improvement in self’s esteem, needs, and freedom in oppression as well as greater choice”. This definition touched relevant issues of garri women activities which centered on household and community welfare. This justification was graced by Shian Loong Bernard Lew where economic development was seen as, “the qualitative, structural governance and even institutional configurations within or out of which growth emanates” .
Growth been an essential element was set forth by Peter V. Bias as concept “which comes from any increase in input in a production function, including labour”. Meanwhile economic growth was view by Tehseen Jawaid as, “growth of income per capital or growth of output per head of population”. This view on economic growth also included issues such the infrastructure to support growth as well as improvement in technology, production technique and diversity of goods produced. This view was also supported by Ewa Lechman who elaborated on economic growth as, “pure growth of countries national output’ . All these definitions spotted production and welfare as essential criteria for sustainability which was the main aim of the garri women farmers of Bombe Bakundu.
There exist diverse strategies that have enacted to elaborate on women’s contributions to societal welfare. An exemplary strategy depicted from the international labour office was based on the recognition that garri women’s equal participation was essential to the achievement of all major development objectives such as sustainable development, eradication of poverty, human rights and democracy . However, the Gender and Rural Employment Policy Brief Forum of Enabling Poor Rural People to Overcome Poverty of the FAO (Food and Agriculture Organisation) and ILO (International Labour Oragnisation) stated that, “Decent work was central to reducing poverty and achieving equitable, inclusive and sustainable development. Unleashing rural (garri) women’s socio-economic potential and fighting rural poverty involves tackling a number of decent work gaps: low productivity and low income jobs, lack of social protection, lack of basic work rights, and insufficient voice and representation”.
The theoretical framework of the “new household economics” model of the family was increasingly used to drive the analysis of demand and supply of reproductive healthcare. This framework recognised that households also derive utility from goods and services that were produced at home or for which there was no market. The application of this theoretical framework to children’s health status was well known, and was discussed in detail by Francis Menjo Baye and Samuel Fambon, in their “ Linking Parental Education, Child Health and Economic Well-being in Cameroon” .
In a simple version of the framework, the household was typically seen as maximising a utility function defined over leisure, market purchased goods, and home produced goods such as child health, and faces four main constraints: a budget constraint, a time constraint, a distance constraint and a health production function. The health production depended on market purchased inputs such as food (or nutrients) and health services, the time and characteristics of the main household female worker, environmental features and community .
The views of scholars like Margrate Snyder and D.Mcall in their discourses on the triple roles of women also provided a base of in depth analysis. They have recognised women’s triple roles in development as meeting their strategic and practical gender needs. Margrate Snyder, for example, classifies women’s triple roles into reproductive, productive and community management. Many societies, particularly in developing countries, usually emphasised only women’s domestic and community roles . The economic and political spheres were considered in these communities as exclusive domains reserved for men. Even where (garri) women’s economic role was obvious such as in the case of water and fuel wood collections, vegetable gardening, dairy and poultry keeping, these economic contributions were minimised and dismissed as emanating from their biology. Thus, garri women’s productive work was often less visible and valued than men’s.
However, with increasing economic intensification and diversification as a result of the emergence of new challenges, there exists a gradual movement away from the status quo. The forces of colonisation, and globalisation accelerated the circulation of new ideas and cultures around the globe. As a result garri women were being gradually brought into the center of development. In the economic domain for example, rural women were involved in the cultivation of crops like cassava, palm oil, cocoa, wheat, and others for cash, which were considered male crops. Their expanded economic activities significantly altered their traditional gender roles with far reaching effects on their empowerment and national development. The socio-economic activities of the garri women in enhancing social welfare development was very visible in the manner they headed their households.
Garri Women and Men Headed Households in Bombe Bakundu
The term household used in this study according to Teke Johnson Takwa in his study of the Differences between the Socio-Economic Characteristics of Male and Female Household Heads and their Households in Cameroon, referred to “the private or ordinary household made of a group of related or unrelated persons who live together under the roof or concession and often meeting their basic needs together under the authority of one person called the household head” . The garri women farmers in Bombe Bakundu were mostly been severely responsible for a whole bunch of responsibilities in their struggle to ensure economic development and growth in the households and the community. As producers, income earners and home caretakers, the garri women were confronted with social-economic responsibilities at home and the community .
These responsibilities of social and economic platform, unraveled the capabilities of the garri women in the different family status and factions. In line with the production and distribution of garri, the garri women beard most of the household burden of domestic and reproductive work. Been a compulsory phenomenon, household maintenance and management just added and exposed the relevance of the garri women farmers (as mothers) to economic and social analysis. Female (garri women) and male headed households have been noticed of registering differences in the access to education, income, employment and positions of authority between males and females.
This has resulted in many socio-economic differences between them. Such differences were noticed is in the domain of household leadership. Due to some traditional motives, the proportion of female household heads is very large especially in Bombe Bakundu, and their average household sizes are significantly larger than those headed by men .Female household heads were predominant among single parent, widowed and economically vulnerable household ones . Alongside few married women households.
However, it was noted that, the marital status of a person was important in determining whether he or she becomes a household head or not. A woman who was single and lives alone will lose the position of household once married and living with the husband. On the contrary, a woman who loses the husband as a result of death, divorce or separation may accede to the position of household head which she formerly did not hold. From such analysis, most garri women heads were expected to be those living alone, divorced or widowed.
The diverse nature of the female headed households (garri women) in Bombe Bakundu reflected the diverse point of views and manner of garri production. However, in household control, the leader beards the cost of living and was responsible for the state of living standard. The essence of the fact that a significant proportion of female household heads were of advanced ages, there was greater likelihood that the housing situations of their households expressed by ownership of dwelling units and access to household facilities such as electricity, pipe borne water, modern toilet facilities, are higher than for male counterparts. Household maintenance and management for decades had been the concern and attention of the garri women of Bombe Bakundu both in female and male headed households .
At the households be it female or male headed, the garri women performed all the much needed duties of the households. These duties were mostly cooking, cleaning, washing, fetching and splitting of fire woods. The Woods were used as fuel which was the major source of energy as most households used it for cooking. The rate, at which trees were chopped for wood from 2007 to 2015, considerably exceeded the regeneration capacity. The garri women were the first to feel the brunt of this scarcity as the time and energy required in gathering and transporting wood became greater.
The welfare of the garri women’s families rest on their shoulders, with men seen as companions or assistance. The living standard of the families in the community was enhanced by the garri women. The garri women often made compares of living standard and live they lived in the 1960s and that from 1982. In the 1960s, the garri women elaborated of experiencing better living standards much more than from the 1980s which recorded high cost of living and a fall in living standard, much more to the detriment of the people. The drop in living standard led to health complications such as malnutrition which plagued the garri women, their children and husbands coupled with their extended family members was a course for concern .
The activities of the garri women also extended to their extended family members (this was typical in polygamous homes for instance) and the community. The dominant family system in Cameroon is the extended or joint family system. Some garri women in Bombe Bakundu therefore have their traditional roles extending beyond their immediate family to the external family and their community. For instance, a married garri woman eventually became part of her husband’s family for the entire length of the marriage and has as responsibility, the caring other aging father and mother-in-laws, in addition to her own parents.
The garri women also undertook activities at the community level and these were normally voluntary and unpaid labors, work normally taken to improve the community. These activities usually include clean-up campaigns to keep the streets and specific areas clean, the building of a community, health centers like the Floreth Health Center established by the Church of God of Prophecy constructed in 2005 and the village market. Such social activities in households and the community were also instilled in the minds of their children whom they considered as the young generation .
The garri women were conscious in the training of the youths known as the young generation in the society. Vocational training in household duties such as, cooking, washing, cleaning, and dressing, and community activities like agricultural production of food and cash crops, graining cassava and maize, cleaning market places ,church houses, and tap water areas, and businesses was the primary concern of the garri women famers. This made the young youths especially the females to possess attributes of responsibility and independence. The active participation of some garri women in these properties of household management and maintenance placed a scar on their male counterparts. This was due to the justification that the garri women started performing the activities and responsibilities of the men in households and the community . This was visible especially in garri women headed houses and some married garri women houses.
In household management, the garri women of Bombe Bakundu known for the production of garri as their area of specialty have been intensively involved in a range of economic and social activities. Some of these activities coupled with the production and commercialisation of agricultural products such as vegetables constitute household duties. The household duties performed by the garri women were arranged and embedded in the garri women’s calendar. Most garri women woke up every day at five to six am (5.00 to 6.oo am). This commenced the magnitude of their motherly care and homage. Some garri women organised Morning Prayer Sessions in their houses while others attended spiritual prayer devotion in churches.
This was coupled with all this was the garri women in family chores like sweeping, and cleaning. The kitchen which served as the power house of the garri women was also kept in good condition alongside the environment. The garri women established a frame work of time table governing their activities each day. At about seven am (7.ooam), in the early morning, the garri women turned to the kitchen. At the kitchen, the garri women performed the responsibilities of a house wives (and in some cases as the head of the family). They washed the plates used at the previous dinner and prepared food for the family originally known as breakfast .
From the period around seven to seven thirty (7:oo to 7:30 am); the garri women fetched water from the streams and wells for their husbands and children to bath. During school periods, the garri women usually dropped their children in school and bring them back. The early nine am (9.00am) caught the garri women dressing up for the farm journey and work. The garri women covered long distances of over one mile with the range of two hours to get to their cassava farmlands. This was typical especially from the 2000s, with the infiltration and invasion of the forest reserved areas in search for more lands to cultivate cassava for garri in respond to the increase in demand by the increased population . The garri women usually arrived at their farmlands around eleven am (11.00 am), where, after about thirty minute of rest, agricultural work commenced immediately. The garri women work on the farmlands depended on the mindset with which they created in respect to their time table.
Some garri women equally followed and performed work depending on the requirements and determination of the farming season. About five to six hours was spent on the farmlands before the idea of returning crossed the minds of the garri women farmers to reflect on their time table. Around five to six pm (5.00 to 6.00pm), the garri women arrived their homes. They went to the kitchen where, food and fruit items harvested all year round such as plantains, vegetables and oranges were dropped. Under thirty minutes, food was immediately prepared and laundry done. The food was prepared for their children (and husbands for those garri women who were married). With water also fetched for their children and husbands to bath .
The period from six pm to nine pm (6.00pm to 9.00pm), some garri women were caught in their shadows managing other duties of increasing interest. The garri women often engaged in petty businesses and vocational training businesses such as a call box station (where they transferred credits and made national calls in all the social networks, i.e., Man, Orange, and Nextel), fashion designing, restaurant management, and trading shops. The businesses were closed around nine thirty to ten pm (9:30 to 10.00pm). At this time, the garri women headed home to provide food for their families (what is usually known as dinner) .
This was immediately followed by family relaxation and entertainment through which, films and discussions occupied the rest of the time. Prayer sessions were also organised (evening prayers). After such divine acknowledgement, the garri women went to bed and performed other required duties. The garri women headed and managed households with immense contributions to community development in enhancing social relationships. This built a community of intensive socialisation which influenced massive investment and inflow of cash into the community.
Also on a social platform ,the garri women played a critical role in family works such as childhood niches, not so much in the direct care of children, but more through the influence they exert on the niches, even when absent. The garri women farmers were an important link between children and the social network of kin and neighbours, a group whose importance is reflected in the care of the child growing up in a sociological field of kin. In this field, the men and garri women farmers played different roles in educating and socialising children . The educational and socialising roles of the garri women centered mainly, on their status and activities as the central authority of the family.
The principal role of the garri women revolved around societal reproduction comprising childcare, home keeping, food production and feeding the family, which was also ensured by the level of saving as an attitude of the garri women. Saving (capital accumulation) was intensively implemented as a means for the un-predicting typhoon days. This argument received credence from the argument highlighted by Bime M.J and Mbanasor J, in their Determinants of informal savings amongst vegetable farmers in North West Region, Cameroon;
The role of savings in economic development is very important and it can be described as a driving force necessary for economic growth. Economic theory postulates that capital accumulation is the pre-requisite for both economic growth and development .
The garri women also devised strategies for encouraging saving through their social relation with their grouping. The degree of saving revenue realised from the commercialisation of garri in particular depended on the implication of the positive and significant explanatory variable of interest payment.
By this, the higher the interest payment on savings, the more the farmer is encouraged to save. Also the positive coefficient value of income indicated that the higher the income the more revenue the garri woman farmer generates from her produce and encouraged to save. Also the larger the farm size, the more the garri women farmers produces and the higher was the revenue generated which enhanced savings . The garri women used the act of saving their incomes from garri production in particular to ensure economic development and growth of their households and the rural community by establishing a platform of constant availability of finance necessary for acquiring provisions.
In line with societal expectations, garri women raised their children to be respectful and obedient and to succeed at school. Maternal concern with school success, though not strictly an indigenous motive, derives from a cultural valuation of social competence. To attain this goal, the garri women, tend to be stern and strict in training. Accordingly, the garri women were quite liberal in the use of punishment, which perhaps explained why many garri women as mothers sometimes invoked the image of absent fathers to erring children. The implementation of diverse training strategies was justified by many garri women of been the means of preventing the sufferings which they encountered. By this, the garri women tried to shape the minds of their children to be better than what they were at their age . Thereby reducing the battles the young generation was to face in the future.
Meanwhile, there exists division of labour (in male headed households) in all the socio-economic and political domains in the household and the community. Where, the burden on household maintenance was shared between the man, and the garri women. But the essential concern was the welfare of the family. The garri women famers engaged in farming in order to provide food for their families and other issues such as health and education. The garri women produced food crops in huge quantities. This was also to meet up with expenses of house rent, food and electricity bills . While, the men farmers depended on the production of cash or export products like cocoa, rubber and palm oil for their own gains.
Some men farmers made most of the decisions with little or no value for the opinions of some garri women (wives). Most garri women (married) were noticed of been assistance or helpers to the men famers (as their husbands) in the households. In this dimension, the household management was also shifted by the men to the garri women. Many garri women were requested to take care of the children, provide food and wash kitchen utensils. This was done in order to prevent sickness and ensure healthy living. Such traditional roles specified the social burden of the garri women as producers, income earners and home caretakers in the community.
The men (as fathers) as well as the garri women farmers (as mothers) became members of extensive social networks in which kin and supportive friends and neighbours endeavor to promote a sense of community. In male headed homes, the men (as father) assumed a crucial role in problem solving and protection of the family by exercising a moderating influence on family interactions with the external world. The men farmers expected to be the first person to be consulted or informed of any trouble or major change in a child’s life . The men could, and often does, call on his children for assistance at any time and could even intervene, without being seen to be intruding, in the affairs of a his children.
The objective of the men’s authority, however, was to indulge in self-gratification, but rather to promote the welfare of the family and the best interest of children, although blissful ignorance sometimes thwarts some of their best intentions . Most garri women’s decisions, however, affect mainly the womenfolk and the resources they control, whereas most men’s decisions bind both men and women and the entire society. The men farmer’s position in the community largely determines the social status and lifestyle of his family; his success accords to his wife and children their primary status and prestige.
The traditional man (father) filtered societal values and expectations to the family by “covering” members of his family and acting “in spatial and social realms outside the kitchen” of his garri woman (as a wife). The men farmers were also the ones who set and enforced standards of behaviour and control over family decision making, including filial marital choices. This placed the men at the center stage of focus as cultural and religious motives enhanced their powers in household maintenance and management.
The emergent cultural image of the men as fathers was that of an esteemed member of the society. The acknowledged head and focal authority of the families’ intergenerational study showed that the power structure of the Cameroonian family varies according to whether the family is nuclear, polygamous, or single parent . Nevertheless, the Bombe Bakundu culture backed the men’s authority and permitted them to literally dominate the personalities of members of the family. Garri women social activities went beyond their households to extended family, where relations set up the explosion of agricultural activities and expenditures.
Organisation of the Study
This research is divided in to five chapters with an Introduction and a Conclusion. The Introduction handled the Background to the Study, Statement of the Problem, scope and delimitation of the Study, Theoretical/conceptual frame work, Literature Review, Sources and Methodology, Organisation of the Study, Ethical Consideration, Time Plan, and Problems Encountered.
The First Chapter focused on the Geography and Economic Historical Background of Bombe Bakundu. This served as a prelude to the Garri Women activities of Bombe Bakundu. The geography constitute aspects like geographical location of Bombe Bakundu, climate, topography, draining pattern, soil, and land tenure system. The economy of Bombe Bakundu has been looked upon from the pre-colonial era to the post independent era with the changes and continuity of the Historical Setting of Bombe Bakundu, and economic structure of Bombe Bakundu.
The Second Chapter focused on Garri Women of Bombe Bakundu in Garri Production. The production of garri by the garri women touched aspect like; the introduction of cassava to Bombe Bakundu, Garri Women in Cassava Cultivation in Bombe Bakundu, Garri Women Farming Methods in Cassava Cultivation in Bombe Bakundu, Garri Women Farming Operations in Cassava Cultivation in Bombe Bakundu, Garri Women in Cassava Marketing in Bombe Bakundu. Garri Women in Garri Production in Bombe Bakundu, Processes Undergone by the Garri Women in Garri Production in Bombe Bakundu and Garri Women in the Commercialisation of Garri. The researcher also targeted The Relevance of Garri Production to Household Welfare, Community Development and Growth.
Chapter Three examined the role of the garri women in economic development and growth in Bombe Bakundu. The role of the Garri women comprised aspects like, some relevant frame of analysis (On the Position of Women in the Households, Community and the Society, Economic Development and Growth). Garri women and commercial agricultural production, equipments and inputs, Garri women traditional modes of production, garri women and the farming operations, the kind of output for preservation, processing and commercial purposes as next actions.
The Influence of Garri Women Extended Family to Household Welfare and Community Development. Garri Women as Family and State Providers. Garri Women as Movers and Shakers of the Traditional Economy of Bombe Bakundu. Garri Women in Business Ventures in Bombe Bakundu. Traditional Authorities in Garri Women Affairs in Bombe Bakundu. Garri Women in the Kombat of Rural Poverty and Malnutrition. Garri Women in Household Management. Garri Women common initiative groups and cooperative organisations in Community Development.
Chapter four looked at the Garri Women as Nation Builders. This examined Some Relevant Frame of Analysis (The Various Views of Women in Enhancing Nation Building and also the Concept of Nation Building). Garri Women’s Decision Making Power in Households and The Community of Bombe Bakundu .The Economic Status of Garri Women in Bombe Bakundu. Garri Women as Traditional Healers in Bombe Bakundu. Garri Women and Men Headed Households in Bombe Bakundu. Garri Women of Bombe Bakundu and the Cameroon 1986 Economic Crisis (Coping Strategies and Structural Adjustment Program). Garri Women of Bombe Bakundu and National Development. Garri Women of Bombe Bakundu and Cameroon Vision 2035. Garri Women of Bombe Bakundu in Rural – Urban Migration. Garri Women in Ethical Development in the Households and Community. Garri Women of Bombe Bakundu in Rural Politics. Garri Women of Bombe Bakundu and Educational Growth. All these are analysed coupled with the resources at the disposal of the Garri Women as compared to their male counterparts.
Chapter Four looked at the Obstacles, Attempted Remedies and recommendations confronted, enacted and proposed by the Garri Women, Internal and International Agencies, and the researcher. This is based on issues like the socio-political and economic setbacks. Some obstacles confronted as the researcher found out were mostly in line with their agricultural production activities. These constitute aspects like climate, fluctuating prices of garri and other commodities, environmental degradation, organisation, financial constraints, ill health. Mean while, attempted remedies from the government, donors, and NGOs initiatives and donations in terms of the provision of agricultural inputs and cash were taken into recognisance with the initiatives of the garri women.
The possible recommendations set forth by the researcher and other scholars and experts of social science and women affairs. The recommendations felt under the incentives of the researcher after critical examination and study of the research work. Some of the recommendations outlined constitute aspects such as, developmental programs been gender sensitive. Processes in garri production through the mechanisation and the improvement of technology should be motivated. Development of local and export markets for cassava products.
Determination of an appropriate strategy for cassava research and development. Selection and transmission of high-yielding cassava varieties with high starchy contents. Transfer of appropriate cassava cultivation techniques to garri women farmers in different areas. Co-operation with processing factories in establishing areas with a stable source of raw materials. Development of local and export markets for cassava products.. Development of local and export markets for cassava products.
However, the Conclusion of the research provided a rundown of the work, the sources utilised for the obtainment of valuable and authentic information. Also, the outcome justifications from the sources and methodology enacted and implemented by the researcher. The conclusion also shared views of the researcher’s exposition of another brand or path with which in depth research could be emphasised and performed to add to historical knowledge with ethical considerations.
The research did not jeopardise the reputation of the men in the society as it addresses issue to avoid negative implications on the status of the men who were also regarded as donors. The issues of the research were evaluated from the perspective of the garri women in order to clarify controversial views, which were and are conceived between the intellectuals and the inhabitants of the community which may create discontention and problems. The researcher equally signed some documents of permission and recognition with the informants in the direction of granting the researcher access to publish the information obtained coupled with their identifications. This was done in order prevent misconceptions and quarrels from the informants. Thereby, obtaining an authorisation of guarantee and safety.
The researcher equally made use of patience and humbleness to address and explain aspects of gender perspectives. This was to evade confusing conceptions and problems which characterised some households in the community. The researcher brought to the informants interpretations of some information obtained from them for better understanding in their mindsets. This however, exposed social cohesion between the men and the garri women informants in the community.
The information obtained from the informants was not treated with any notion of bias as there were diverse perspectives through which the informant views were cajoled. The researcher was critical and careful in analysing the data obtained from the informants. This was to avoid the flow of confrontations and exercise of authority between the men and the garri women informants, which often led to the boiling and eruption of sex based views much to the detriment of each other. The researcher tried to be cautious and respect ethical values in conducting the research grabbing of information from the informants in the community.
The research had as mindset to cover the period from July to November with write ups commencing from December. The researcher organised the research work from Chapter One to Five. These Chapters covered the months from January to May. With Chapter One at the end of January, while Chapter Two covered the month of February and Chapter Three leading to the end of March. Chapter Four is to be completed by April and Chapter Five by May in line with the corrections and remunerations of the work.
The writing process was also characterised by a series of research and verifications of the data obtained. Clarifications, updating, and other pertinent issues relating to the work were always reflected. Some means of clarification was through phone calls that the researcher made frequently to the informants in order to analyse the facts more appropriately. In all instances, the research went along with the writing of all the Chapters at the different months coupled with the corrections pending recommendation for public defense. Even though, the research confronted recessions in the process.
The research was not an easy take since there were obstacles that the researcher confronted in the course of gathering informations. Based on this dimension, the absence of written materials on the particular topic of interest under the study area was a thorn to the flesh of the researcher. The researcher had to implement strategies of relying mostly on primary sources like interviews and manuscripts.
Also, the research witnessed recessions in the manner and trends of which informants brandished their informations. This often came with tarnishing the images and reputations of their sex counterparts (partners) even though the researcher tried to divert issues to other things of concern. This painted the picture of frequent misconceptions and problems between the sexes with diverse conceptions. The researcher usually led the discussion to rest pending re-schedule and analysed only relevant facts.
The researcher was equally held back by natural causes and happenings such as frequent lost of relatives plagued the family. Three losses in the months of October and November 2016 placed the researcher in the state of stress and brain fatigue. This setback was intensified frequent health issues and social harassments. This however was overcome by the researcher as more effort was enforced to meet the expectation of the researchers’ time plan.