S C Ukwoma and Ezii Njoku
Information is crucial to all human endeavors, therefore it is necessary that required information is provided to all categories of people. This has been the call by many organizations, including libraries, which have also laid more emphasis on access to information. The federal government of Nigeria announced a seven point agenda aimed at achieving the development of the nation. One of the items in the agenda centers on agriculture and food security, which should be a priority for any developing nation. Agriculture not only feeds the teeming population, but it also enhances economic growth and development.
Rural women inNigeriaare predominantly involved in agriculture; they produce the food for the citizenry. As a result, they should be well armed with the necessary information, knowledge and resources that will assist them, to achieve the goal of improved agriculture and food security. This cannot be achieved by writing alone because the overwhelming majority of them are non-literate. Based on this fact, the service of librarians becomes imperative, since they are the custodians of knowledge. They should repackage the required information in a way that it will be accessible to the rural women. This paper highlights the activities of rural women and examines how they access information. Understanding the challenges they face in doing so, will improve the services rendered by librarians to this critical segment of the society. The population of the study consists of rural women in some local government areas inSoutheast Nigeria. The method of data collection was by focus group interview as most of them cannot write. The data collected from the interviews were analyzed and discussed. The study discovered that there are women cooperatives inSoutheast Nigeria, involved in different types of farming like cassava and maize farm, pepper farm, poultry farm etc. They get assistance more from the FADAMAR, ADP and Agric commercial banks. They receive literacy programmes from Agric extension officers and cooperative officers. Their major problems are inadequate personnel to assist them in some of their programmes, delay in getting Government assistance, inadequate funds to carry out their projects and difficulty in transportation and bad roads. Based on this, the paper concluded that Librarians should make more contributions to the literacy programmes of these women and the government needs to provide more assistance to these women.