Socio-Economic Consequences of Technological Change on the Rural Non-Farm Igbo Women Entrepreneurs of South-Eastern Nigeria: Implications for Farm and Non-Farm Linkages

"Technological change has affected many aspects of rural women’s non-farm enterprises with many positive and negative socio-economic consequences on the women enterpreneurs and their households. This study investigated the extent of this change, and the socio-economic effects of the change on the rural Igbo women entrepreneurs engaged in cloth weaving, pot making, palm-oil processing, garri processing and local brewing in south-eastern Nigeria. Specifically, it attempted to assess the technical change in these enterprises in relation to the perceived negative consequences, to find out if the change was neutral or biased to those consequences. An attempt was made to find out the implications of the identified consequences of technical change on rural inter-sectoral linkages. The major findings of the study were that: rural women’s non-farm enterprises were dominated by ageing entrepreneurs with low educational background, low operating capital, low income and consumption expenditure; the rural areas from where they operated lacked basic social infrastructure and amenities; out-migration of the rural to urban type was high among the female youths, and adoption and adaptation of some innovations was low or faulty; most of the socio-economic problems of the entrepreneurs adversely affected the proper adoption of innovations rather than be the product of technical change."