Determinants of Adoption of Dairy Farming Technologies by Rural Women in Kakamega County, Kenya
Maindi, Lilian Janetrix
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Adoption of dairy farming technologies in dairy production has potential to allow for higher output and lower per unit cost in rural households. Observation had shown extensive dissemination of dairy farming technologies targeting rural women in Kakamega County. This study therefore, sought to identify the existing dairy farming technologies, assessed the status of adoption of dairy farming technologies, established constraints experienced in adoption of dairy farming technologies and finally explored strategies that would enhance effective adoption of dairy farming technologies by rural women of Khwisero, Kakamega County. The research was guided by Innovation Diffusion Theory, Rogers (2003) and Social Cognitive Theory of Gender Development and Differentiation, Bassey & Bandura (1999). A descriptive survey research design was employed with a total of 72 rural women dairy farmers randomly selected to cover Khwisero Sub-County. Data was collected using questionnaires, observation guides, interview schedules and FGDs. Quantitative data was analysed using descriptive statistics in terms of frequencies and percentages, were utilized in presenting the findings. Analysis of qualitative was done using themes and verbatim. The result rated high awareness level on exotic cow breeds, fodder establishment and conservation technologies. A majority rural women adopted to cross- bred cows, improved variety of nappier grass, mullato grass and sweet potatoe vines. The study found slow status of adoption of dairy farming technologies characterised by norm based socialisation that promoted hierarchy of power within rural households. These norms relegated rural women to limited rights of resource ownership and household decisions making. Other determinants in adoption emerged as straining practical gender needs, costs of external inputs and technologies characteristics. The strategies suggested for the enhancement of the adoption included, County Government and NGOs as implementers synchronizing their efforts and advocating for the enforcement of gender roles in dairy production. In conclusion, rural women‟s roles and constraints need to be fully understood and reflected in all information packaging. This would be propagated by increasing the inclusivity of women‟s voice along all the adoption process phases. The study recommend provision of dairy farming technologies programmes directed to all adult members in the household, incorporate gender perspectives in awareness creation, promote laws protecting women‟s right of ownership to land at grassroots level.