Gender factors influencing particpation of men and women In small-scale agriculture in Gatundu South District, Kiambu County
Kariuki, Fred Ndung'u
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This study examined the factors that influence the participation of men and women in small- scale agriculture in Gatundu South District. The study was based on the premise that there are socio-cultural and value related factors, which contribute to minimal participation by men in agriculture. The study therefore, set out to identify and describe these factors, as well as suggests strategies of addressing the unequal participation by men and women in small-scale agriculture in the district. The farming systems approach theory guided the study. The study targeted smallscale farmers in two of the five locations in Ndarugu division. Enumeration areas in the selected locations served as the sampling units for the study. Multistage sampling technique was employed to sample 30% of the households. Two divisional agricultural officers and two assistant chiefs served as key informants. Primary data were collected through semi-structured questionnaires and interview guides. Secondary data were obtained through library search. Analysis of questionnaire data was done using the Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS) Version 17.0 and the findings presented in tables, graphs and figures. Findings from qualitative data are presented in a narrative form. The research found that there are numerous challenges that have hindered active participation of men and women in small-scale agriculture in Gatundu South District. These include cultural attitudes towards agriculture, laziness, alcoholism, small farm size, lack of alternative jobs, lack of farm inputs, and low farm income which discourage men and women from participating. To address these challenges, the study recommends the following measures: enhancing gender mainstreaming trainings to farmers and all service providers in the agricultural sector, sensitizing and financing farmers to adopt technologies that would intensify production of their small farms, eradication of illicit brews, facilitating trainings on value addition of agricultural products as well as promotion of gender transformative attitudes towards participation of men and women in small-scale agriculture and house hold economies.