Academic journal article Journal of Emerging Trends in Economics and Management Sciences

Socioeconomic Factors Affecting the Adoption of Improved Agricultural Technologies among Women in Marakwet County Kenya

Academic journal article Journal of Emerging Trends in Economics and Management Sciences

Socioeconomic Factors Affecting the Adoption of Improved Agricultural Technologies among Women in Marakwet County Kenya

Article excerpt

Abstract

Previous results from the developing countries show that men and women do not adopt new technologies at the same rate or benefit equally from their introduction. Authors note that women in Africa continue to adopt high yielding varieties and improved management systems at low rates (Doss 2001). Certain agricultural technologies can easily be adopted by women than others. However this varies widely based on context and culture. The premise of this research is that Women vary in adoption of technology or innovations at their disposal and those particular technologies were adopted at a higher rate comparatively to others, although the set of technologies were packaged and disseminated together. The sociological, myths and other economic factors surrounding the adoption of agricultural technologies among women are unearthed in Marakwet. The specific objectives of the study were to determine the socioeconomic characteristics, rate associated with the adoption of the agricultural technologies in Marakwet. This study has an important significance considering the fact that most women participate in agriculture in developing countries. This research on agricultural technology adoption is therefore critical. There is need to ensure that gender concerns and women participants are integrated in all relevant projects by planners' and policy makers. Stratified random sampling was used to conduct the survey. The survey obtained 160 women from two targeted groups by the Women in Agricultural projects (WIA) under the Catholic Diocese of Eldoret. This was done such that the sample represented all farmers targeted by the project giving information on socio-economic characteristics, age, education levels, extension services, education, household size and the number of the technologies adopted among others. Quantitative and qualitative data analysis methods were used to analyze explanatory variables in this study such as education levels, household size, level of income, age, contacts with extension agents, Access to extension facilities, membership to groups or associations. The results show that such factors such as primary occupation, annual income, household size and membership of women's group showed a positive and very significant relationship with the women adoption of agricultural technologies. From the findings the women ranked such constraints as lack of access to land, lack of capital and credit facilities, non membership of women's group, non provision of information by the agricultural officers on agricultural production technologies, ineffective extension services and coverage among others, as major hindrances to effective achievement of the set objectives of improving the socioeconomic wellbeing of women farmers It is recommended that the agricultural technologies should increase its activities to include tasks and decisions where women played an active role which include; health care, agricultural production (food crop and livestock production), and family nutrition. Land tenure issue should be revisited and relevant laws made which allows women farmer's access to land for agricultural production.

Keywords: gender characteristics, women, adoption, agricultural technologies, lack assets.

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INTRODUCTION

Of all the hours worked throughout the world, women contribute about 66% (UN, 1990). Much of the work done is by women living in the rural areas. In the developing world, where more than a third of the total population is rural and female, women produce most of the food for domestic consumption (Anon, 1980). The sustainable production of food is the first pillar of food security. Millions of women work as farmers, farm workers and natural resource managers (Onyemobi 2000). In doing so, they contribute to national agricultural output, maintenance of the environment and family food security (Brown et al 2001). Evidence from throughout the developing world indicates that men and women do not adopt new technologies at the same rate or benefit equally from their introduction. …

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