Influence of Gender on Farmers’ level of Involvement in Bambara Production Activities in Western Kenya
Nandi, O. M. J.
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Aims: The study was conducted to determine the relationship of gender and farmer’s involvement in the production activities of Bambara groundnut, the local crop which is intended for productionfor-use. Study Design: Interview and a questionnaire were administered to 120 farmers in two districts. The districts neighbor each other and do share common ecological attributes and therefore, provided sufficient population for the study. Place and Duration of Study: The study was conducted in 2009 in Mumias and Butere Districts of Original Research Article Oyugi et al.; AJAEES, 4(3): 231-246, 2015; Article no.AJAEES.2015.024232 Western Kenya. Methodology: Level of involvement of farmers’ in bambara production activities was measured by farmers’ participation in land preparation, planting, weeding, pest control, harvesting, drying, threshing and winnowing. A production activities index (P.A.I) was computed. Results: The findings indicate that the significant relationship between gender and participation of farmers in production activities of Bambara groundnut. The study revealed that a majority of the respondents in Mumias were females while those in Butere were males. However, in general, there were more female than male farmers involved in the production of Bambara groundnut in Mumias and Butere Districts. The overall mean age for the farmers was 43.9 years which is similar for the age representation of rural farmers according to most studies. The farmers in the study area practiced agriculture on an average of ¼ an acre. The highest acreage was found to be approximately 16 and 18 acres for Butere and Mumias respectively. On education level, farmers were found to be literate with 51.7% of the farmers having reached primary level, 39.2% secondary level and 4.2% tertiary level which are in contrast with other studies that have established high illiteracy level of among rural farmers. Results of data analysis revealed that involvement level of female farmers was higher than the male farmers in production activities in the two. For Production Activities Index; female farmers’ PAI = 2.7 while male farmers’ PAI = 1.9. Conclusion: Results of data analysis revealed that involvement level of female farmers was higher than the male farmers in production activities in the two Districts with female farmers exhibiting a higher level of involvement. Extension agents should make female farmers their priority in trying to revive production of the crop. Keywords: Bambara; farmers; gender; production activities index.