Importance of Agriculture

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THE NEED TO IMPROVE AGRICULTURAL EXTENSION FOR WOMEN FARMERS IN KENYA

BY
MUOKI BENEDICT KIILU
REG NO: X75/27627/2009

TABLE OF CONTENTS

ABSTRACTiii
CHAPTER ONE1
1.0 INTRODUCTION1
1.1 Background to the Problem1
1.2 The problem statement2
1.3 Objectives of the Study2
1.4 Hypotheses of the Study3
1.5 Research Questions3
CHAPTER TWO4
2.0 LITERATURE REVIEW4
REFERENCES5

ABSTRACT
To ensure that there is a significant drop in poverty rates in developing countries, moreso the ones dependent directly on agriculture as their backbone of their vulnerable economy, women farmers need to be directly involved. Extensions programs play a crucial development role in reducing poverty and incorporating women who are the heart of the society is technically hitting the nail on the head.

CHAPTER ONE
1.0 INTRODUCTION
1.1 Background to the Problem
In many developing economies, improvements in the productivity in the agricultural sector are directly proportional to economic growth. Economic growth (Levine, 1997:689) is mainly measured by gross domestic product which is generally accepted as the indicator of standard of living. An increase in economic growth implies an increase in real output and improvement in the standard of living and reduction in poverty. Absolute poverty is regardless concentrated among women, in rural areas, who are left by their spouses who leave for urban centres (i.e. Rural-Urban migration). Focus on these women by enabling them to practice efficient agriculture skills is a strategy for poverty reduction.

Development specialists have advocated for successful agricultural-extension program for agriculture sector to ensure yields and quality for the final products from the farms are marketable and in plenty. This practise has been praised for playing crucial role in most multilateral and bilateral development agencies. Women are seemed as the success ship out of the menace of poverty because for example, in sub-Saharan Africa they are responsible for well over two-thirds of staple food production. As men migrate to urban areas to practise non-agricultural work, women need to be used to empower the agriculture sector.

In most cases, men are trained by default and women perceived not to be farmers or would eventually gain the skill from their husbands. This may be based on religious or cultural beliefs as they are often inclined on making men more superior than women. This segregation and exclusion is mostly the main constraint in most developing countries as it sidelines women who sometimes as well capable as their counterparts, men.

Through initiatives launched by World Bank from the mid 1970s through the 1990’s, men as well as women were trained and received substantial encouragement and financial support but most of the countries with this program came out disappointing. Women were also seen as guardians of natural resources in traditional societies view. This was an important domain for agricultural extension to women to enable an economic advancement. The evident lack of knowing credit facilities and other encouraging programs in women points to need to educate and bring out the concept to them because they are at the core of reducing poverty in the society.

1.2 The problem statement
The inadequate agricultural extension for women farmers in Kenya is a major problem in fighting poverty in sub-Saharan countries. Key issues raised when it comes to agricultural extension come into play; 1. Human capital: On average, women are less educated than men thus making it by default to train more men than women due to this deficiency. 2. Appropriate technology: since women tend to diversify their activities in farming, their technological requirements are not met because it is usually focused on men-related activities. 3. Land reform and agrarian design: on the basis of distribution and availability, women are less disadvantage in Kenya due to constraining customary laws...
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