Topics: Agriculture, Poverty, Africa Pages: 7 (1743 words) Published: July 13, 2013
The Need to Improve Agricultural Extension for women farmers in Kenya

• A country in East Africa lies on the equator • It is a poor and developing country • Land Area: 580,000 km2 • Capital: Nairobi • Population: A little over 43 million residents • Climate: warm and humid • Language: Swahili & English • GDP (2011): Total - $71.427 billion; Per capita - $1,746 • Agriculture and Service are the greatest contributor to its GDP

The Problem in Kenya

The Role of a Solid Agricultural Extension Program for successful Rural Development in Kenya • Absolute poverty is disproportionately concentrated among women in rural areas • Role of women in agriculture is particularly important in Sub-Saharan Africa

Role of women in agriculture is particularly important in Sub-Saharan Africa • Agricultural extension has played a vital role in the activities of most multilateral and bilateral agencies Multilateral Agency- institutions that provide financial support and professional advice for economic and social development activities in developing countries Bilateral Agencies- a ministry or part of a government ministry dedicated to advancing foreign policy goals while contributing to the economic and social development of recipient countries Agricultural Extension* has played a vital role in the development of the United States * general term meaning the application of scientific research and new knowledge to agricultural practices through farmer education

Men vs. Women
• Agricultural Extension was aimed almost exclusively at training men, even though women do most of the agricultural work • In Sub-Saharan Africa, women are responsible for 2/3 of staple food production • Women’s roles have expanded in recent years as men have increasingly migrated to urban areas and taken nonagricultural jobs • There are still gender biases when it comes to division of labor

Men vs. Women
• Training has been copied from developed countries like the United States (men do the agricultural work) • There are religious and cultural constraints on men training women • A World Bank study showed that Male African Extension agents have perceived women as “wives of farmers” rather than as farmers in their own right • Almost all extension agents have been male • A major problem is the segregation and exclusion of women in large portions of Africa and Asia

Women and agriculture
• The success of women in agriculture in SubSaharan Africa leads to genuine development and poverty reduction • But response to the program has been relatively slow • In other countries, program design is said to reflect a bias against women with too much independence • One important strategy of the past 30 years has been to make use of radio, audio tapes, television and videotapes

Issues regarding Rural development and Women Development in Kenya 1. Human Capital a. Women have less education compared to men in rural developing areas * Men are given priority in education o Bias in agricultural extension, which is training the more educated spouse 2. Appropriate Technology a. Women are usually involved in farm activities · Technology Development is focused on the activities of men

Issues regarding Rural development and Women Development in Kenya 3. Land Reform and Agrarian Design – the distribution is inefficient and distributionally inequitable a. Women farm on smaller plot b. Women are less likely to secure ownership c. Women often cultivate less fertile soil 4. Credit a. Women have little access to financial credit

Issues regarding Rural development and Women Development in Kenya 5. Work Requirements - Women should be given higher priority in technical education, technology development and access to technology a. A poor woman’s work day in Africa has been estimated to be 16-19 hours · Women work more hours in a day compared to men, because women preform domestic work which men do not do · The attention that mothers give to their children is limited...

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