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Ohio State University (1998)

Accessibility of women’s groups to agricultural extension.

Alawy, Abdillahi Saggaf

Titre : Accessibility of women’s groups to agricultural extension.

Auteur : Alawy, Abdillahi Saggaf

Université de soutenance : Ohio State University

Grade : Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) 1998

The overall purpose of this study was to examine factors influencing accessibility of women’s groups to agricultural extension services in Kenya. The second purpose of the study was to investigate specific needs and interests of 348 farmers in 63 women’s groups, and changes that can be made to improve agricultural extension services to the women groups. The site was Kwale District, a place known both for women’s collective organizing and as the setting of long-term extension programs. But there was no information available on whether or how extension policies and projects acknowledged or responded to women’s agricultural and conservation groups. All data was collected in 1996-1997 in Kwale District Kenya. This research used a multi- stage, multi-method research approach that combined in- depth face to face interviews, participant observation, focus group interviews, document evaluation, and structured questionnaires. Findings indicated that extension services were biased towards, Christians, ethnic groups that did not originate from Kwale, and well established women’s groups located near the main roads that grew mixed crops. Additionally, since most agents and extension administrators were people not originating from Kwale, there were long-term stereotypical attitudes concerning agents/farmers compatibility, agents’ perceptions of the local indigenous people and general civil servant composition against the locals. Although most of the women’s groups had a number of projects, soil conservation and farming was the main activities of more than 80% of the participating groups. Groups that were involved in cash- generating activities exhibited reduced commitment to farming and conservation. Participants cited farming inputs, tools, equipment, and agricultural loans as their main needs. The main problem cited was the lack of good roads which led to problems related to farm inputs, training, loans, and incentives for their agricultural work. Female participants agreed that they derived a lot of benefits from being members of the women’s groups. Among the important benefits received by members were : extension training and services, cash profit from sales of their produce, financial assistance, food, and sharing of knowledge and learned agricultural skills. Recommendations included increasing efforts on the part of the ministry of agriculture in assisting women’s groups to improve their farming and conservation activities in the district. Extension approaches and programs should equally target all the different groups of farmers in the district. Regular extension and subsidized or loaned farming equipment and farm inputs should be equally extended to the women’s groups whether located in the remote areas or near the main roads.

Sujets : Agricultural economics ; Agricultural extension work ; Women’s studies ; Kwale District ;


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