Gender Differences in Adoption of Improved Wheat Variety Technology in Kenya.

Studies have shown that women farmers are worse off than the male counterparts in terms of adoption of improved varietal technology and hence they experience low productivity. This technology adoption gender gap affects agricultural development considering that women in Kenya play a significant role in agriculture and food production. The link between gender and adoption is likely to vary across cultures and over time. The hypothesis of significant gender differences in access to and use of productive resources and adoption of improved wheat varieties was tested. Based on bivariate analysis, significant differences in access and use of productive resources between men and women farmers were observed. Men were more likely to access credit, extension services, own and cultivate more lands compared to women. Similarly, women in female-headed households were less likely to access the productive resources compared to women in male-headed households. The factors that affect adoption of improved wheat varieties among smallholder farmers were analysed with a specific focus on women. In contrast to the conventional model of using gender of the household head, gender and plot levels analyses were conducted. The results show that the gender of the field owner had a negative effect on adoption of improved wheat varieties. This indicates that, men were more likely to adopt improved wheat varieties, compared to women farmers. Moreover, the level of education of the household head, household size, and access to credit and extension services were observed to significantly increase the likelihood of farmers adopting improved wheat varieties. In the same framework, female farmers in male-headed households who had access to credit were more likely to adopt improved wheat varieties while there was greater probability of adoption of improved wheat varieties among female farmers in female-headed households who had access to agriculture extension and belonged to a farmer organization

Godwin Macharia, Bernice Ngina
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