Gendered Technology Adoption and Household Food Security in Semi-Arid Eastern Kenya uri icon

abstract

  • Hunger and malnutrition are scientific and moral problems that lie at theroot of most other global development challenges, since malnutritioneffectively blocks development and achievement across generations (Kavishe1995). In Kenya, agriculture is the cornerstone of the economy. It employsmillions, feeds more, and has a multiplier effect in that farming suppliesraw materials to, and supports, many other industries. Small-scale farming(on plots averaging 0.2?0.3 hectares) dominates food production in Kenya,pointing to the importance of directing research and development effortstowards smallholder and subsistence farming systems (Hickey et al. 2012).Because most agricultural production takes place at the household level,gender relations are central to understanding both how the farming systemworks and the extent to which initiatives to build resilience in the farmingsystem (e.g., in relation to project research activities) support equity andimprove food and nutrition security. Men and women in various types ofhouseholds may make separate and autonomous decisions, as well as jointdecisions, on important matters such as adoption of new agricultural technologiesand practices. These decisions have implications for who providesthe labour and who reaps what rewards of that adoption. For example, it hasbeen shown that when women control income, they generally allocate ahigher percentage to food, health, clothing, and education for their childrenthan men do (FAO n.d.). As a result, a better understanding of the gendereddivision of household labour is an essential component of enabling householdfood provisioning and the marketing of agricultural products throughagricultural innovation systems capable of supporting resilience

publication date

  • 2016