THE GENDER GAPS IN CHALLENGES FACING FARMERS IN IMPROVED BEE KEEPING: CASE OF THE MAASAI COMMUNITY IN TRANS MARA, NAROK COUNTY, KENYA
Keywords:Improved Bee Keeping, Challenges, Men and Women, Trans Mara, Narok County, Kenya.
Purpose: This study sought to explore challenges facing men and women in improved bee keeping among the Maasai community in Trans Mara, Narok County.
Methodology: A mixed method approach was used thus, it was both qualitative and quantitative in nature. Through stratified random sampling, 180 respondents were interviewed for household surveys, 16 key informants (KII), and 36 participants for focus groups discussions (FGDs). Structured and Semi-structured interviews were used to collect both qualitative and quantitative data based on research objectives.
Findings: The study found that most women who resided far from the demonstration plot were never trained due to gender related factors such as mobility, marital status, time, as well as socio-cultural perceptions. Women were mostly constrained by capital while men who control large herds of livestock had no problem with money. In marketing, women were more vulnerable in comparison to men due to challenges in mobility and time to move out and search for better markets. Improved bee keeping can employ the resource-poor who mainly comprise of women.
Unique contribution to theory, practice and policy: The study recommends that interventions with improved bee keeping should purpose to understand the specific challenges and cultural factors that constrain both genders in communities. To enhance access to trainings, there is need to construct demonstration trials within the localities for ease of access to both genders especially women. Forums should be enhanced to empower both genders on importance of joint sharing of productive assets
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