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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Gender and Agricultural Production in Samia Kenya: Strategies and Constraints
Author:Olenja, Joyce M.
Periodical:Journal of Eastern African Research and Development (ISSN 0251-0405)
Notes:biblio. refs., ills.
Geographic terms:Kenya
East Africa
food production
Cultural Roles
Development and Technology
Labor and Employment
Family Life
Sex Roles
Agriculture, Agronomy, Forestry
agricultural production
Samia (African people)
Abstract:Fieldwork for this study was carried out in 1982 among the Samia, who form part of the Luhya ethnic group, in western Kenya. Agriculture remains the cornerstone of household sustenance. Adequate food production has traditionally depended on an intricate allocation of labour resources available to the family or household unit, a situation that has elsewhere been referred to as the labour-consumer balance. However, with the incorporation of the Samia economy into a wider system of production, the social and economic changes ensuing have disrupted the labour-consumer balance in some households. These changes have occurred at various levels: male labour outmigration, male perception of agricultural work and formal education, which has deprived the household of child labour. What becomes evident is that the dependency ratio is high (the dependent population is 62 percent of the total population) with much of the agricultural workload being borne by the women in a majority of the households. In this paper, it is argued that it is not so much the amount of land available to the household, but hired labour which becomes central in the viability of the household. In resource-poor households, women join work groups as a strategy to alleviate labour problems. However, it is a strategy that may only provide motivation rather than a real solution to the labour problem. Bibliogr., notes.