Is bean really a women’s crop? Men and women’s participation in bean production in Uganda
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Nakazi, Florence; Njuki, Jemimah; Ugen, Michael Adrogu; Aseete, Paul; Katungi, Enid; Birachi, Eliud; Kabanyoro, Ruth; Mugagga, Isaac Joseph; Nanyonjo, Grace. 2017. Is bean really a women’s crop? Men and women’s participation in bean production in Uganda . Agriculture & Food Security 6:22.
Permanent link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/10568/80197
Background Common bean one of the grain legumes that was traditionally considered a subsistence crop and therefore a woman’s crop in Uganda was prioritized for commercialization. This has transformed the crop from being a subsistence crop (food security crop) to a commercial crop with more men engaged in its production. Little is known about the possibility of gender conflicts in production activities as the crop finds market. Methods The study uses gender-disaggregated survey data from 500 men and 625 women in central Uganda. Both bivariate and multivariate methods were used to access the notion of bean being a women’s crop based on gender participation intensities (a pairwise t test and Tobit regression model). Results Seventy-three percent male-headed and 87% female-headed households had membership in farmers groups. Bean crop was majorly owned by women. Seventy-five percent of the studied bean plots were intercropped with other crops. On average, both men and women operated at one bean plot per season estimated. Winnowing (4.26), post-harvest handling and storage (4.25), sorting (4.22), planting (4.04) and weeding (4.00) were the five top most activities that rural women heavily participated in. The following are the top most five activities that men participated in: site selection (3.94), spraying against pests and diseases (3.81), bush clearing (3.77), fertilizer application (3.73) and harvesting beans (3.73). Bean consumption (1.3%), marketability (17.5%), distance to plot (8.1%), education (1.3%) and color (18.1%) had significant influence on women participation intensities. Household size (5.8%), farming as primary occupation (42.7%) and bean color (30.8%) had significant influence on men bean participation intensities. Conclusions The study revealed there was significantly no bean production activity that was purely done by only men or only done by women. Thus, bean cannot be classified as a women’s crop based on participation intensities since men offered support in a number of activities. In order to close the gender gap in bean production, there is need to target both men and women with gendered interventions and address issues of traditional norms.