The effect of conservation farming on women economic empowerment in Abim district
Akwii, Irene Jennifer
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The economic empowerment of rural women to achieve gender equality is central to ensure economic growth and sustainable development. Previous studies have been conducted on gender equality but little has been done particularly on conservation farming and women economic empowerment in rural based districts. To bridge this knowledge gap, this study aimed at contributing to improved understanding of conservation farming impacts on women economic empowerment in Abim district. The methods employed to collect data included a household survey, focus group discussions and face to face in-depth interviews. Statistical Package for the Social Scientists (SPSS) software version 25 was used to analyse the household survey data. Cross sectional research design was adopted for this study. 379 women farmers were selected from two sub-counties in the district. Krejcie and Morgan (1970) was used to determine the sample size. Results indicated that conservation farming practices are significantly dependent on the level of education and household size of respondents carrying out the practices. Women who practice mulching, their coefficient value increases (B, 0.190 units, p=0.000), likewise zero tillage (B, 0.248 units, p=0.000), crop rotation (B, 0.203 units, p=0.001) and intercropping (B, 0.131 units, p=0.000). Women who used more conservation farming practices were found to be more economically empowered. The index for women empowerment in agriculture (WEAI) in Abim district is 79.7%. This implied that women in Abim district are almost empowered since their WEAI value is slightly below the threshold value (80%). This could be attributed to various reasons such as societal, cultural norms and economic constraints that limit their further inclusion in agricultural decision making policy. The findings also revealed that, religious organizations played a significant role in empowering women farmers in Abim district. The study recommends that stakeholders need to support the community based on their needs.