Women participation in national agricultural advisory services in Uganda: a case study of Vurra Sub-County, Arua Disrict, 2001—2007
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This study was done to examine women participation in National Agricultural Advisory Service (NAADS) programme in Vurra sub-county, Arua District Uganda for a period of 2001/2007. Data collected included; women participation in decision-making process of NAADS, implementation of decisions of NAADS programme, women access and factors that determine their participation, and benefits of women participation in NAADS. The study used a case study design. A total of 54 respondents were interviewed. Six 6 parishes were randomly selected from which six farmer groups (3 mixed and 3 women) were selected using stratified random sampling. The study used interview guides, Focus Group Discussions (FGDs), documentary analysis and observation to collect data. Data was analyzed using descriptive methods. The findings indicate that decisions on enterprise selection at the sub-county were in most cases carried out hurriedly and without regard to farmers’ preferences. Which means at sub-county level, farmers had not been given the chance to decide on what best suits their needs .Women expressed disappointment on lack of access to critical resources like land, inadequate information, non payment of attention to women preferred enterprises as being a grate problem on their side which led to their limited participation in their own fields. The study also found that women did not take part in decision-making process of NAADS programme activities since most key positions are taken by men. However, it was found out that NAADS had registered some achievements. Women acquired skills through training which has empowered them to translate NAADS knowledge on their own. And working in groups has strengthened their relationships and sharing of ideas. These are some of the areas where the benefits of NAADS were realized. Special consideration of women in all aspects needs to be taken care of. Service providers need to promote women participation in identifying their own needs and implementing their own solution, women should be allowed to make decisions on which enterprises to select, there should be functional adult literacy to enable women read and write basic records on their farm activities, In addition, women should be given responsibility at all levels say farmer fora, parish and group levels. Unless women are considered important contributors ‘on ground’ in NAADS programme implementation, their position will never change.
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