Gender based factors influencing farmer participation in marketing of climbing beans (Phaseolus vulgaris L.) in Kabale District South Western Uganda
Although beans (Phaseolus vulgaris) are known as a women’s crop, women still receive limited financial benefits and control over the incomes from their efforts. This study was conducted in Kabale District to establish gender based factors influencing men and women farmers’ participation in the market segment of climbing beans. This was a cross-sectional mixed methods study. Data were obtained from 155 participants (86 women and 69 men) in three sub counties of Kabale district using a cross-sectional questionnaire survey, FGDs and KII. Qualitative data from the FGDs was analyzed using key content analysis while the quantitative data was analyzed for descriptive statistics using SPSS computer software version 16, STATA version 11 and Micro soft excel 2010. Results showed that 86% of male respondents were employed as mobile bean traders compared 14% females; 53% males owned retail bean stores compared to 47% females while 67% of female respondents were employed as casual laborers and paid UGX 5,000-7,000Ug.Shs per day compared to 33% male casual laborers who were paid UGX 7,000-10,000Ug.Shs. Men sold an average of 71% of their bean produce while women sold about 54%. Harvesting, winnowing, sorting and drying roles were performed by women while men dominated the storage, transportation, bargaining of price, receiving payment from sales and saving the incomes. Business opportunities such as; agro-inputs, transport services, bulking and selling of beans were dominated by men while women participated in small cash sales to solve urgent family welfare needs. Women’s low participation in bean related businesses and control of income was attributed to; time consuming reproductive roles, restrictive cultural norms, low literacy and numeracy skills, lack of financial capital and ownership of transport means. Based on the findings, there is need to sensitize both women and men to overcome gender stereotypes on marketing roles. Organize farmers into collective bean marketing groups to enable women access better markets, business skills and financial capital to invest in seed multiplication, supply of agro-inputs, bulking and selling of dry beans. Also there is need to invest in technologies that improve bean productivity, simplify winnowing, drying, sorting, value addition, transportation and other labor saving technologies that frees up women’s time from reproductive roles in order to create time for women to participate in business.