Household decision making to sell beans: A case of male and female farmers in Central Uganda
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In Sub Saharan Africa, women play a significant role in bean production. However, their role in household decision making is minimal especially with decisions regarding cash crops. Now that the bean crop is commercial, men’s involvement who are market-oriented further threaten women’s position in household decision making to sell. Though sensitization and awareness creation campaigns have been carried out as a result of international debates on male and female farmers active involvement in decision making to determine and express their interests, it is not known whether bean growing households embraced this call. Therefore little is known about how and what enables male and female farmers to make bean selling decisions at the household level. With the operationalization of human capacity approach, rational choice theory and social relations theory, this study sought to analyze how male and female bean farmers participate in household’s bean selling decisions in Central Uganda. The study used data collected from 455 randomly selected respondents. Using percentages, t.tests, and a multinomial regression model, results revealed that in 39% sampled households, the decision of whether beans should be sold was influenced by female farmers as compared to 24% ( both male and female farmers) and 37% ( male farmers). A weighted analysis showed that selling decisions in most households were dominated by female farmers. It is also remarkable to note that selling decisions in most households were independently made by male and female farmers and this was largely approved by female farmers. Households, where joint decision making or mutual understanding was reported, were considerably low. Results from multinomial model revealed that male and female farmer participation in household selling decisions is significantly influenced by factors such as age, household headship, crop ownership, predominant crop management, and combining of the harvest. With increased participation in decision making, there is a possibility of increased food and nutrition, the satisfaction of needs, and attainment of equity among bean growing households. However, joint decision making has not been fully embraced. To achieve the goal of joint decision making in bean growing households, there is need to advocate for joint bean crop ownership, joint bean plot management, and combining of the bean harvest before the sale in case of separate plots. Also, further research can be conducted to understand the extent of influence male and female farmers have in joint decision making and whether it means fairness to them.