Using Dairy Hubs to Improve Farmers' Access to Milk Markets in Kenya: Gender Implications
Immaculate Omondi1,3, Kerstin Zander2, Siegfried Bauer1, Isabelle Baltenweck3
1Justus-Liebig University Giessen, Inst. of Farm and Agribusiness Management - Project and Regional Planning, Germany
Women make crucial contributions in agriculture and rural enterprises in all developing country regions yet they face more severe constraints in accessing productive resources markets and services compared to their male counterparts. In dairy sector, which is a major pillar in the socio-economic standing of sub-Saharan Africa, with Kenya having one of the largest dairy industries in the region, women contribute substantial labour to all of the activities associated with the dairy enterprise. It is therefore imperative that adequate attention is given to understanding the challenges facing women in dairying. This is important, especially in designing pro-poor development efforts. This study uses logit and tobit model to analyse factors that affect participation in dairy marketing hubs- collective farmer-owned milk bulking and/ or chilling plants from which farmers also access other services deemed necessary for their dairy enterprises - in Kenya. Primary data was collected from 300 dairy farmers in Western Kenya milk shed. The results of the study indicate relatively low participation of women in high value dairy markets i.e. the dairy hubs. In addition to having lower annual per capita cash income, producing less milk, and relatively higher dependence on dairy compared to their male counterparts, female-headed households were found to be significantly worse off in terms of education and number of income sources. While the results of the study support the premise that participation in dairy hubs would be important in improving households' dairy incomes, it also provides strong the evidence of women's apparent reluctance to participate in dairy hubs, arguably, due to loss of control of income from milk sales. This implies the need for careful, evidence-based interventions and change in structures that can encourage participation of women, ensure equitable intra-household distribution of the proceeds from dairy enterprise, and/ or compensate women's loss of income, without negative impacts on the stability of gender relations within the households.
Keywords: Collective milk marketing, dairy hubs, intra-household income distribution, logit, probit, women
Contact Address: Immaculate Omondi, Justus-Liebig University Giessen, Inst. of Farm and Agribusiness Management - Project and Regional Planning, Giessen, Germany, e-mail: Immaculate.Omondiagrar.uni-giessen.de