Gender Analysis of Small-Scale Farm Mechanisation in Ethiopia and Kenya


KIT Royal Tropical Institute undertook a gender analysis of small-scale farm power mechanisation in maize-based systems in Ethiopia and Kenya. The study examined the gender dimensions of agricultural mechanisation in order to inform future interventions. It was funded by MAIZE CGIAR’s competitive research grant.

Gender matters in farm power

Mechanisation directly affects patterns of labour allocations in households
because of its potential to increase labour efficiency and effectiveness. These in turn have direct implications for the well-being of individual household members. As farm power mechanisation directly relates to agricultural labour, a gender analysis is key. It ensures that gender dimensions are addressed as an integral part of mechanisation interventions and agricultural research.

The project produced a comprehensive gender analysis report. It focused on factors that shape the articulation of demand for and adoption of mechanisation by women in different types of households engaged in small-scale maize farming. Because African households are heterogeneous, the study differentiates between three types of households, based on household composition, labour availability and land ownership.

What this research involved

The research involved:

  • A literature review
  • Development of a conceptual framework and methodological approach
  • Two case studies
  • A cross-case analysis, and
  • A stakeholder meeting.

The study linked up with the International Maize and Wheat Improvement Centre’s Farm Power and Conservation Agriculture for Sustainable Intensification project. In doing so, it took advantage of the experience of the national project partners and to build on and complement the work of the project.