Cultural barriers towards women and youth entry to apiculture production in Maara Sub-County, Kenya
The study adds to extension education knowledge by revealing cultural barriers inhibiting the uptake of apiculture enterprise among women and youths in Maara Sub-County, Kenya. Data were gathered from twenty-three smallholder farmers selected through purposive sampling based on gender and age from Maara Sub-county, Kenya. Data were collected through the use of structured interview schedule. The study revealed that women and youths’ participation in apicultural activities hindered by cultural restrictions which included taboos, inheritance, traditions, and attitudes. The taboos inhibiting female farmers from engaging in apicultural production were; forbidding women from climbing trees, sitting beehives in apiaries, and honey harvesting. Traditions such as the belief that apiculture is meant for elderly men discouraged youths and women entrant to the industry. Only interested and older sons from the farm families could inherit apiaries in the community. A majority of female and young farmers were blinded by the negative attitude they had towards the enterprise hence they could not participate. Even though apprenticeship was the main channel of equipping farmers with apicultural knowledge and skills, personal experiences and social gathering played a vital role. Few farmers also acquired knowledge through formal schooling. Cultural restrictions need to be eased to attract women and young farmers in apiculture production. Extension education would also enhance the adoption of the farm enterprise through dissemination of modern beekeeping technologies.
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