The Effects of HIV/AIDS on Livelihoods and Adopting Tissue-cultured Technology among Banana-farming Households in Central Kenya

By Faith N. Nguthi and Anke Niehof.

Published by The Social Sciences Collection

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Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

Increasing agricultural productivity is one of the important adaptations for farming households to enable them to attain sustainable livelihoods in times of crisis. Adoption of appropriate agricultural technologies is key to increasing productivity and rural household income. Yet several factors influence the adoption of agricultural technologies, which may constraint the technology’s potential contribution to development and poverty reduction. This study investigated the factors influencing the adoption of tissue-cultured bananas in the context of HIV/AIDS in rural Kenya. It adapted the sustainable livelihood approach and studied the assets, livelihood activities, strategies and outcomes of the farming households. A combination of quantitative and qualitative methods was used to collect the data. Qualitative methods included key informant interviews, focus group dis¬cussions, and in-depth interviews, while a survey among 254 banana-farming house¬holds provided quantitative data. The sample was stratified according to use or non-use of the tissue-cultured banana. Within each stratum, both HIV/AIDS-affected and non-affected house¬holds were selected. The results indicate that adoption of tissue-cultured banana is highly related to the house¬hold’s availability of savings, possession of farm equipment and security of land tenure. Households’ HIV/AIDS status does not seem to influence continued use. How¬ever, the death of an adult household member does negatively influence this. The more adult household members lost through death the less likely a household is to continue using tissue-cultured banana plantlets. Farming households that have contact with extension services are also more likely to adopt tissue-cultured plantlets. However, extension service providers are faced with challenges in providing information on appropriate technology for HIV/AIDS-affected households. Diversification of income-generating activities is positively related to tissue-cultured banana adoption.

Keywords: Agricultural Technologies, HIV/AIDS, Farming Households, Livelihoods, Banana

The International Journal of Interdisciplinary Social Sciences, Volume 2, Issue 5, pp.191-206. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 599.802KB).

Dr. Faith N. Nguthi

PhD student, Social Science Department, Kenyan Agricultural Research Institute, Kenya

Prof. Anke Niehof

Chair - Sociology of consumers and household, Social Science, Wageningen University, Netherlands


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