Challenges women farmers face in accessing agricultural extension services, in Kamugere Sub location of Embu county
Agriculture is not only one of the most important sources of rural livelihoods in Kenya but also makes vital contributions to the country’s economy. Rural women are major agricultural producers especially at the household level. But unfortunately they have least access to agricultural extension services. There are many constraints which are being faced by farm women in attaining access to extension services. To explore challenges women face in accessing agric ultural extension services, the present research was undertaken in Kamugere sub location in Embu County. A convenient sampling technique was employed to select the study respondents. Data were collected over a one week period in th e month of November 2014 from 30 women small holder farmers. Both qualitative and quantitative methods of data collection were used and analysis was done by using computer Excel software. The results showed that women farmers’ access to agricultural extension services was limited. Among different challenges which hinder women’s access to agricultural extension services were cultural constraints, low literacy levels among women, non - availability of female extension staff in agricultural extension departments, lack of local women org anizations, violence against women, limited access to credit facilities, less control over resources, social structure, and limited access to market information, mobility and lack of self - confidence. Based on the findings of this study it was concluded tha t for women to make meaningful contributions in increasing agricultural productivity it is necessary that more AES be provided to women farmers and their accessibility increased. The study suggests that for women to embrace modern agricultural practices th ere is an urgent need for the challenges identified to be addressed and for further studies to be undertaken involving larger samples. The main weakness of this study is that findings cannot be generalized beyond the sample of 3 0 women who provided the inf ormation used in this study.