African Journal of
Agricultural Research

  • Abbreviation: Afr. J. Agric. Res.
  • Language: English
  • ISSN: 1991-637X
  • DOI: 10.5897/AJAR
  • Start Year: 2006
  • Published Articles: 6842

Full Length Research Paper

Gender roles and constraints in the aquaculture value chain in Western Kenya

Cecilia Muthoni Githukia
  • Cecilia Muthoni Githukia
  • Kenya Marine and Fisheries Research Institute, Kegati Aquaculture Centre, P.O. Box 3259, Kisii, Kenya.
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Silke-Silvia Drexler
  • Silke-Silvia Drexler
  • Department of Water, Atmosphere and Environment, University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences, Gregor-Mendel-Straße 33, A-1180 Vienna, Austria.
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Kevin Odhiambo Obiero
  • Kevin Odhiambo Obiero
  • Kenya Marine and Fisheries Research Institute, Sangoro Aquaculture Station, P.O Box 136, Pap-Onditi, Kenya.
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Bryan Otieno Nyawanda
  • Bryan Otieno Nyawanda
  • Kenya Medical Research Institute. P.O. Box 1578, Kisumu, Kenya.
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Judith Achieng’ Odhiambo
  • Judith Achieng’ Odhiambo
  • Faculty of Agriculture and Natural Resources Management, Kisii University P.O Box 408, Kisii, Kenya.
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Joshua Wafula Chesoli
  • Joshua Wafula Chesoli
  • Faculty of Business and Economics, Kisii University P.O Box 408, Kisii, Kenya.
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Julius Otieno Manyala
  • Julius Otieno Manyala
  • School of Spatial Planning and Natural Resource Management, Jaramogi Oginga Odinga University of Science and Technology, P.O. Box 210, Bondo, Kenya.
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  •  Received: 11 February 2020
  •  Accepted: 22 April 2020
  •  Published: 31 May 2020


Aquaculture plays a critical role in food and nutrition security, economic empowerment and creation of employment opportunities for millions of people. However, the benefits from aquaculture are not evenly distributed between men and women due to gender-based constraints which limit maximum returns. The present study investigated gender roles and constraints in the aquaculture value chain in Western Kenya. A household survey was conducted among 384 randomly selected farmers using structured questionnaires in three counties in Western Kenya. Results of the study reveal gender participation at different nodes of the value chain with women representation being low (32%) compared to men (68%). Gender based constraints affecting participation and benefits include access to productive resources and start-up capital and discriminatory gender norms which limit women participation and financial returns. Therefore, abolishing these constraints is imperative in increasing production for development and social wellbeing of not only women but the entire household, community and the nation at large.

Key words: Aquaculture value chain, gender roles, constraints, social norms, poverty, wellbeing.