The contribution of improved chicken strains in promoting women empowerment in Bariadi and Muheza Districts, Tanzania
Increasing number of development projects espouse objectives of women’s empowerment. However, mechanism by which agricultural development projects can enhance women empowerment is scantly documented. Therefore, this paper aimed at assessing the role of improved chicken strains in promoting women empowerment. The study which this paper is based on, involved 240 women (120 beneficiaries of African Chicken Genetic Gain [ACGG] and 120 non-beneficiaries) from Bariadi and Muheza districts. Cross-sectional research and mixed methods of data collection were used. Quantitative and qualitative data were collected using a structured questionnaire, Key Informant Interviews (KIIs) and Focus Group Discussions (FGDs). Extent of women empowerment among beneficiaries and non-beneficiaries of ACGG project was measured using a Composite Empowerment Index (CEI). Content analysis was used to analyse qualitative data. Quantitative data were analysed by using descriptive statistics. Results showed that ACGG project provided women’s access to initial stock of improved chicks and vaccines as well as extension and training services. Women who benefited from ACGG were more empowered (CEI = 0.714) as compared to non-beneficiaries (CEI = 0.529). Based on the findings, women empowerment has been realised through the intervention of the improved chicken which were sponsored by the ACGG project. However, the ACGG project focused more on creating an enabling environment for women’s access to productive resources than on addressing social settings that influence women’s status. It was thus recommended to the ACGG project, Local Government Authorities and development partners to scale up improved chicken interventions to other areas and promote initiatives to challenge social institutions that have an impact on women’s life.
FACULTY OF AGRICULTURE SOKOINE UNIVERSITY OF AGRICULTURE, MOROGORO, TANZANIA