Skip to main content
SLU publication database (SLUpub)
Report, 2017

Gender and generational aspects of sustainable intensification : social-economic dimensions of Kenyan smallholder based agriculture and food security

Mutheu Mutune, Jane


Food insecurity remains a problem in developing countries yet more than 40 million Kenyans live in dry lands, particularly and undertake agriculture as the prime livelihood activity. However, little is known about gender and generational sustainable intensification. This paper synthesised the available empirical evidence and nuanced the socio-economic dimensions of smallholder farmers, in Kenya, and reproduced the information to support policies and improve practices for sustainable agriculture. The government of Kenya has designed various policies for youth and women empowerment and entrepreneurship. However, there was found to be systematic under-representation of women and youth in policy making process that leads to perpetuation of food insecurity. Furthermore, the policies face challenges of political management, policy pluralism and sometimes lack of policy enforcement plan. Review of literature revealed that the participation of youth in the agriculture sector was low due to high production and marketing risks, land tenure insecurity, inadequacies in extension and financial services. Women are faced with inequality, asymmetry in the production and marketing information, land tenure insecurities and multiple task at household and farm level. Yet, the women and youth are a crucial group in achieving the sustainable development goals 2030 and Kenyan Vision 2030. The process of policy design and development should involve women and youth. Indigenous knowledge and creativity held by women and youth should be integrated with science through mutual learning in design and development of policies. Also, policy makers should take into account the differential vulnerabilities of men, youth and women farmers to environmental and social concerns.


food security; Kenya

Published in

AgriFoSe2030 Report
2017, number: 2
eISBN: 978-91-576-9531-4
Publisher: SLU Global, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences

UKÄ Subject classification

Gender Studies
Agricultural Science

Permanent link to this page (URI)