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Agroforestry - A way to social empowerment?: A Minor Field Study of small scale farmers' socio-economic situation in Kitale, Kenya
Linnaeus University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Social Studies.
2014 (English)Independent thesis Basic level (degree of Bachelor), 10 credits / 15 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

This thesis is based on a minor field study conducted in Kitale, Kenya during approximately two months in 2013. The area was chosen for its remote location and the environmental impact of climate change on the farmers living there. The NGO Vi Agroforestry has addressed the effects of climate change for over three decades and taught groups of farmers in Kitale about the climate, which has led them to adopt environmentally sustainable practices in agroforestry.

The purpose of this study is to investigate whether agroforestry practice has contributed to empowerment and the possible consequent improvement of the farmers' livelihoods. To investigate the work of ViAf and how people identify their socio-economic status in terms of empowerment, both a stakeholder analysis and a gender analysis have been included. The field study was mainly conducted using semi-structured interviews based on the analytical framework of the (dis)empowerment model, where an attempt was made to understand how to enlarge the bases of social power.

The study found that agroforestry concepts applied by the farmer groups lead to empowerment in eight distinct bases of social power. The methods employed by ViAf have contributed mainly to empowerment in knowledge, information, social organisation, and social networking. Further empowerment is needed to address financial issues, where external factors such as access to land, time of implementation, marketing, family size and social features of the family and its area have a role to play. As a result, agroforestry could lead to improvement for some farmers’ socio-economic development when these issues are addressed. 

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
National Category
Other Social Sciences not elsewhere specified
URN: urn:nbn:se:lnu:diva-38721OAI: diva2:773990
Subject / course
Peace and development
Educational program
Peace and Development Programme, 180 credits
Available from: 2015-01-07 Created: 2014-12-20 Last updated: 2015-01-07Bibliographically approved

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