Factors influencing gendered intra-household allocation of land and capital assets in banana (Musa spp.) production: The case of Meru County, Kenya

Violet Nyabaro, John Mburu, Margaret Hutchinson


Unequal access to agricultural resources such as land, labour and capital has driven women to less rewarding roles along the banana value chain while allowing men to take up the (dominant) management roles. This study seeks to determine factors that influence gendered intra-household resource allocation in banana production in Meru County in Kenya. Currently, intra-household distribution of land and capital assets for banana production in the study area is skewed towards married men. A systematic random sampling technique was used to select 160 household respondents in March 2017. A fractional logit model was used to determine the effects of independent variables on the proportions of land and capital assets allocated jointly or to husbands or to wives. The value of livestock owned by the household emerged as one of the key factors that favoured joint allocation of land (p < 10%) while the variable age of the wife reduced the likelihood of a husband (p < 5%) being allocated land in banana production. The results also show that the key driver for wife allocation with both land and capital assets is education of wives (significant at p < 5% in both cases), a factor associated with the enhancement of the human capital of women, and thus their empowerment. For both land and capital assets, group membership reduced the likelihood of joint allocation (significant at p < 5% in both cases). Thus, investments in social capital may not address the problem of unequal intra-household distribution of productive agricultural resources. To increase equity in intra-household distribution of land and capital assets in banana production in the study area, policy interventions needed include diversification of banana production into livestock keeping, and investment in the formal education of girls.


Banana, capital assets, gender, land, intra-household allocation, Kenya, Meru County

Full Text:



  • There are currently no refbacks.