Intra-household decision-making among smallholder agroforestry farmers in the eastern highlands of Uganda

Fred Kalanzi, Prossy Isubikalu, Florence B. Kyazze, Lawrence J. B. Orikiriza, Isaac Kiyingi, Habtemariam Assefa

Abstract


This paper examines the intra-household decision-making patterns among spouses regarding agroforestry decisions in the eastern highlands of Uganda. The study uses both quantitative and qualitative data to examine spousal differences in the allocation of decision-making power over eight agroforestry decisions in dual-headed households. Quantitative data were collected through a cross-sectional survey in which both husbands and wives were interviewed separately and used to determine the decision-making power of spouses as well as the influence of individual and household characteristics on decision-making. Qualitative data from focus group discussions were collected to validate the quantitative findings. The study found that there were agreements and disagreements among spouses on how decision-making power is exercised over a range of agroforestry decisions. Wives allocated themselves more decision-making power than was assigned to them by their husbands. The higher allocation of decision-making power for wives tended to be in decisions linked to their roles and responsibilities in the household. The most critical factor influencing accord in decision-making was the number of years spent together by the couple while the number of children shared between the couple and farm-labour difference between husband and wife was the most significant for discord. Findings imply that most agroforestry interventions where wives participate without their spouses are bound to fail in dual-headed households because they wives limited decision-making power. It's desirable for programmes promoting agroforestry to integrate both husbands and wives in their interventions, for agroforestry to be more meaningful in meeting their divergent interests. 

This paper examines the intra-household decision-making patterns among spouses regarding agroforestry decisions in the eastern highlands of Uganda. The study uses both quantitative and qualitative data to examine spousal differences in the allocation of decision-making power over eight agroforestry decisions in dual-headed households. Quantitative data were collected through a cross-sectional survey in which both husbands and wives were interviewed separately and used to determine the decision-making power of spouses as well as the influence of individual and household characteristics on decision-making. Qualitative data from focus group discussions were collected to validate the quantitative findings. The study found that there were agreements and disagreements among spouses on how decision-making power is exercised over a range of agroforestry decisions. Wives allocated themselves more decision-making power than was assigned to them by their husbands. The higher allocation of decision-making power for wives tended to be in decisions linked to their roles and responsibilities in the household. The most critical factor influencing accord in decision-making was the number of years spent together by the couple while the number of children shared between the couple and farm-labour difference between husband and wife was the most significant for discord. Findings imply that most agroforestry interventions where wives participate without their spouses are bound to fail in dual-headed households because they wives limited decision-making power. It's desirable for programmes promoting agroforestry to integrate both husbands and wives in their interventions, for agroforestry to be more meaningful in meeting their divergent interests.


Keywords


Decision-making; dual-headed households;spouses; agroforestry technology; decision accord

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DOI: 10.33687/ijae.008.02.3251

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