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Abstract

Seasonal migration of men is a global trend, with the women left on the family farms with the responsibility of managing their household and smallholder farm plots. This paper argues that the patriarchal process and government policies prevent women to maximize the productivity of the marginal plots of land they manage in the absence of their menfolk. It is the patriarchal nature of local social structures and agrarian services, such as extension and infrastructure such as water supply, which has led to the alienation of women farmers from mainstream agricultural services. The result is that they are not able to take full advantage of the productivity of their small plots of land and market any surplus. This paper concludes that there should be more targeted policies for women in agriculture.

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