This study assessed the socio-cultural dimensions of harvesting jackfruit in Busia County of Kenya. Data were collected using quantitative and quantitative methods with farmers (i.e., structured interviews, key informant interviews and field observations). Jackfruit is mainly harvested by men. However, elderly males are not allowed to harvest fruits because they are accorded high status in the community. In some it is considered a cultural taboo. They are also said to be unable to differentiate mature and non-mature fruits. It is also felt that they cannot climb the jackfruit tree to harvest. They are also discouraged from climbing trees to avoid accidents. Women are not allowed to harvest jackfruit. It is a cultural taboo for women to climb trees. Women are also thought to be unable to tolerate the weight of the jackfruit during harvesting. However, even though culture prohibits women (from climbing trees, they can harvest low-hanging fruits within their reach from the ground. It was believed that if the women climb the jackfruit trees to harvest the fruits, the remaining fruits will rot, and the tree will stop fruiting. The study also found out that the fruit is neglected and not regarded as having economic value. The study highlights the importance of understanding and adapting to local practices and socio-cultural aspects within the design of strategies to commercialise the fruit.
Date of publication:
RUFORUM Working document series
Agris Subject Categories: