A total of 8,699 female and 12,928 male farmers visited plant clinics in Kenya between 2012 and 2016. The lower clinic attendance by women farmers indicates they may lack information on plant health problems. This study aimed to understand the environment plant clinics operate in, identify the reasons for low clinic attendance by women, and possible strategies to reach more female farmers. Stratified random sampling was used to select 118 female and 119 male plant clinic users and, 138 male and 156 female farmers who had not used plant clinics. The study established there were significant differences (p<0.01) in use of different plant health information sources depending on region, gender and whether a farmer was a clinic user or not. Lack of awareness about plant clinics, services offered and who was supposed to attend were the main reasons for failure to attend plant clinics. Thus more awareness creation should be done. Limited access to plant clinics was reported by some farmers, suggesting that more plant clinics are needed. There were significant differences (p<0.05) in regional and gender access to plant clinics, highlighting the need for stratified plant health information dissemination methods. To extend the reach of plant clinics, training of plant nurses/lead farmers who are easily accessible to all farmers is warranted.
Keywords: Clinic attendance, Gender, Plant clinic, Plant doctor, Plant health advice