A study of rural women farmers' access to markets in Chirumanzu

Kapungu, Sheila T. (2013-03)

Thesis (MPhil)--Stellenbosch University, 2013.

Thesis

ENGLISH ABSTRACT: This thesis investigated the issues that rural smallholder women face in accessing markets in developing countries. Market access for rural smallholder farmers is increasingly being promoted as a means towards catalysing sustainable rural development. However, without addressing the gender specific issues that rural smallholder women farmers face in accessing markets, market access as a strategy towards sustainable rural development may fail to achieve its ends. This thesis gathered evidence from a group of smallholder women farmers in Chirumanzu, Zimbabwe, who are part of a market access project run by Oxfam, in order to highlight the issues that they face in accessing markets for their produce. Primary and secondary data were used in the study. First, a literature review was conducted to assess the issues that smallholder rural women farmers in developing countries face in accessing markets and how the issues differ to those faced by male smallholder farmers. A thematic assessment of the issues was conducted, beginning with the production for market through to the actual market engagement. Secondly, primary data was collected in Chirumanzu, from rural smallholder women farmers who are participating in a market access project being facilitated by Oxfam. Data was collected through focus group discussions, key informant interviews and document review. Five focus group discussions were held with a total of 40 participants in August 2011. Some of the key findings were that rural smallholder women farmers face challenges in terms of meeting the labour demanded for market production, accessing market information and having to contend with high transport costs. The data was then compared with the points raised in the literature review. The comparison showed that most of the key issues raised in the Chirumanzu case study were similar to those identified in the literature review. The study came to the conclusion that rural smallholder women farmers face different issues and more challenges in accessing markets compared to male farmers. Market access initiatives that do not recognise and address the gender specific challenges that women smallholder farmers face may therefore not be catalysts for sustainable rural development. Therefore recommendations are that market access initiatives should go beyond facilitating access to markets to address the structural social, economic and cultural issues that present special challenges and constraints to women smallholder farmers.

AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING: Hierdie tesis het ondersoek ingestel na die kwessies waarvoor landelike vrouekleinboere in ontwikkelende lande te staan kom om toegang tot markte te verkry. Marktoegang vir landelike kleinboere word toenemend aangemoedig as ’n manier om volhoubare landelike ontwikkeling teweeg te bring. Indien die geslagspesifieke kwessies van marktoegang waarmee landelike vrouekleinboere te kampe het egter nié hanteer word nie, kan marktoegang as strategie vir volhoubare landelike ontwikkeling in gebreke bly om sy doel te bereik. Hierdie tesis het bewyse ingesamel van ’n groep vrouekleinboere in Chirumanzu, Zimbabwe, wat deel is van ’n marktoegangsprojek deur Oxfam, ten einde die soeklig te werp op die uitdagings wat hulle ervaar om marktoegang vir hul produkte te bekom. Die studie het van primêre sowel as sekondêre data gebruik gemaak. Eerstens is ’n literatuuroorsig onderneem om te verken watter probleme landelike vrouekleinboere in ontwikkelende lande ondervind om marktoegang te verkry, en hoe dit verskil van die uitdagings waarvoor hul manlike eweknieë te staan kom. Die kwessies is tematies beoordeel en het gestrek van markgerigte produksie tot en met werklike markskakeling. Tweedens is primêre data ingesamel onder landelike vrouekleinboere in Chirumanzu wat aan ’n marktoegangsprojek deur Oxfam deelneem. Data is deur middel van fokusgroepbesprekings, onderhoude met sleutelinformante sowel as ’n dokumentoorsig bekom. Vyf fokusgroepbesprekings is in Augustus 2011 met altesaam 40 deelnemers gehou. Van die belangrikste bevindinge was dat landelike vrouekleinboere bepaald uitdagings ervaar wat betref die vereiste arbeid vir markgerigte produksie, toegang tot markinligting sowel as hoë vervoerkoste. Daarná is die data met die hoofpunte uit die literatuuroorsig vergelyk. Die vergelyking toon dat die meeste van die kernbevindinge in die Chirumanzu-gevallestudie met die bevindinge in die literatuuroorsig ooreenstem. Die studie kom tot die gevolgtrekking dat landelike vrouekleinboere voor andersoortige kwessies en meer uitdagings as hul manlike eweknieë te staan kom ten einde marktoegang te verkry. Marktoegangsinisiatiewe wat nié hierdie geslagspesifieke uitdagings van vrouekleinboere erken en hanteer nie, kan dus in gebreke bly om waarlik volhoubare landelike ontwikkeling teweeg te bring. Daarom beveel die studie aan dat marktoegangsinisiatiewe oor méér as die blote fasilitering van marktoegang handel, en ook aandag skenk aan die strukturele maatskaplike, ekonomiese en kulturele kwessies wat besondere uitdagings en beperkings vir vrouekleinboere inhou

Please refer to this item in SUNScholar by using the following persistent URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10019.1/80238
This item appears in the following collections: