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Title: The role of farming groups in improving the livelihoods of women smallholder farmers in Zanzibar
Authors: Othman, Mwanajuma Salim
Issue Date: 2020
Publisher: Newcastle University
Abstract: Agriculture continues to be an important sector for the economic development of many SubSaharan African countries. In the region, agriculture is dominated by poor smallholder subsistence farmers who face several challenges to improve their production. The majority of these farmers are women who contribute substantially to food production and for the general economy of their communities. These women face greater challenges in access to productive resources compared to men due to the existing gender gap. Collective action in agriculture is suggested to overcome challenges facing smallholder farmers, and many governments and supporting organizations in the region prefer to work with various forms of farming groups rather than individuals. The study aims to determine the role of farming groups in livelihood improvement of rural smallholder women farmers in Zanzibar, a part of the United Republic of Tanzania. Through the use of mixed methods whereas qualitative methods were the major, the study used the Social Relation Analysis approach to determine the role of supporting organizations to improve the abilities of women for better implementation of their group’s activities towards better livelihood outcomes. Qualitative data were collected in 2017, and quantitative data in 2018 for the ability to generalization. In-depth interviews were conducted to key informant and women farmers in four districts followed by a face to face questionnaire with women. Insights demonstrate that through groups, women have increased their knowledge and application of improved farming methods which contributes to their increased production and improved livelihood. Through collective action women have increased their access to agricultural resources, and have improved their social capital, hence women have experienced social and economic empowerment. However, groups have demonstrated different achievements due to the different abilities of members in a particular group. The study urges the supporting organization to provide special support in favour for women to improve their abilities for better achievement of their livelihood outcomes.
Description: Ph. D. Thesis.
Appears in Collections:School of Natural and Environmental Sciences

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