Factors Affecting Performance of Women in Small Scale Agribusiness: a Case of Lilongwe, Malawi
Mkumbwa, Rhoda B
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Small scale agribusinesses are key driving factors for achieving economic growth in Malawi, as they contribute to both household income generation and job creation. The studies indicate that over 75 percent of small scale businesses were owned and operated by women. The main objective of the study is to explore factors affecting performance of women in small scale agribusiness in Malawi. The study was informed by the following objectives; first, to establish factors that affect progress of women’s small scale agribusiness in Lilongwe, second, to examine whether women in small scale business get support from governmental institutions, third, to assess knowledge and skills women have in small scale agribusiness. This study adopted two feminist theories, the Marxist feminist theory and Stiwanism, an African feminist theory to survey the injustices faced by women in agribusiness and to create opportunities for equality in the society. The literature review shows that a lot of studies on this topic used either qualitative or quantitative methods of study, this study adopts mixed method and Afrocentric theoretical model framework and storytelling as an African paradigm to collect and analyze data and provided an interpretation to the challenges. Results of the study revealed that the main challenges encountered by women in agribusiness include lack of collateral, lack of self-esteem and confidence in seeking information on credit facilities, illiteracy, dependency burden, and lack of access over productive resources. These challenges inhibit their viability for survival and growth of women’s small scale agribusiness enterprises. The conclusion is that despite several interventions by Government of Malawi and other stakeholders to empower women through various strategies, the same old challenges still exist. Women in agribusinesses are not enlightened on government programmes available to support them and they lack support from financial institutions. The researcher recommends that the Government of Malawi creates awareness of all the programmes that are available to support women in small scale agribusinesses. The Government of Malawi should also integrate life and skills building in all programmes that support women so they can be self-confident and proactive in seeking information about business opportunities and credit facilities on offer by lending institutions. Finally, the local government authorities should enhance regulation of market institutions responsible for space allocation and conduct at marketplaces. Further research can be conducted on the role of government in the promotion of women in small scale agribusiness: access to financial resources.
University of Nairobi
RightsAttribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 United States
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