Nile perch market liberalization and chronic poverty: drivers and maintainers of chronic poverty among fishing community in Suba district
Owuor, John O
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This study is about Nile perch market liberalization and chronic poverty among fishing community in Suba District. It identifies the socio economic characteristic of chronically poor households among Nile perch fisher folks. It also investigates how Nile perch markets liberalization have caused and sustained chronic poverty among Nile perch fisher folks' households. The study has made use of the adverse incorporation and social exclusion, institutional framework and structures of competition as conceptual frameworks to analyze its findings. The study had two stages of data collection; The first stage was data collection through participatory chronic assessment seminars, whereby, the participants were selected from sampled beaches. Second stage of data collection was by administering structured questionnaires to chronically poor households identified by the participants from chronic poverty assessments seminars based on locally perceived attributes of chronic poverty. Statistical Programme for Social Science was employed to analyze the quantitative data while content analysis was used to analyze qualitative data. The study finding reveals that chronically poor are not homogeneous groups among fishers. They consist of female-headed. households, uneducated headed households, windows, and people with disabilities among others. The study also reveals that Nile perch market liberalization occasioned changes in the traditional Nile perch trade. Those who were not able to adapt to the dynamics of external trade were marginalized and relegated into chronic poverty. The following were mentioned as drivers to chronic poverty: low volume of fish catch, expensive fishing gears, over fishing, lack of loaning institutions, over dependence on fishing, government fishing policy, direct Nile perch marketing, and mismanagement of fishing co-operative societies, theft of fishing gears, death of breadwinners, poor road networks and lack of external market information. The maintainers of chronic poverty include: low volume of fish catch, lack of saving culture and institutions, poor financial planning, lack of loaning institutions, monopoly of fishing, and modernization of fishing methods, government policy, and high price of fishing gears, direct trade, illness and middlemen exploitation. In line with study findings, the study makes recommendations to address the issues of chronic poverty among fisher folks' communities. Addressing chronic poverty is complex and complicated hence requiring multiple responses and partnership approach. These responses should address literacy levels, gender inequality, attitude change, specific scheme of social protection and diversification of sources of livelihood and incomes.
CitationA Project Paper Submitted in Partial Fulfillment of the Award for the Masters of Arts Degree in Development Studies