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North-West University (2020)

Financial inclusion and poverty reduction : evidence from small scale agricultural sector in Manicaland Province of Zimbabwe

Mhlanga, David

Titre : Financial inclusion and poverty reduction : evidence from small scale agricultural sector in Manicaland Province of Zimbabwe

Auteur : Mhlanga, David

Université de soutenance : North-West University

Grade : Doctor of Philosophy in Economics 2020

Résumé partiel
The study investigated the impact of financial inclusion on poverty reduction in Manicaland province of Zimbabwe among smallholder farmers, using household data collected through a structured household questionnaire. Further investigation was done on households that were not in farming, to compare the results. Zimbabwe is divided into ten provinces with different demographics and agricultural opportunities. The study, therefore, took Manicaland Province as a case study because of the level of farming activities in the area. The study emanated from the premise of the increasing link between financial inclusion and poverty reduction. Since many households in Zimbabwe managed to get land from the land reform programme, there was, therefore, an interest to investigate if access to finance by the newly resettled farmers can transform to prosperity and poverty reduction. The objectives of the study were two-tiered : the theoretical and empirical. The theoretical objectives were to review literature on theories of poverty and their applicability to developing countries, review measures of poverty and their applicability to the context of developing countries, specifically Zimbabwe, review literature on the measures of financial inclusion, review and analyse a theoretical framework on the determinants of financial inclusion and, finally, highlight the theoretical argument on the relationship between financial inclusion and poverty. The empirical objectives were to : profile poverty and financial inclusion among the smallholder farmers in the sampled area and develop an index to measure financial inclusion, determine the determinants of financial inclusion among smallholder farmers in Zimbabwe as well as to analyse the impact of financial inclusion on poverty in Zimbabwe among smallholder farmers and, finally, make recommendations as to how financial inclusion can be used to deal with poverty in Zimbabwe. The study employed a combination of econometric models to fulfil the objectives of the study. To get the determinants of financial inclusion, the study used the logistic regression, the multinomial logistic regression and multiple regression analysis. This study used different models so that comparisons can be made between results generated from the different models. Since the overarching aim of the study was to investigate the impact of financial inclusion on poverty reduction, the first step taken was to assess the profile of poverty and financial inclusion using the data collected. The data on financial inclusion showed that financial inclusion was low in the province. This was shown by the percentage of households who borrowed, those who saved and those with insurance, for instance, more than 70 percent of household heads indicated that they did not save with formal financial institutions. On the profile of poverty, the study used the various welfare indicators and two measures of poverty, the absolute poverty line and the income plus asset index, to assess the profile of poverty in the province. The two measures of poverty showed that poverty is generally high in the province, especially among the smallholder farmers compared to those who were not in farming.

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