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University of South Africa (2014)

Contribution of indigenous knowledge use on the livelihood of rural women in the Lowveld region of Swaziland : a case study of handicrafts

Ndlangamandla, Mhambi Moses

Titre : Contribution of indigenous knowledge use on the livelihood of rural women in the Lowveld region of Swaziland : a case study of handicrafts

Auteur : Ndlangamandla, Mhambi Moses

Université de soutenance : University of South Africa

Grade : MASTER OF HUMAN ECOLOGY (2014)

Résumé
Poverty alleviation is a key item on the agenda of both government and non-governmental organisations. The use of indigenous knowledge to embark on small and medium size enterprises (SMEs) such as handicraft making has shown that it has a potential to yield the desired outcome in many areas. The research addressed the question : to what degree are handicrafts made in the Lowveld region of Swaziland and to what extent do these handicrafts contribute towards the livelihood of rural households ? The data was collected using questionnaires and observations. Findings revealed that the production of handicrafts is the second most important livelihood activity for most respondents. Even though the income received from these activities is small, its significance lies in the timing at which it is received ; and on its role in supporting existing livelihood activities. Sustainability of the business is, however, threatened by inaccessibility of resources, lack of organisation and trading challenges There is a need to promote the cultivation of natural resources, continuous training workshops and for women to form cooperatives or groups. Further research is needed that would focus on the following areas : a comparative study done in urban areas which shall also investigate the impact of handicraft on urban poor households ; a study which will focus on handicraft marketing and consumption and lastly on the youth and handicraft.

Mots clés : handicrafts, natural plant resources, crafts, rural economy, poverty alleviation

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