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Investigating the socio-economic impacts of climate-induced drought risks on resettled women farmers in Mashonaland Central Province, Zimbabwe
Moddie Nyahwo 1 , Bernard Moeketsi Hlalele * 2 , Alice Ncube 1
1  Disaster Management Training and Education Centre for Africa (DiMTEC) Faculty of Natural and Agricultural sciences University of the Free State, Bloemfontein, South Africa
2  Central University of Technology, Free State


Climate change induced drought has affected the lives of many farmers across the world especially in sub-Saharan Africa where many Farmers rely on rain-fed agriculture. . The aim of this study is to investigate the social and economic impacts of drought on the resettled women farmers, in Zimbabwe, a country that has been devastated by recurrent drought exacerbated by climate change. The women farmers, like their male counterparts were resettled in various settlement schemes, in the post independent Zimbabwe. The resettlement programmes were conducted to address the socio-economic imbalances between the white farmers and the majority black subsistence population. Both male and female were given the opportunity to acquire land; however, for the purpose of this study focus is given to women because of gender inequalities and the historical background of the patriarchal society in Zimbabwe and Africa in general. Women were not allowed to own land, therefore the post-independence resettled women farmers were selected based on their higher levels of vulnerability to climate change-induced drought. The exact numbers of resettled women was not easily available from the provincial department of agriculture, however using the specific their demographic characteristics such as similar type of crops grown, livestock reared and the hectares of their farms including the issue that their agricultural activities are in the same natural farming zone a sample of 267 participants was used. Convergence parallel mixed method design was applied in the study. A multi-sampling technique was used, for purposively selecting three out of seven districts in Mashonaland Central province, namely Bindura, Shamva and Muzarabani. This was followed by stratified random sampling and a simple random sampling which was used for the selection of interview participants. Qualitative data was analysed by extracting themes and quantitative data was analysed using the exploration of demographics using PIVOT tables (MS excel), reliability test analysis (using SPSS V25 IBM) and descriptive statistics per latent variable. The results showed that the nutrition of the women farmers and their families was diminished, some of the children drop out of school because the women farmers were not able to pay school fees. The women farmers were not able to buy inputs for the next farming seasons and were not able to pay back loans. The study recommended that the government and other organisations should offer financial assistance, conduct more drought awareness campaigns, and encourage women farmers to have alternatives sources of livelihood.

Keywords: climate-induced drought, risk, hazard, women farmers, Mashonaland