Diversities and Disparities among Female-Headed Households in Rural Malawi
Using data obtained from a survey carried out in six villages in various parts of rural Malawi, this paper examines some of the main characteristics of female-headed households. In the study villages, most female-headed households are in a disadvantageous position relative to their male counterparts in terms of labour endowment, farm size, and agricultural productivity. The high cost of inputs, especially of fertilizer, prevents resource-poor female-headed households from improving maize self-sufficiency through increased productivity and from engaging in high-return agriculture such as tobacco production. The paper also shows that there are marked disparities within the category of female-headed households. Factors that enable some female-headed households to achieve high income include the availability of high-return nonfarm income opportunities, use of social networks to obtain labour and income opportunities, land acquisition through flexible applications of inheritance rules, and the existence of informal tobacco marketing. Livelihood diversification is adopted by both male- and female-headed households, but many of the female-headed households engage in low-return and low-entry-barrier activities such as agricultural wage labour. On the other hand, the high off-farm income in the wealthier female-headed households enables them to purchase fertilizer for own-farm production, contributing to an improvement in productivity and resultant increases in their total income.
|Date of creation:||Oct 2007|
|Date of revision:|
|Publication status:||Published in IDE Discussion Paper. No. 124. 2007.10|
|Contact details of provider:|| Postal: |
Web page: http://www.ide.go.jp/
More information through EDIRC
|Order Information:|| Postal: Publication Office, IDE 3-2-2 Wakaba, Mihama-ku, Chiba-shi, Chiba 261-8545 JAPAN|
Web: http://www.ide.go.jp/English/Publish/Order Email:
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:jet:dpaper:dpaper124. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Marie Kobayashi)
If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.
If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.
If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.
Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.