The impact of rice commercialisation on livelihoods in Kilombero Valley, Tanzania: anybody left behind?
Rice commercialisation is important in Kilombero valley because it is associated with agricultural intensification and escalation leading to increased productivity and subsequent income and livelihood improvement. However, the level of household engagement in rice commercialisation is highly dynamic depending on various factors including resource endowment, social, economic, cultural, institutional, and gender issues. Moreover, the mechanism by which different gender social groups are impacted by rice commercialisation is scantly documented. This paper, therefore, examined the impact of rice commercialisation on the livelihood of different farmers with respect to gender social groups. The empirical exercise uses a panel data set of the Agricultural Policy Research in Africa (APRA) collected in 2017 and 2019. The survey involved 537 and 801 rice farming households in the first and second wave of data collection. A mixed-methods approach involving household interviews, focused group discussion and key informant interviews (KIIs) of data collection were used. Descriptive and inferential statistical analysis were employed as tangible ways of presenting the findings. Quantitative and qualitative data were collected using a structured questionnaire, and Focus Group Discussions (FGDs). Descriptive and inferential statistical analyses were employed in the presentation of the finding. Female, youth, and small-scale farmers are the gender social groups negatively impacted with rice commercialisation compared to others, attributed by inadequate access to land and to improve agricultural inputs; reflecting that the gender gap remains a challenge in Kilombero valley. There is a need to develop friendly policy strategies that will provide equitable access to production resources and that the Ministry of Agriculture in collaboration with local government authority need to develop a new strategy that will guarantee cumulative and sound rice commercialisation improvement.
FACULTY OF AGRICULTURE SOKOINE UNIVERSITY OF AGRICULTURE, MOROGORO, TANZANIA