The Contribution of Business Management Trainings on Women Smallholder Farmers’ Entrepreneurial Spirit in Siteki Area of Eswatini

Douglas Kibirige, Ajay S. Singh, Sotja G. Dlamini, Sebenele Mavuso

Abstract


Women make essential contributions to the agricultural and rural economies in most developing countries including Eswatini yet they are the most visible face of poverty. As a strategy of empowering women to up-lift them from abject poverty, “Luhlelo Lolunotsisa Temabhizinisi” (LULOTE) has developed business management training programs for rural women smallholder farmers to enhance their entrepreneurship spirit and skills. The LULOTE in English can be interpreted as a program that helps businesses to advance/prosper. It is a Non-Governmental Organization was established in 1986 in Eswatini to promote entrepreneurial culture and inspire entrepreneurs. This paper ought to find out the contributions of business management trainings on the level of entrepreneurial spirit and skills of women smallholder farmers as its main objective. Data was collected through the use of questionnaires and personal interviews with a sample size of 120 farmers. Descriptive statistics and the Ordinary Least Square (OLS) multiple regression models were used as methods of analysis. The results of this study indicate that most farmers interviewed were aged above 49 years, married (40%), and primary school dropout (mean of 6 years in school), spent an average of 10 years in farming and at least 50% on average indicated that farming was their main occupation. Results further revealed that the trained women by LULOTE had a higher entrepreneurial spirit than the non-trained women scoring an average index of 3.45 and 2.77, respectively. The LULOTE trained women also were rated higher with a 3.50 score compared to the non-trained rated at 3.01 scores. The determinants of level of entrepreneurial spirit among sampled women included age of respondent, level of education, farming as major occupation, and incomes from remittances. Determinants of level of entrepreneurial skills among sampled women included, farming income, off-farm income and previous job of the respondent. Based on the independent T-test results, there was a significant difference in the statements mean scores related to the level of farmers’ entrepreneurial spirit & Skills between LULOTE members and non-LULOTE members at 1% and 5% level. Therefore, the research concludes that LULOTE trainings greatly contributed to improving the entrepreneurial spirit and skills of the women. Since there is an observable positive result of training women, all stakeholders including government, private sector, Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs), among others should increase on the training programs for all farming age groups including the youth.


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DOI: https://doi.org/10.5296/jas.v8i2.16120

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Journal of Agricultural Studies   ISSN 2166-0379

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