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Title: Effects of the Rural Enterprise Programme on women’s livelihood sustainability and poverty reduction: case study of selected communities in the Ejisu-Juaben Municipality
Authors: Adjei, Joyce Osei
Issue Date: 18-Oct-2016
Abstract: Poverty has become a major rural development problem across the globe with its incidence and severity being high amongst women than men. For over several decades, agriculture has been the main economic activity and poverty reduction strategy for significant number of rural households. However, in the case of Ghana, evidence from the Ghana Statistical Services (GSS) establishes that food crop farmers, mostly rural inhabitants constitute the occupational group with the highest incidence of poverty. Thus, the effects of agriculture on rural poverty reduction and livelihood security have been insignificant partly due to low productivity. Also due to the significant impacts of climate change and land grabbing on rural agricultural productivity in recent times, research has shown that, focusing on agriculture alone cannot engender substantial rural poverty reduction. Thus, rural livelihood and income diversification through the non-farm sector have become paramount for poverty reduction. In 1995, the government of Ghana introduced the Rural Enterprise Project (REP) with support from the International Fund for Agricultural Development and the African Development Bank. The main objective of the REP is to diversify rural livelihoods through the non-farm sector to support household incomes and rural poverty reduction particularly amongst women. In 2012, the REP entered its third phase and it is now Rural Enterprise Programme (REP). Having run for some time, it is necessary to verify through empirical studies whether the REP’s assumed livelihood diversification and poverty reduction intentions are being achieved on the field. Using both qualitative and quantitative approaches and a sample of 125 respondents, this study investigated the perceptions and manifestations of poverty amongst rural women with emphasis on how the Rural Enterprise Programme is affecting the livelihood assets, strategies and the general socio-economic well-being of beneficiary women with focus on selected communities in the Ejisu-Juaben Municipality. This research focused on the Ejisu-Juaben Municipality because it is one of the few Municipalities enrolled into the REP phase III due to the low living standards of its rural inhabitants. This therefore makes the Municipality the ideal location to monitor the acceptability and emerging effects of the REP on livelihood diversification and poverty reduction. Again, the Municipality itself is gradually getting urbanized and also closer to the Kumasi Metropolis which is largely urban with a lot of small, medium and large scale enterprises already. This necessitates an enquiry into how the REP beneficiary rural entrepreneurs compete and sustain their small scale enterprises within such volatile socio-economic context. The results from the respondents’ perceptions and manifestations of poverty support the view that, poverty is a multidimensional concept with economic, social and political perspectives. Significantly too, with evidence from the beneficiary respondents, this study confirms the viability of the REP intervention in terms of its potentials for socio-economic livelihood diversification and poverty reduction in the rural communities chosen for the study. However, some implementation and institutional challenges affecting the extensive participation of the rural inhabitants were identified based on which some recommendations have been made for improving the impact of the REP on rural livelihood diversification and poverty reduction.
Description: A thesis submitted to the Department of Agricultural Economics, Agribusiness and Extension, College of Agriculture and Natural Resources in partial fulfilment of the requirement for the award of the degree Master of Philosophy in Sustainable and Integrated Rural Development, 2016
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/123456789/9294
Appears in Collections:College of Agric and Natural Resources

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