國立屏東科技大學熱帶農業暨國際合作系    Department of Tropical Agriculture and International Cooperation        National Pingtung University...
摘要學號: M9922019論文題目: 透過比較分析以賦權馬拉威婦女農民之研究總頁數:學校名稱: 國立屏東科技大學系 (所) 別: 熱帶農業暨國際合作研究所畢業時間及摘要別: 碩士研究生姓名:                  指導教授: 鍾惠...
它也可以建議有需要利益相關者之間的合作,賦予婦女權力的農民,使他們能夠在農業部門的競爭力,成為與適當的干預措施來。關鍵詞:馬拉維婦女農民,增強能力,提高競爭力,SWOT 分析,波特的鑽石模型,層次分析法(AHP )               ...
English AbstractStudent ID: M9922019Title of thesis: A Study of Women Farmers’ Empowerment in Malawi                 throu...
preference data from experts who are familiar with issues concerning womenfarmers. A total of 45 respondents comprising of...
workers and 30 women farmers was selected for this study. The participantsperceived that demand conditions, government rol...
Dedication        I dedicate this paper to family, my dad B.S. Msofi; my mum Esnart    Cecilia Msofi; my siblings Peter, D...
Acknowledgements      First, I would like to thank God for giving me courage, wisdom andpatience to make this possible. I ...
Table of Contents摘要..........................................................................................................
4.1.Characteristics of Survey Respondents....................................................................................
List of FiguresFigure 3.2. Modified Diamond Model, Adapted from Porter (1990)................................................
List of TablesTable 3.1. SWOT Matrix for Malawian Women Farmers..............................................................
List of AcronymsAHP     –   Analytic Hierarchy ProcessAIDS    –   Acquired Immune Deficiency SyndromeASTI    –   Agricultu...
MGDS    –   Malawi Growth and Development StrategyMoAFS   –   Ministry of Agriculture and Food Security                   ...
NGO      –   Non-Governmental OrganisationNSO      –   National Statistical OfficeOECD     –   Organisation for Economic C...
1. Introduction      This chapter gives an overview of the study on women farmers’empowerment in Malawian agriculture sect...
means that women are thus particularly affected by any constraints toproductivity arising in this sector. The majority of ...
smallholder agriculture sector, which is characterized by low incomes due tolow productivity and unfavorable input/output ...
Despite the general situation about women’s involvement insubsistence agriculture, they are also actively involved in the ...
often do not control the credit they obtain (World Bank, 1991; Burgess, 1991and Hirschmann and Vaughan, 1984). Finally, wo...
Goals (MDG) of the United Nations, there is a provision to address genderissues.      Similarly, along with the gender app...
analyses on women farmers in Malawi. Therefore, the aim of this study is toconduct competitive analyses on Malawian women ...
8
2. Literature Review      This chapter aims to review literature on women empowerment andcompetitiveness. Emphasis is put ...
In her analysis of gender planning, Moser (1993) identified fivedifferent approaches to policymaking vis-à-vis women. Thes...
“The gender and development trend analyze the nature of women’scontribution inside and outside the household. It sees wome...
did not refer to women, but the international development strategy for thesecond decade (1970s) encouraged “the full integ...
opportunities. Educational opportunities and empowerment of women gohand in hand, education contributes to the empowerment...
extension organizations covering 97 countries with sex-disaggregated data,only 5 percent of all extension resources were d...
percent males and 4 percent females respectively (Saito, Mekonnen andSpurling, 1994).2.2. Competitiveness      It is impor...
transformed (Tapscott, 2001), thus demanding new fundamental principles onthe scientific research of the term.      In aca...
(Gorton et al., 2001) investigated how competitive Polish agriculture wasbetween 1996 and 1998.      Ahearn, Culver, and S...
Alvarano, Morina and Bol (2008) conducted another research toinvestigate the communities that border the Parismina River o...
Export Market Size (EMS) revealed that during 2000-03, Italy had the highestexport share of the sector followed by Germany...
questions of measuring competitiveness using various indicators andidentifying sources of competitive advantage or so-call...
share reflect changing competitiveness across countries. Market share can bedefined as:      MS ia = XS ia / XS aw        ...
equations measure the competitiveness and the export/import performancethrough post-trade data, which allows distinguishin...
RMA = (Mij/Mit) / (Mnj/Mnt)                                     (4)Where (m) represents imports       RTA = RXA – RMA     ...
When it comes to the concept of competitiveness or competitiveadvantage, existing work must be introduced from the basis o...
competitive advantage over competing firms (Barney, 1991; Wernerfelt,1984).       SWOT analysis is a planning tool that ai...
competitiveness by identifying the strengths and weaknesses of the Brazilianagri-systems to take advantage of possible opp...
analysis. Tavana (2004) has pointed out that AHP is preferred to multipleregressions for qualitative criteria because thes...
28
3. Methodology       The primary purpose of this study was to analyse women farmers’empowerment in Malawi through competit...
Figure 3.1. Research Framework for Determining the Competitiveness of           Malawian Women Farmers.                   ...
3.1.1. The SWOT Analysis Application        A SWOT analysis was done to come up with strengths, weaknesses,opportunities a...
were given the same access to resources (such as finance), women’s       agricultural yields could increase by 20 to 30 pe...
holding. Small land holding sizes is common in Malawi especially        among women (FAO, 2010).3.   Poor access to market...
childbearing also lead to intermittency in employment, which makes them     risky clients for banks.6.   Less access to ag...
Opportunities  1.   Existing government support - the government of Malawi makes an       effort to support women farmers ...
the marginalized, the country embarked on sensitization campaigns     which have opened up people’s minds to ably challeng...
children regardless of sex has equal opportunity of inheriting property.       The only challenge is to sensitize communit...
4.   Human     Immuno-deficiency     Virus/Acquired        Immune       Deficiency        Syndrome (HIV/AIDS) pandemic is ...
environmental threats (Weihrich, 1982). Table 3.2 shows strategiesformulated for Malawian women farmers.                  ...
Table 3.1. SWOT Matrix for Malawian Women Farmers             Internal factors (controllable)      External factors       ...
over production resourcesTable 3.2. Strategies Formulated for Malawian Women Farmers                  Strengths (S)       ...
Although the variables function independently, an advantage variable in oneelement can provide, or improve, the advantage ...
preferences in demanding safe products and services. The stricter the  consumers are in their preference towards safe food...
A study of women farmers' empowerment in malawi through competitive analyses
A study of women farmers' empowerment in malawi through competitive analyses
A study of women farmers' empowerment in malawi through competitive analyses
A study of women farmers' empowerment in malawi through competitive analyses
A study of women farmers' empowerment in malawi through competitive analyses
A study of women farmers' empowerment in malawi through competitive analyses
A study of women farmers' empowerment in malawi through competitive analyses
A study of women farmers' empowerment in malawi through competitive analyses
A study of women farmers' empowerment in malawi through competitive analyses
A study of women farmers' empowerment in malawi through competitive analyses
A study of women farmers' empowerment in malawi through competitive analyses
A study of women farmers' empowerment in malawi through competitive analyses
A study of women farmers' empowerment in malawi through competitive analyses
A study of women farmers' empowerment in malawi through competitive analyses
A study of women farmers' empowerment in malawi through competitive analyses
A study of women farmers' empowerment in malawi through competitive analyses
A study of women farmers' empowerment in malawi through competitive analyses
A study of women farmers' empowerment in malawi through competitive analyses
A study of women farmers' empowerment in malawi through competitive analyses
A study of women farmers' empowerment in malawi through competitive analyses
A study of women farmers' empowerment in malawi through competitive analyses
A study of women farmers' empowerment in malawi through competitive analyses
A study of women farmers' empowerment in malawi through competitive analyses
A study of women farmers' empowerment in malawi through competitive analyses
A study of women farmers' empowerment in malawi through competitive analyses
A study of women farmers' empowerment in malawi through competitive analyses
A study of women farmers' empowerment in malawi through competitive analyses
A study of women farmers' empowerment in malawi through competitive analyses
A study of women farmers' empowerment in malawi through competitive analyses
A study of women farmers' empowerment in malawi through competitive analyses
A study of women farmers' empowerment in malawi through competitive analyses
A study of women farmers' empowerment in malawi through competitive analyses
A study of women farmers' empowerment in malawi through competitive analyses
A study of women farmers' empowerment in malawi through competitive analyses
A study of women farmers' empowerment in malawi through competitive analyses
A study of women farmers' empowerment in malawi through competitive analyses
A study of women farmers' empowerment in malawi through competitive analyses
A study of women farmers' empowerment in malawi through competitive analyses
A study of women farmers' empowerment in malawi through competitive analyses
A study of women farmers' empowerment in malawi through competitive analyses
A study of women farmers' empowerment in malawi through competitive analyses
A study of women farmers' empowerment in malawi through competitive analyses
A study of women farmers' empowerment in malawi through competitive analyses
A study of women farmers' empowerment in malawi through competitive analyses
A study of women farmers' empowerment in malawi through competitive analyses
A study of women farmers' empowerment in malawi through competitive analyses
A study of women farmers' empowerment in malawi through competitive analyses
A study of women farmers' empowerment in malawi through competitive analyses
A study of women farmers' empowerment in malawi through competitive analyses
A study of women farmers' empowerment in malawi through competitive analyses
A study of women farmers' empowerment in malawi through competitive analyses
A study of women farmers' empowerment in malawi through competitive analyses
A study of women farmers' empowerment in malawi through competitive analyses
A study of women farmers' empowerment in malawi through competitive analyses
A study of women farmers' empowerment in malawi through competitive analyses
A study of women farmers' empowerment in malawi through competitive analyses
A study of women farmers' empowerment in malawi through competitive analyses
A study of women farmers' empowerment in malawi through competitive analyses
A study of women farmers' empowerment in malawi through competitive analyses
A study of women farmers' empowerment in malawi through competitive analyses
A study of women farmers' empowerment in malawi through competitive analyses
A study of women farmers' empowerment in malawi through competitive analyses
A study of women farmers' empowerment in malawi through competitive analyses
A study of women farmers' empowerment in malawi through competitive analyses
A study of women farmers' empowerment in malawi through competitive analyses
A study of women farmers' empowerment in malawi through competitive analyses
A study of women farmers' empowerment in malawi through competitive analyses
A study of women farmers' empowerment in malawi through competitive analyses
A study of women farmers' empowerment in malawi through competitive analyses
A study of women farmers' empowerment in malawi through competitive analyses
A study of women farmers' empowerment in malawi through competitive analyses
A study of women farmers' empowerment in malawi through competitive analyses
A study of women farmers' empowerment in malawi through competitive analyses
A study of women farmers' empowerment in malawi through competitive analyses
A study of women farmers' empowerment in malawi through competitive analyses
A study of women farmers' empowerment in malawi through competitive analyses
A study of women farmers' empowerment in malawi through competitive analyses
A study of women farmers' empowerment in malawi through competitive analyses
A study of women farmers' empowerment in malawi through competitive analyses
A study of women farmers' empowerment in malawi through competitive analyses
A study of women farmers' empowerment in malawi through competitive analyses
A study of women farmers' empowerment in malawi through competitive analyses
A study of women farmers' empowerment in malawi through competitive analyses
A study of women farmers' empowerment in malawi through competitive analyses
A study of women farmers' empowerment in malawi through competitive analyses
A study of women farmers' empowerment in malawi through competitive analyses
A study of women farmers' empowerment in malawi through competitive analyses
A study of women farmers' empowerment in malawi through competitive analyses
A study of women farmers' empowerment in malawi through competitive analyses
A study of women farmers' empowerment in malawi through competitive analyses
A study of women farmers' empowerment in malawi through competitive analyses
A study of women farmers' empowerment in malawi through competitive analyses
A study of women farmers' empowerment in malawi through competitive analyses
A study of women farmers' empowerment in malawi through competitive analyses
A study of women farmers' empowerment in malawi through competitive analyses
A study of women farmers' empowerment in malawi through competitive analyses
A study of women farmers' empowerment in malawi through competitive analyses
A study of women farmers' empowerment in malawi through competitive analyses
A study of women farmers' empowerment in malawi through competitive analyses
A study of women farmers' empowerment in malawi through competitive analyses
Upcoming SlideShare
Loading in …5
×

A study of women farmers' empowerment in malawi through competitive analyses

994 views

Published on

Published in: Education, Technology, Business
0 Comments
0 Likes
Statistics
Notes
  • Be the first to comment

  • Be the first to like this

No Downloads
Views
Total views
994
On SlideShare
0
From Embeds
0
Number of Embeds
4
Actions
Shares
0
Downloads
7
Comments
0
Likes
0
Embeds 0
No embeds

No notes for slide

A study of women farmers' empowerment in malawi through competitive analyses

  1. 1. 國立屏東科技大學熱帶農業暨國際合作系 Department of Tropical Agriculture and International Cooperation National Pingtung University of Science and Technology 碩士學位論文 Master’s Thesis 透過比較分析以賦權馬拉威婦女農民之研究A Study of Women Farmers’ Empowerment in Malawi through Competitive Analyses 指導教授: 鍾惠雯 (Rebecca Chung, PhD) 研究生: (Loveness Msofi) 中華民國 2012 年 6 月 7 日 表格編號: M06 June 7, 2012
  2. 2. 摘要學號: M9922019論文題目: 透過比較分析以賦權馬拉威婦女農民之研究總頁數:學校名稱: 國立屏東科技大學系 (所) 別: 熱帶農業暨國際合作研究所畢業時間及摘要別: 碩士研究生姓名: 指導教授: 鍾惠雯論文摘要內容: 馬拉維是其經濟嚴重依賴農業的最不發達國家之一。女農民作為生產者,工人和企業家在農業部門發揮至關重要的作用。然而,他們遇到很多挑戰,這限制了他們的潛力充分促進該部門的經濟重要性。由於這個原因,一些干預已發展到授權和支持女農民。本研究的主要目的是通過競爭性分析,以確定婦女農民權力和建議的最佳策略,以提高他們的競爭力。研究中使用的 SWOT 分析的優勢,劣勢,機會和威脅進行分析,來賦予婦女農民的戰略。該研究還分析了競爭力,確定基於波特的鑽石模型,採用層次分析法(AHP )的元素。研究中使用的意見領袖誰是熟悉婦女農民偏好數據。 45 受訪者包括 5 研究人員,10 個推廣工作者和 30 個農民選擇從 Ru m p hi 在馬拉維北部地區的區。結果顯示,受訪者有不同的優先級,以提高婦女農民的競爭力的重要因素。與會者認為,需求條件,戰略,結構和競爭,以及政府的作用是最重要的。與會者還認為,最重要的因素是市場的可用性,可用性和電源輸入和合同農業的一致性。結果還顯示,賦予婦女權力的農民最重要的替代戰略,形成生產營銷隊伍(光電倍增管),擴展可用性和培訓,以及建立婦女農民協會。總之,這些結果為女性農民有關的政策和方案發展提供了重要的見解。 I
  3. 3. 它也可以建議有需要利益相關者之間的合作,賦予婦女權力的農民,使他們能夠在農業部門的競爭力,成為與適當的干預措施來。關鍵詞:馬拉維婦女農民,增強能力,提高競爭力,SWOT 分析,波特的鑽石模型,層次分析法(AHP ) II
  4. 4. English AbstractStudent ID: M9922019Title of thesis: A Study of Women Farmers’ Empowerment in Malawi through Competitive AnalysesTotal pages:Name of institute: Department of Tropical Agriculture and International Cooperation, National Pingtung University of Science and TechnologyGraduation date: June 15, 2012 Degree Conferred: MastersName of student: Loveness Msofi Advisor: Rebecca Chung, PhDThe content of abstract in this thesis: The contribution of Malawian women farmers to the agriculture sectorcannot be overemphasized. However, women farmers face many challengesthat limit their potential to contribute fully to the economic importance of thesector. In response, a number of interventions have been developed which areaimed at empowering and supporting women farmers. The main objective ofthis study was to determine women farmers’ empowerment throughcompetitive analyses. This was done by identifying factors of competitivenessand determining their importance in empowering women farmers. The studyused a SWOT analysis to come up with strengths, weaknesses, opportunitiesand threats and to formulate strategies for empowering women farmers. APorter’s Diamond Model was used to identify factors of competitiveness.Then, an Analytic Hierarchy Process (AHP) method was employed todetermine the importance of the competitiveness factors. The study used III
  5. 5. preference data from experts who are familiar with issues concerning womenfarmers. A total of 45 respondents comprising of 5 researchers, 10 extension IV
  6. 6. workers and 30 women farmers was selected for this study. The participantsperceived that demand conditions, government role and strategy, structure andrivalry were the most important factors. Participants also perceived that themost important sub-factors were availability of markets, availability andconsistency of supply inputs and contract farming. Results also revealed thatthe most important alternative strategies for empowering women farmers wereestablishment of women farmers associations, availability of extension andtraining as well as formation of Production Marketing Teams (PMTs). Inconclusion, these results provide important insights for policy and programdevelopments relating to women farmers. Results revealed that respondentshad different priorities regarding the important factors and alternativestrategies. This shows that there is no single strategy that is superior inempowering women farmers to enhance their competitiveness. Therefore, itcan be recommended that there is need to use multiple alternative strategiesfor empowering women farmers. There is also need for collaboration amongthe stakeholders, to come up with appropriate interventions for empoweringwomen farmers so that they can become competitive in the agricultural sector.Keywords: Malawian women farmers, empowerment, competitiveness, SWOT analysis, Porter’s Diamond Model, Analytic Hierarchy Process (AHP) V
  7. 7. Dedication I dedicate this paper to family, my dad B.S. Msofi; my mum Esnart Cecilia Msofi; my siblings Peter, Dominic, Raphael, Stuart, Bias, andDorothy for their love and support throughout the period of my study. Special thanks to my lovely sister Bernadette who assisted me in collecting data for this research. I also dedicate my work to my love Elton Eric ChikondiMgalamadzi for being there for me and encouraging me throughout my study period. You all mean a lot to me and I love you all very much. VI
  8. 8. Acknowledgements First, I would like to thank God for giving me courage, wisdom andpatience to make this possible. I also thank NPUST Scholarship for giving methe opportunity to study in Taiwan and to get my Masters degree. I reallyappreciate the support and guidance from Barbara and all the Office ofInternational Affairs staff. I would like to acknowledge the input and supervision of my AdvisorDr. Rebecca Chung. You were very encouraging, you tirelessly helped methroughout the writing of this paper and contributing positively to my careerand professional life, you will always be remembered for that. You made mestrong and I have learned a lot from you that will help me grow. Similarly, I am thankful to each professor that taught me and helped megain knowledge, skills and experience. I have learned a lot from you all and Iappreciate the knowledge and manners you gave me. I also thank all the staffof DTAIC and my classmates. My sincere gratitude also goes to my bosses at work in Malawi, MsFrieda Kayuni and Mr. Mataka for their efforts to ensure that I came toTaiwan to further my studies. I am grateful to the Ministry of Agriculture andFood Security in Malawi especially to my workmates at Blantyre DistrictAgriculture Office for their support. I am also indebted to my country mates I met here in Taiwan, Mwiza,Glory and Chifundo, for being there for me and making my life easier. I loveyou all. Friends and relatives so numerous to mention please receive myheartfelt thanks. VII
  9. 9. Table of Contents摘要....................................................................................................................................................IEnglish Abstract................................................................................................................................IIIDedication........................................................................................................................................VITable of Contents...........................................................................................................................VIIIList of Figures.....................................................................................................................................XList of Tables.....................................................................................................................................XIList of Acronyms..............................................................................................................................XII1.Introduction....................................................................................................................................1 1.1.Background Information..........................................................................................................1 1.1.1.Agriculture in Malawi .......................................................................................................1 1.1.2.Women in Malawian Agriculture......................................................................................1 1.1.3.Women Empowerment in Malawi....................................................................................5 1.2.Research Objectives.................................................................................................................62.Literature Review...........................................................................................................................9 2.1.Women Empowerment...........................................................................................................9 2.2.Competitiveness ...................................................................................................................15 2.3.Methods for Measuring Competitiveness.............................................................................193.Methodology................................................................................................................................29 3.1.The Research Framework......................................................................................................29 3.1.1.The SWOT Analysis Application......................................................................................31 3.1.2.Strategy Formulation for Malawian Women Farmers....................................................38 3.1.3.Porter’s Diamond Model Application.............................................................................41 3.1.4.Analytic Hierarchy Process (AHP) Method Application...................................................47 3.2.Questionnaire Design............................................................................................................49 3.3.Sampling Plan........................................................................................................................50 3.4.Statistical Analysis..................................................................................................................514.Results and Discussion..................................................................................................................54 VIII
  10. 10. 4.1.Characteristics of Survey Respondents..................................................................................54 4.2.Results of Respondent’s Opinions on Elements of Competitiveness.....................................58 4.3.Results of AHP Model Analysis for the Competitiveness Elements........................................59 4.3.1.Results of Criteria Analysis..............................................................................................60 4.3.2.Factor Conditions ...........................................................................................................62 4.3.3.Demand Conditions .......................................................................................................65 4.3.4.Related and Supporting Industries .................................................................................67 4.3.5.Strategy, Structure and Rivalry ......................................................................................68 4.3.6.Government Role............................................................................................................70 4.3.7.Results of the overall analysis.........................................................................................72 4.3.8.Results of the Analysis of Alternatives............................................................................745.Conclusions and Recommendations.............................................................................................79 5.1.Conclusions ...........................................................................................................................79 5.2.Recommendations ................................................................................................................82 5.3.Future Research.....................................................................................................................83References.......................................................................................................................................85Appendices....................................................................................................................................102 Appendix I. Data Analysis Outputs ............................................................................................102 Appendix II. Questionnaire for Researchers and Extension Workers........................................113 Appendix III. Questionnaire for Farmers....................................................................................127Bio-Sketch of the Author...............................................................................................................142 IX
  11. 11. List of FiguresFigure 3.2. Modified Diamond Model, Adapted from Porter (1990)...............................................46Figure 3.3. AHP Hierarchical Structure ............................................................................................49Figure 4.5. Summary of Experts’ Priorities of the Factor Conditions...............................................63Figure 4.6. Summary of Experts’ Priorities of the Demand Conditions............................................65Figure 4.7. Summary of Experts’ Priorities of the Related and Supporting Industries. ...................67Figure 4.8. Summary of Experts’ Priorities of Strategy, Structure and Rivalry factors.....................69Figure 4.9. Summary of Experts’ Priorities of the Role of the Government ....................................70Figure 4.10. Summary of Experts’ Priorities of the Alternatives......................................................74 X
  12. 12. List of TablesTable 3.1. SWOT Matrix for Malawian Women Farmers.................................................................40Table 3.2. Strategies Formulated for Malawian Women Farmers...................................................41Table 3.3. Standard Preference Scoring System for AHP, (Saaty, 1990)..........................................48Table 3.4. Random Index Numbers (Saaty, 1990)............................................................................52Table 4.1. Summary of Experts’ Opinions on the Elements of Competitiveness.............................58Table 4.2. Summary of the Experts’ Priorities of the Criteria with Respect to the Goal..................61Table 4.3. Summary of Experts’ Priorities of the Factor Conditions ................................................63Table 4.4. Summary of Experts’ Priorities of the Demand Conditions.............................................66Table 4.5. Summary of Experts’ Priorities of Related and Supporting Industries.............................67Table 4.6. Summary of Experts’ Priorities of Strategy, Structure and Rivalry factors......................69Table 4.7. Summary of Experts’ Priorities of the Role of Government............................................71Table 4.9. Summary of Experts’ Priorities of the Alternatives.........................................................75 XI
  13. 13. List of AcronymsAHP – Analytic Hierarchy ProcessAIDS – Acquired Immune Deficiency SyndromeASTI – Agriculture Research and Technology IndicatorsAWARD – African Women in Agriculture Research and DevelopmentCSW – Commission on the Status of WomenEPA – Extension Planning AreaEU – European UnionFAO – Food and Agriculture OrganisationFISP – Farm Input Subsidy ProgrammeGAD – Gender and DevelopmentGDP – Gross Domestic ProductGOM – Government of MalawiHIV – Human Immuno-deficiency VirusIFAD – International Fund for Agricultural DevelopmentIFPRI – International Food Policy Research InstituteMDGs – Millennium Development Goals XII
  14. 14. MGDS – Malawi Growth and Development StrategyMoAFS – Ministry of Agriculture and Food Security XIII
  15. 15. NGO – Non-Governmental OrganisationNSO – National Statistical OfficeOECD – Organisation for Economic Cooperation and DevelopmentPDM – Porters Diamond ModelPMTs – Production Marketing TeamsRCA – Revealed Comparative AdvantageUNDP – United Nations Development ProgramsUNICEF – United Nations Children’s FundWID – Women in Development XIV
  16. 16. 1. Introduction This chapter gives an overview of the study on women farmers’empowerment in Malawian agriculture sector. The background informationon agriculture in Malawi will be presented besides women farmers’contribution to the agriculture sector. Challenges that women farmers face arepresented and a brief background of women empowerment in Malawi ispresented. Furthermore, the chapter presents objectives of this research.1.1. Background Information1.1.1. Agriculture in Malawi Malawi is one of the countries in Southern Africa heavily dependent onagriculture; in 2010 it contributed about 35 percent towards Gross DomesticProduct (GDP) (World Bank, 2010). The Agricultural sector in Malawiemploys about 85 percent of the population, and provides over 80 percent offoreign exchange which was reported in the Malawi government 2010Integrated Household Survey (National Statistical Office, GOM, 2010).Above all, agriculture contributes significantly to national and household foodsecurity (GOM, 2010). Most Malawians make their daily living from small-scale agriculture, and the majority of Malawi’s population relies onagriculture for their livelihoods (GOM, 2010). The agricultural sectorcomprises of the estates and smallholder subsectors. The smallholderagriculture subsector contributes over 30 percent towards the Gross DomesticProduct (GDP) (World Bank, 2010).1.1.2. Women in Malawian Agriculture It is estimated that 70 percent of the agricultural labour force in bothsmallholder and estate agriculture is provided by women (World Bank, 1991).This indicates the importance of women farmers in Malawi; however, it also 1
  17. 17. means that women are thus particularly affected by any constraints toproductivity arising in this sector. The majority of women are found in the 2
  18. 18. smallholder agriculture sector, which is characterized by low incomes due tolow productivity and unfavorable input/output prices ratios. However, bothgender categories (men and women) are actively involved in agriculture withdifferent activities depending on their gender roles and priorities (Hirschmannand Vaughan, 1984). This is because agriculture is the main source of themajority of the people’s livelihoods in terms of cash income, food security,and source of employment. Research has revealed that women are moreinvolved in agriculture than men (Saito, Mekonnen and Spurling, 1994).Empirical evidence also reveals that despite women’s large involvement inagriculture as workers, farmers and agro-entrepreneurs, they have notreceived much of the benefits that accrue from agriculture (FAO, 2010a). Thishas fueled debates as to what should be done to improve the situation so thatwomen farmers can benefit. Government and the private sectors haveformulated interventions for women empowerment to improve theirconditions in the agricultural sector since their role is crucial to improvementof people’s livelihoods, as well as for the economic growth of the country. Asa result, over the years, food security has improved because of an increase inmaize production, which is a staple food, and the country has experienced anincrease in agricultural exports. In all these improvements, the contribution ofwomen farmers cannot be overemphasized. Women farmers produce most of the food consumed in the domesticand international markets. They produce a variety of crops mostly forsubsistence, which are indigenous varieties of maize, pulses, sorghum, millet,groundnuts, cassava and vegetables. Women tend to sell surpluses of thesesubsistence crops to cater for other livelihood needs of the households. On theother hand, men concentrate on commercial cash crops that are mostly hybridvarieties of maize, tobacco, cotton and some varieties of groundnuts high inoil content (Cromwell and Winpenny, 1993). While literature often states thatcash and export crops are male crops while subsistence crops are cultivated bywomen, the lines of distinction are often blurred (Doss, 2001). 3
  19. 19. Despite the general situation about women’s involvement insubsistence agriculture, they are also actively involved in the commercialagricultural production as helpers. Research indicates that under bothsubsistence and cash crop farming systems, women work more hourscompared to men (Engberg, Sabry and Beckerson, 1988; Government ofMalawi (GOM)/United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), 1987). Ingeneral, women farmers are involved in activities categorised as productive,reproductive and community activities. As part of productive activities, theyengage in farm and off- farm activities such as crops and livestock productionand small businesses, however, their opportunities for earning income in off-farm activities are constrained by lack of time. The reproductive activitiesinclude child bearing and rearing, household keeping activities (cooking,washing, cleaning, etc) (World Bank, 1991 and Davison, 1992). Thecommunity roles of women involve attending community ceremonies andfunctions including developmental activities of the community (Brydon andChart, 1989). Despite efforts to improve the conditions of women in agriculture,women farmers face a number of challenges that limit their potential toexploit the opportunities in the agricultural sector (Tiessen, 2008). A greatdeal of research has documented the challenges that women face whichinclude small land holding sizes and lack of land rights (World Bank, 1991;Segal, 1986 and Kenedy and Peters, 1992). They lack access to cash incomefor purchase of household consumption requirements and critical inputs (Dueand Gladwin, 1991 and Hirschmann and Vaughan, 1984). Extension servicesare currently male biased in personnel and consequently in coverage, withwomen farmers often suffering from exclusion (Doss, 2001; Due, Magayane,and Temu, 1997; (GOM)/UNICEF, 1987 and Mkandawire, 1989). Womenfarmers are less likely than men to use modern inputs such as improved seeds,fertilizers, pest control measures and mechanical tools (Due and Gladwin,1991; (GOM)/UNICEF, 1987 and Spring, 1988). They also use less credit and 4
  20. 20. often do not control the credit they obtain (World Bank, 1991; Burgess, 1991and Hirschmann and Vaughan, 1984). Finally, women have less education,which makes it more difficult to gain access to and use some of the otherresources, such as land, credit and fertilizer (World Bank, 1991 and GOM,1994). The obstacles that confront women farmers mean that their productivityis lower than their male counterparts are. Solid empirical evidence shows thatif women farmers used the same level of resources as men on the land theyfarm, they would obtain the same yield levels (Gilbert, Sakala, and Benson,2002; Quisumbing, 1996 and FAO, 2010b). Therefore, it is necessary toevaluate the competitiveness of women farmers in the agricultural sector.1.1.3. Women Empowerment in Malawi Due to the women farmer’s substantial contribution to Malawianagriculture, efforts have been made to empower them through implementationof policies, programs and projects. The private sectors and Non-GovernmentalOrganisations (NGOs) have also implemented various interventions aimed atempowering and supporting women farmers. Interventions like promotingwomen and girls education; promoting income-generating activities amongwomen; promoting use of labor and time saving technologies; promoting thegrowing of high-value agricultural crops; promoting value addition toagricultural products among others. The government through the Ministry ofAgriculture and Food Security in the Department of Agricultural ExtensionServices promotes gender mainstreaming across all the agriculturaldevelopment programs to enhance women farmer’s contribution to theeconomic importance of agriculture in the country. The governmentincorporates gender issues at policy level by formulating and implementingpolicies that are sensitive to gender issues. In most of the policy documentsthat are adopted and implemented by the government, for example the MalawiGrowth and Development Strategy (MGDS), the Millennium Development 5
  21. 21. Goals (MDG) of the United Nations, there is a provision to address genderissues. Similarly, along with the gender approaches to development, there hasbeen a shift in the approaches to development in the agriculture sector. Thegovernment, through the Ministry of Agriculture and Food Security has alsoadopted these approaches. The current empowerment approach Gender andDevelopment (GAD) (Moser, 1993) is more concerned about gender andgender relations in the agricultural sector looking at how gender relationsaffects planning and implementation of agricultural developmentprogrammes. It emphasizes the inclusion of men and other gender categoriesin the planning and implementation of agricultural programmes since all havean impact on the gender relations that exist in the household. This is donewith the aim of improving women’s access to benefits that are realized fromagriculture.1.2. Research Objectives Considering the importance of agriculture sector and the crucial roles ofwomen farmers in Malawian agriculture, it is fundamental to attach theimportance of women farmers to the growth of the sector, improvement ofpeople’s livelihoods and economic growth of the country. However, thechallenges that women farmers face limit their potential to contributeeffectively towards the sector. Despite the challenges women face and theexisting gender inequalities in the agriculture sector, women farmers remainthe important players in the sector. Studies on women farmers in Malawi have focused much on genderroles in the agriculture sector (Engberg, Sabry and Beckerson, 1988; (GOM)/UNICEF, 1987). Gender division of labour and challenges that womenfarmers face (Tiessen, 2008; World Bank, 1991; Segal, 1986; Kenedy andPeters, 1992; Doss, 2001; Due, Magayane and Temu, 1997 and Mkandawire,1989). However, there is no information regarding studies on competitiveness 6
  22. 22. analyses on women farmers in Malawi. Therefore, the aim of this study is toconduct competitive analyses on Malawian women farmers’ empowerment bydetermining the importance of different competitive factors in empoweringwomen farmers. The study also seeks to evaluate the importance of differentalternatives to empower and support women farmers. The main objective of this study was to determine women farmer’sempowerment in Malawi through analysis of their competitiveness in theagriculture sector. The specific objectives of this research were:1. To identify and analyse the importance of competitiveness elements that enhance the competitive advantage of Malawian women farmers.2. To evaluate important alternatives and strategies for empowering women farmers in Malawian agricultural sector.3. To come up with recommendations for empowering and supporting women farmers so that they can achieve competitive advantage. 7
  23. 23. 8
  24. 24. 2. Literature Review This chapter aims to review literature on women empowerment andcompetitiveness. Emphasis is put on general understanding and review ofstudies on the terms. There are four sections in this chapter. The first sectionpresents the general understanding of women empowerment and a review ofliterature. The second section describes competitiveness in terms ofdefinitions as presented in literature. The third section is a review of studieson competitiveness. Lastly, this chapter presents methods for measuringcompetitiveness.2.1. Women Empowerment Women empowerment is a process whereby women become able toorganize themselves to increase their own self-reliance, to assert theirindependent right to make choices and to control resources that will assist inchallenging and eliminating their own subordination (Keller and Mbwewe,1991). Empowerment of different groups of women has been the subject ofmany studies. Since the mid 1980s, the term has been particularly attractive tothird world feminist scholars and practitioners. For example, (Afshar, 1998),who were concerned with integrating poor women in development projects insuch a way that this would bring greater self-reliance, and enable them tochallenge their highly disadvantaged positions in the society and family,gaining control over lives. The World Food Summit Plan of Action (1996)recognizes the importance of the empowerment of women to the achievementof food security and the need to remove the constraints hindering them.Commitment one of the World Food Summit Plan of Action reads:“We will ensure an enabling political, social, and economic environmentdesigned to create the best conditions for the eradication of poverty and fordurable peace, based on full and equal participation of women and men,which is most conducive to achieving sustainable food security for all.” 9
  25. 25. In her analysis of gender planning, Moser (1993) identified fivedifferent approaches to policymaking vis-à-vis women. These were welfare,equity, antipoverty, efficiency and empowerment approaches. The welfareapproach was the most dominant during the 1950s and 1960s. It placesemphasis on women’s roles as caregivers and sees them as passivebeneficiaries of development. The main method of implementation wasthrough “top-down” handouts of free goods and services or through trainingin those skills deemed appropriate for non-working homemakers and mothers.In other words, this approach does not challenge women’s traditional roles aswives and mothers responsible for the welfare of the family. In turn, theequity, antipoverty and efficiency approaches were developed in the mid1970s and onwards. While the first focused on women’s need to gain equitywith men in the development process by means of top-down legislation andother measures, the antipoverty and efficiency approaches aimed at ensuringthat poor women increase their “productivity” and participation in theeconomy. All four approaches were based on Women in Development (WID)premises that women have been “marginalized” and need to be “integrated” into development. From this perspective, women were considered a valuable“resource” of development and are entirely in terms of their delivery capacityand ability to extend their working day, rather than as development agentscapable of bringing about social change. All four approaches fail to recognizethe complex interaction between women’s role as producers, reproducers andcommunity organizers and ignore the fact that women are alreadyparticipating in the productive sector in considerable numbers. By contrast,the empowerment approach derives from Gender and Development (GAD)ideas. Rathgeber (quoted in Braidotti, 1994) summarized this position asfollows: 10
  26. 26. “The gender and development trend analyze the nature of women’scontribution inside and outside the household. It sees women as agents ofchange rather than as passive recipients of development assistance. It alsoquestions the underlying assumptions of current social, economic andpolitical structures and leads not only to the design of interventions andaffirmative action strategies which will ensure that women are betterintegrated in to on-going development efforts but also to a fundamentalreexamination of social structures and institutions.” Thus, the empowerment approach places considerable attention onwomen’s triple roles as producers, reproducers and community organizers,and stresses the importance of bottom-up mobilization as a means to confrontoppression. Although empowerment approach is the most desirable in termsof equality, it is by no means the most widely practiced. Concern over women’s subordination in law is not new. Beginningfrom the nineteenth century and to the twentieth century, the world haswitnessed innumerable women’s movements seeking to pressure governmentsand societies to recognize not only women’s civil rights but also that womanshould enjoy equal working conditions and wages. However, it was not untilfeminist movements gained recognition in the seventies and the UnitedNations women’s decade achieved significant advances, that it becamepossible to conduct a series of studies on rural women. These studies showclearly and conclusively that women’s contribution to the developmentprocess is much greater than previously assumed, and that women suffer fromproblems stemming from traditional gender-based division of labor, whichsees them exclusively taken up with their reproductive role as mothers andhomemakers. Boserup’s book, Women’s Role in Economic Development (1970) wascritical for the emergence of women as a consistency of development(Kabeer, 1995). The declaration of the first development decade (1961-70) 11
  27. 27. did not refer to women, but the international development strategy for thesecond decade (1970s) encouraged “the full integration of women in the totaldevelopment effort.” Empowering women for development should have highreturns in terms of increased output, greater equity and social progress(Kabeer, 1995). Policies to improve women’s employment and educationalopportunities, political participation and physical and mental well-being havebeen given high international profile since 1975. The “status of women” as well as the factors that confer the statusvaries considerably across regions. A woman’s status is often described interms of her income, employment, education, health, and fertility as well asthe roles she plays within a family, the community and society. It alsoinvolves society’s perception of these roles and the value it places them. Thestatus of women implies a comparison with the status of men and is thereforea significant reflection of the level of social justice in the society (UNDP,1995). Women’s low status and lack of decision-making power are some ofthe reasons why sub-Saharan African countries have the highest rates ifilliteracy among women. As female children of illiterate women are unlikelyto have basic primary school education, the impact of poor education ispassed on to the daughter generations. Thus, there is a big challenge to breakthe vicious cycle of poor education and poverty by gender-oriented literacycampaign (Kabira, Gachukia and Matiiangi, 1997). The improvement of women’s education opportunities can empowerthem and bring positive impact on the achievement of food security. There isa gap between women and men literacy rate (FAO, 2011). Improvingwomen’s education can improve their abilities and thus can play a vital role inthe development program. The 1996 World Food Summit acknowledged bothwomen’s fundamental contributions to food security and the importance ofenabling women to have equal access to educational opportunities. It isinsufficient to increase women’s education opportunities, however, without atthe same time ensuring that women can benefit equally from these 12
  28. 28. opportunities. Educational opportunities and empowerment of women gohand in hand, education contributes to the empowerment of women and theempowerment of women makes it possible for women to benefit fromeducational opportunities. Human capital is a major factor in determining opportunities availableto individuals in society and is closely linked to the productive capacity ofhouseholds and their economic and social well-being. The level of humancapital available in a household (usually measured as the education of thehousehold head or average age of working-age adults in the household) isstrongly correlated with measures such as agricultural productivity, householdincome, and nutritional outcomes – all of which ultimately affect householdwelfare and economic growth at national level (World Bank, 2007a). Theeducation gender gap in levels of enrollment and attainment remains wide inSouthern Asia and sub-Saharan Africa, however, progress has been made tonarrow this gap. A survey by the Agricultural Science and TechnologyIndicators (ASTI) and the African Women in Agricultural Research andDevelopment (AWARD) in 2008 in 15 sub-Saharan African countries foundout that the pool of female professional staff increased by 50 percent between2000/01 and 2007/08. The survey also found out that the share of women intotal professional staff increased from 18 – 24 percent over the period(Beintema, 2006; Beintema and Di Marcantonio, 2009). Provision of agricultural extension services to women farmers helps toempower them with technical knowledge required for their enterprises.Extension services encompass the wide range of services provided by expertsin the areas of agriculture, agribusiness, health and others and are designed toimprove productivity and the overall well-being of the rural populations. Theprovision of agricultural extension services can lead to significant yieldincreases, yet extension provision in developing countries remains low forboth men and women, and women tend to make less use of extension services(Meinzen-Dick et al., 2010). According to a 1988-89 FAO survey of 13
  29. 29. extension organizations covering 97 countries with sex-disaggregated data,only 5 percent of all extension resources were directed towards women.Moreover, only 15 percent of the extension personnel were female (FAO,1993). Extension service agents tend to approach male farmers more oftenthan female because of the general misconception that women do not farmand that extension advice will eventually trickle down from the malehousehold head to all other household members. Women farmers are lesslikely to access resources and may therefore be bypassed by extension serviceproviders (Meinzen-Dick et al., 2010). Time constraints and culturalreservations may also hinder women from participating in extension activities(Meinzen-Dick et al., 2010). In response, several new and participatoryextension approaches have been developed and tested in an effort to moveaway from the top-down model of extension service delivery to more farmer-driven services. These approaches can target women effectively and increasetheir participation and uptake of innovations (Davis et al., 2009) Financial services such as savings, credit and insurance provideopportunities for improving agricultural output, food security and economicvitality at the household, community and national levels. A report by FAOindicated that improving women’s direct access to financial resources is oneway of empowering women economically and it leads to higher investmentsin human capital in the form of children’s health, nutrition and education(FAO, 2011). Evidence shows that credit markets are not gender-neutral.Legal barriers and cultural norms sometimes bar women from holding bankaccounts or entering into financial contracts in their own right. Womengenerally have less control over the type of fixed assets that are usuallynecessary as collateral for loans. Institutional discrimination by private andpublic lending institutions often either ration women out of the market orgrant women loans that are smaller than those granted to men for similaractivities (Fletschner, 2009 and World Bank, FAO and IFAD, 2009). InNigeria for example, 14 percent of males compared to only 5 percent offemales obtained formal credit while in Kenya the percentages were 14 14
  30. 30. percent males and 4 percent females respectively (Saito, Mekonnen andSpurling, 1994).2.2. Competitiveness It is important to be clear about what exactly the term“competitiveness" means as there is much debate on this subject. Banse et al.(1999) pointed out that “no single measure or definition of competitivenesshas gained the universal acceptance of either economists or managementtheorists.” There has been a profusion of definitions applied to differentorganizational and spatial entities like firms, sectors, industries, regions, andstates, and to proxies such as the balance of payments, market shares, costs,and job creation. Most authors use the term to refer to an advantage of firmsor industries vis-à-vis their competitors in domestic or international markets.Some authors have extended the meaning to entire economies (WorldEconomic Forum, 1995; Markusen, 1992 and Porter, 1990). Competitivenessis equivalent to strong performance of economies relative to other countries,where strong performance can mean economic growth, success in exports andincreased wellbeing. It is clear that economy-wide conditions such asgenerally high levels of education, productivity, natural resource endowmentand business-friendly economic policies, can have significant impacts on thecompetitiveness of specific firms and industries (Cockburn et al., 1998). Thedefinition of competitiveness in a more general outlook is referred to as theability of providing products and services with a satisfactory profit in aninternational competitive environment (Reve and Mathiensen, 1994). Thisstudy focuses on this definition to evaluate the competitiveness of womenfarmers in Malawi. Scientific discussion and efforts for giving an initial definition for“competitiveness” flourished in the 1980s in many countries. This discussionwas a result of the booming technological evolution, the rapid globalization ofmarkets and trading and the total economical activity. Since 1990s and theearly 21st century the constitutional nature of competition radically 15
  31. 31. transformed (Tapscott, 2001), thus demanding new fundamental principles onthe scientific research of the term. In academic studies, economic competitiveness has been defined inseveral ways. The most systematic work in this connection has been done byTrabold, who distinguishes between four important aspects ofcompetitiveness (Trabold, 1995). 1. Ability to sell (export ability) 2. Ability to attract foreign investment and labour force (location) 3. Ability to adjust to changing environmental conditions 4. Ability to earn (to cover the current expenses and investment needs with income and to show profit). Considering competitiveness specifically for agricultural sector, variousapproaches have been applied following a number of different methodologiesfor quantitative considerations. Gorton et al. (2001) estimated Poland’sagricultural competitiveness based on the Domestic Resource Cost Model(DRC) (Pearson and Meyer, 1974). This model measures domestic productioneffectiveness in agricultural sector in terms of international prices. Gorton etal. (2006) also followed this method for estimating Hungary’s agriculturalsector competitiveness. Lee et al. (2003) also used the same method but incombination with Net Private Profitability (NPP) method in order to estimateaquaculture sector competitiveness between Taiwan, Japan and China. Banseet al. (1999) computed the DRC ratios for various crops (wheat, barley,maize, rapeseed and sunflower) and livestock (beef, pork and milk) sectors inHungary during 1990-96. Gorton, Davidova, and Ratinger (2000) againcalculated the DRC for the main Bulgarian and Czech agriculturalcommodities during 1994-96 and adjusted it using EU15 output and inputprices, in order to assess the commodities competitiveness with regard to theworld and to the EU15. Also using the DRC ratio and farm-level data, 16
  32. 32. (Gorton et al., 2001) investigated how competitive Polish agriculture wasbetween 1996 and 1998. Ahearn, Culver, and Schoney (1990) compared the competitiveness ofwheat production in the United States and Canada by calculating costs ofproduction in 1986-87. In the same way, (Bureau and Butault, 1992)calculated the costs of production for the EU countries in 1984 to assess theircompetitiveness in the soft wheat, sugar beet, hog and milk sectors. Again,Bureau, Butault, and Hoque (1992) investigated the competitiveness in wheatproduction of EU countries and the United States in 1984-86, by calculatingcosts of production as an average over the period. Similarly, (Thorne, 2005)measured the competitiveness of cereal production in Denmark, Germany,France, Ireland, Italy and the United Kingdom during 1996-2000 bycalculating various cost indicators: total costs as a percentage of the value oftotal output (including area payments); margin over costs per 100 kilogramsof output volume; and margin over costs per hectare of cereal production. In order to assess the competitiveness of Canada’s agri-food industry in1986, (van Duren et al., 1991) used three profit measures. He calculated theprofits by the ratio of value added to sales; value added to workers; or valueadded to plants. These three indicators were then aggregated to compare thecompetitiveness of Canada, the EU and the United States, according to theirranking with each indicator. Viaene and Gellynck (1998) also evaluated thecompetitiveness of the pig meat processing sector in Belgium during 1987-93by looking at several profitability measures: the net sales margin (i.e. the netprofit relative to the level of sales); the business assets turnover (i.e. salesdivided by business assets); the ratio of net profits on own funds; and thefinancial leverage. To evaluate the competitiveness of the Czech dairyindustry, (Bavorova, 2003) computed a yearly profitability measure as apercentage of total profit in total costs. 17
  33. 33. Alvarano, Morina and Bol (2008) conducted another research toinvestigate the communities that border the Parismina River of Costa Rica.The main purpose of this study was to identify the structural weaknesses thatare present in enterprises of the region and the impact of these weaknesses onthe competitiveness factors identified by Organization for EconomicCooperation and Development (OECD). The results indicated that factorssuch as the organizational structure and the development of linkages acrossthe value chain severely affected business competitiveness in the region. Inaddition, the ability to make decisions strengthened negotiation and marketingposition. Mulder et al. (2004) investigated the competitiveness of agriculture andthe agro-food sector in the Mercosur countries and in the EU during 1991-99.They calculated Real Exchange Rate (RER) and Relative Real ExchangeRates (RRER). They showed that Mercosur countries (with the exception ofParaguay for which it was stable) experienced until 1998 a decrease incompetitiveness (i.e. an increase in the exchange rate). In 1999, thedevaluation of the Brazilian currency increased competitiveness. Regardingthe EU countries, despite a convergence within the Euro countries since 1997,figures revealed a group of countries with low competitiveness: Ireland, Italy,Portugal and Spain. Applying Balassa and Vollrath indices, competitiveness can bemeasured. Several studies have applied these indices and have been widelyaccepted. For instance, the competitiveness of Hungarian agro-food productsvis-à-vis the European Union (EU) was measured using these indices (theoriginal Balassa index, relative trade advantage, relative export advantage,and natural logarithm of the relative export advantage) in the period 1992 to1998 (Fertő and Hubbard, 2003). Banterle and Carraresi (2007) assessed the competitiveness of theprepared swine meat sector in the EU during 2000-03. Calculation of the 18
  34. 34. Export Market Size (EMS) revealed that during 2000-03, Italy had the highestexport share of the sector followed by Germany. As for comparativeadvantage measures, Denmark had the highest Revealed ComparativeAdvantage (RCA) score, followed by Italy, while low Revealed ImportAdvantage (RMA) scores were found in Finland, Italy and Spain. Wijnands etal. (2008) also assessed the competitiveness of the EU15 food industry vis-à-vis Australia, Brazil, Canada, and the United States for the period 1996-2004.Using trade data for individual countries, the authors calculated the growth ofRCA and the growth of EMS in the world market for the EU15 and the otherfour countries. They found that the EU15 had very low competitivenesscompared to Brazil in terms of both measures, but higher competitiveness interms of share growth in the world market (although lower in terms of RCAgrowth). Concerning the effect of gender, competitiveness has also been studiedto compare the technical efficiency in terms of productivity between male andfemale farmers. Quisumbing (1996) explained that, in general, studiesinvestigating male-female differences in technical efficiency show nodifference. This was also the case for the study by (Chavas, Petrie and Roth,2005) for Gambian farmers in 1993. In contrast, (Timothy and Adeoti, 2006),found that for cassava growers in Nigeria in 2004 female farmers showedsuperior technical efficiency than male farmers, but lower allocate efficiency.The authors attributed the differentials to different access to inputs. Mathijsand Vranken (2001) reported that the share of women in the household had apositive impact on the technical efficiency of Hungarian crop farms in 1997.2.3. Methods for Measuring Competitiveness Researchers study competitiveness either from the perspectives of anation or an individual firm. As a result, studies of competitiveness are foundacross multiple disciplines including economics performance measurement,strategic management, operations management as well as policy research.Over the past decades, the literature on this subject mainly centred on 19
  35. 35. questions of measuring competitiveness using various indicators andidentifying sources of competitive advantage or so-called competitivenessdrivers. Attempts to answer these questions have produced extensive research,especially in the strategic management and operations management fields ofstudy. In strategic management, the approach assesses competitivenessaccording to financial performance, and identifies competitiveness drivers ascompetitive conditions of markets and resources of firms. To explain whyfirms achieve different profit rates, the literature provides two important butcontrasting theories: the Industrial Organization (IO) and the Resource-BasedView (RBV) of the firm (Hoskisson et al., 1999). The IO theory explains whyfirms operating in some industries are more profitable than others. It assertsthat firm profitability is a function of the industrial environment or marketconditions, since the nature of an industry directs behaviours of firms(Hoskisson et al., 1999). Resource Based View (RBV) theorists believe the firm’s resources arethe most important factors affecting profitability (Barney, 2001; Wernerfelt,1984). The term “resources” refers to bundles of tangible and intangible assetsas well as skills, which are valuable, rare, imperfectly imitable and notsubstitutable (Barney, Wright, and Ketchen, 2001). According to Barney(1991), resources refer to “all assets, capabilities, organizational processes,firm attributes, information, knowledge, etc controlled by a firm, that enable afirm to develop and implement strategies that improve its efficiency andeffectiveness.” Thus By developing and exploiting firm resources, managerscan change the “rules of the game”– competitive conditions, and establish acompetitive advantage that addresses customer values (Stoelhorst and vanRaaij, 2004). Market share is an indicator of competitiveness that measures thepercentage of a world commodity market held by an exporter. Shifts in market 20
  36. 36. share reflect changing competitiveness across countries. Market share can bedefined as: MS ia = XS ia / XS aw (1)where (XS) denotes exports, subscript (a) refers to a commodity, (i) denotehome country and (w) refers to world.The disadvantage of this measure is that simple comparisons of market sharemay not describe an ability to compete because market share may be a resultof export subsidies. An example is Saudi Arabia where large subsidies andnot resource advantage increased its market share in wheat production(Vollrath, 1989). Swann and Taghavi (1992) pointed out that market sharesalone give no indication of how competitiveness will change with price,product redesign, change in price or design of substitute, or the exchange rate.The use of other measures helps to explain more about competitiveness(Vollrath, 1989). Revealed Comparative Advantage (RCA) measures a country’s exportsof a commodity relative to its total exports and to the corresponding exportperformance of a set of countries (competitors) (Vargas, 2006). The basiclogic behind RCA is to evaluate comparative advantage on the basis of acountry’s specialization in exports relative to some reference group (Batra andKhan, 2005). Revealed Comparative Advantage (RCA) was first formulatedby Balassa (1965) and modified by Vollrath (1991) in order to avoid doublecounting between pairs of countries. RCA is sometimes called the Balassaindex. Vollrath’s modified version is called the Relative export advantage(RXA) measure, as it is based on exports. This calculates the ratio of acountry’s export share of a commodity in the international market to thecountry’s export share of all other commodities.Vollrath (1991) on the otherhand, offered mainly three alternative ways of measurement of a country’sRCA to calculate international competitiveness. These indices offer theadvantage that can be resorted into statistics of agricultural trade. These 21
  37. 37. equations measure the competitiveness and the export/import performancethrough post-trade data, which allows distinguishing commodities thatpossess competitiveness (Ayala-Garay et al., 2009). An index of export shareratios reflects the extent of trade specialization. Aggregation and policyeffects may distort any measure of revealed comparative advantage (RCA)and selection of a particular level of aggregation may obscure the pattern ofcomparative advantage. Letting (i) denote country and (j) commodity: RCAj = (Xij / Xiw) / (Xwj / Xw) (2)where Xij is exports by country i of commodity j, Xiw is total exports ofcountry I (summed over j), Xwj is the total world trade in commodity j(summed over i), and XW is total world trade (summed over i and j). Thismeasure gauges a country’s world export share of a commodity with its totalexport share of total world exports. If country i’s share of world exports ofcommodity j is greater than that country i’s share of world exports of allgoods, RCA > 1, suggesting a country has revealed a comparative advantagein the production of that commodity. Vollrath (1989) used RCA to show that from 1982 to 1986 the US hada 53% share of world soybean exports compared to an 11% share of allexports, making the relative export share of the US in soybeans almost 5,suggesting that US was 5 times better at exporting soybeans than at exportingall agricultural products. The US, Australia, and Canada showed relativeexport advantages for wheat, and Pakistan and Thailand had higher relativeexport advantages than the US in rice. Vollrath (1991) offers three alternativespecifications of revealed comparative advantage. The first is Relative TradeAdvantage (RTA), which is the difference between the Balassa relative exportadvantage (RXA), and relative import advantage (RMA). RXA = (Xij/Xit) / (Xnj/Xnt) (3)where (n) is a set of countries and its counterpart relative import advantage 22
  38. 38. RMA = (Mij/Mit) / (Mnj/Mnt) (4)Where (m) represents imports RTA = RXA – RMA (5)Vollrath’s second measure is the logarithm of the relative export advantage(lnRXA) and his third measure is Revealed Competitiveness (RC). RC = lnRXA – lnRMA (6) Domestic Resource Cost (DRC) analysis and, more generally, cost-benefit analysis constitutes an area of economic literature with many lessonsfor the analysis of competitiveness (Balassa and Associates, 1982; and Siggeland Cockburn, 1995). As its name implies, this predominantly empiricalbranch is devoted to measuring the costs and benefits of specific projects and,more generally, the so-called comparative advantage (essentiallycompetitiveness measured in the absence of price distortions) of firms andindustries. Costs and benefits are generally measured at social or shadowprices thus eliminating the effects of price distortions. The domestic resourcecosts (DRC) ratio compares the opportunity costs of domestic production withthe value added it generates (Gorton et al., 2001). It was originally proposedfor measuring the gain from expanding profitable projects or the cost ofmaintaining unprofitable activities through trade protection (Masters andWinter- Nelson, 1995). According to Masters and Winter-Nelson (1995)because the DRC ratio is based on the cost of non-tradable inputs, itunderstates the competitiveness of activities that use mainly such domesticfactors in comparison to those that rely more on tradable inputs. To overcomethis shortcoming, Masters and Winter-Nelson (1995) proposed the SocialCost-Benefit (SCB) ratio. Using the same data as for the DRC ratio but in adifferent relationship, the SCB ratio is defined as the ratio of the sum ofdomestic (non-tradable) and tradable input cost to the price of the goodconsidered. 23
  39. 39. When it comes to the concept of competitiveness or competitiveadvantage, existing work must be introduced from the basis of the theory andresearch concerning competitive advantage completed by (Porter, 1990). Inhis book of “The Competitive Advantage of Nations,” he addresses thequestion “Why do nations succeed in particular industries, and what are theimplications for firms and for the national economies?” Porter stresses theimportant role played by a nation’s economic environment, institutions andpolicies.” Porter (1990) was one of the first to underline the importance of firms’strategy and structure in developing their competitiveness. The authorproposed the so-called “diamond model” according to which nations succeedin industries for which the national diamond is the most favourable. The fourcorners of the diamond are: 1) factor conditions; 2) demand conditions; 3)presence of related and supporting industries; and 4) firm strategy, structureand rivalry. In addition to the four factors, there is an interaction of other twoexternal factors: 5) government role and 6) chance. In this framework,performance indicators such as cost superiority, profitability, productivity,and efficiency reveal competitiveness. Among management theories, Porter’s (1990) framework and theresource-based view (RBV) have been recognized as the most influentialperspectives to explain competitive advantage and why some firms succeedwhere others fail (Powell, 2001). Those scholars who believe that competitiveadvantage is associated with firms’ specific resources (Foss, 1997; Wernefelt,1984) have supported the RBV theory. Supporters of this theory claim that themanagement of firms’ specific resources is the main determinant ofdifferential performances between companies (Barney, 2001). They argue thatthose companies capable of developing rare and non-substitutable resourcesand capabilities such as technical knowledge, managerial ability, andorganizational capabilities (routines and interactions); will achieve 24
  40. 40. competitive advantage over competing firms (Barney, 1991; Wernerfelt,1984). SWOT analysis is a planning tool that aims at identifying the strengthsand weaknesses of an organization and the opportunities and threats in theenvironment. The SWOT analysis is a qualitative method for the strategicplanning. It is able to help enterprises evaluate their competitivenessqualitatively and can be used as a foundation for the development ofstrategies. The strengths and weaknesses are the internal factors while thethreats and opportunities are the external factors. It is commonly accepted thatthe strengths and weaknesses demonstrate the organizations internalcharacteristics and are controllable whereas, an organization’s opportunitiesand threats are determined by external factors on which it has no directcontrol but can react to its own advantage. The method allows organizationsto understand and plan using their strengths to exploit opportunities torecognize and repair or avoid weaknesses and to defend against or sidestepany known threats (Weihrich, Cannice, and Koontz, 2008). Due to its above-mentioned capabilities in strategic management,SWOT analysis has been widely utilized in various business settings to makeeffective decisions. However, it possesses a major drawback; the lack of theidentification of the importance ranking for the SWOT factors/criteria.Therefore, researchers developed models which incorporate AnalyticHierarchy Process (AHP) in SWOT and named their approaches ‘‘SWOT-AHP method (or analysis)’’ which can determine the priorities for the SWOTfactors (Kurttila, et al., 2000). The method has been used in several cases to evaluate thecompetitiveness of different sectors for example, The SWOT analysis wasused to develop the systematic competitiveness of fresh tomato industry ofZacatecas (Mexico) protected agriculture (Padilla-Bernal, et al., 2010).Alcantara et al. (2009) used a SWOT method to evaluate the drivers of 25
  41. 41. competitiveness by identifying the strengths and weaknesses of the Brazilianagri-systems to take advantage of possible opportunity of increasing export toEU in the face of scenarios of trade agreements. Rochman et al. (2011)examined nanotechnology development strategy to increase competitivenessof national agro-industries by using quantitative SWOT-AHP analysis. Analytic Hierarchy Process (AHP) is a multi-objective or multicriteriameasurement that helps to address the complicated decision problem,identifying decision making factors, measuring the importance of the factors,and synthesizing all the decision making factors (Saaty, 2008). AHP reflects asimple fact that the nature of decision-making requires a series of logicalconsiderations of different factors involved in a certain decision-makingsituation. Many times, decision-making factors are difficult to quantify orprioritise, as they are intangible, subjective, and non-quantifiable. One of theadvantages of AHP is that the method can convert intangible factors intonumerical values, and systematically evaluate weights of selected factors inpairs through a series of comparisons (Saaty, 2008). Therefore, thecornerstone of AHP is the logic of pair-wise comparison. The pair-wisecomparisons allow for the production of the relative importance value, whichis called weight, and the importance value is computed using the Eigenvaluemethod. The AHP is an intuitively easy method for formulating and analysingdecisions. The process was developed to solve a specific class of problemsthat involve the prioritization of potential alternative solutions. A ConsistencyRatio is calculated to check the consistency of judgments. Inconsistency islikely to occur when decision-makers make careless errors or exaggeratedjudgments during the process of pair-wise comparison. A consistency ratio of0.1 is considered the acceptable upper limit. The outcome of the AHP is an optimum choice among alternativedecisions. The model utilizes quantitative as well as qualitative factors in its 26
  42. 42. analysis. Tavana (2004) has pointed out that AHP is preferred to multipleregressions for qualitative criteria because these criteria do not allow for aneasy derivation of measurable attributes, however, operationally, the multipleattribute utility approach does better than AHP. AHP has several advantages,including over-specification of judgment, built-in consistency tests, use ofappropriate measurement scales and applicability in elicitation of utilityfunctions. Due to these advantages, there has been a successful application ofthe AHP to a variety of problem areas, including allocation of resources,conflict resolution, forecasting, input output analysis, planning, choice ofbehaviour and sustainable development planning (Quaddus and Siddique,2001). AHP has also been used to measure competitiveness in differentstudies. For example, AHP was one of the analytical methods used to evaluatetourism competitiveness on selection of tourism destination. The othermethods include Multiple Criteria Decision Evaluation Model, DataEnvelopment Analysis (DEA), Consumer Demand Model, and RegressionModel (Chang, 1997; Shen and Tsai, 2001; Shen and Hsieh, 2002). Sirikai(2006) analyzed the competitiveness of automotive components industry inThailand by evaluating trade-offs among the varying degrees of importance ofcompetitiveness indicators and the different effects of competitivenessdrivers. Another study by (Li and Tian, 2012) was conducted using AHP toevaluate the performance of specialized cooperative organizations of farmersin Sichuan, China. 27
  43. 43. 28
  44. 44. 3. Methodology The primary purpose of this study was to analyse women farmers’empowerment in Malawi through competitive analyses. To accomplish thispurpose, the research adopted a SWOT analysis to identify women farmers’strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats as well as to formulatestrategies. These were linked to the Porter’s Diamond Model to identifyfactors of competitiveness and alternatives for women empowerment. Porter’sDiamond Model was adopted and modified so that as it is a commonly usedmeasure of competitiveness, it may also apply to the situation of womenfarmers. Then, an Analytic Hierarchy Process (AHP) method was used todetermine the importance of the factors and alternative strategies inempowering women farmers. The first section of this chapter presents theresearch framework where models and methods are identified. The secondsection describes the questionnaire design. The sampling method is presentedin the third section. Section 4 presents the description of statistical analysisfor the study.3.1. The Research Framework Figure 3.1 illustrate the research framework for this study. It shows theprocedure that was followed to conduct this research to meet the objectives. 29
  45. 45. Figure 3.1. Research Framework for Determining the Competitiveness of Malawian Women Farmers. 30
  46. 46. 3.1.1. The SWOT Analysis Application A SWOT analysis was done to come up with strengths, weaknesses,opportunities and threats for women farmers in Malawi. In this study, theSWOT analysis provides a clear picture of the position of Malawian womenfarmers in the agriculture sector, which determines their competitiveness. Thestrengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats are explained in details in thissection. Table 3.1 shows the SWOT matrix for women farmers in Malawi.Strengths 1. Women are equipped with local and indigenous knowledge. Malawian women are the custodians of local and indigenous knowledge. By having such knowledge, new technologies would just build on the existing knowledge. FAO (2005) reported that local knowledge serves as a critical livelihood asset for poor rural women for securing food, shelter and medicines. 2. Women are hard working. A survey by FAO in 2010 found out that in sub-Saharan Africa, women grow as much as 90 percent of the regions food (FAO, 2010). The working day of women is at least 50 percent longer than that of men. Many women in developing countries including Malawi work an average of 12-16 hours in a day (Sinn and Wahyuni, 1996). Women’s triple roles often translate to working long hours and this manifests their hardworking spirit as they ensure that they fulfill all their roles. With proper planning and equity in distribution of roles this hardworking and long hours working can be productive without compromising their health. 3. Women farmers have the ability to produce efficiently. Just like male farmers, women can produce efficiently given the right production conditions. Substantial and growing evidence demonstrate that women farmers can produce on par with or better than men can (Quisumbing, 1996). With similar access to resources and inputs as men, women stand to achieve equal or higher yields than men. If women farmers 31
  47. 47. were given the same access to resources (such as finance), women’s agricultural yields could increase by 20 to 30 percent; national agricultural production could rise by 2.5 percent to 4 percent; and the number of malnourished people could be reduced by 12 to 17 percent (FAO, 2011). 4. Women farmers often diversify their enterprises. In most cases, they are involved in a number of agricultural enterprises including crops, livestock, off-farm activities and small and medium enterprises. Their ability to intercrop the staple food crop with other legumes and vegetables on the very small piece of land gives them an advantage in terms of engaging in different economic activities both on and off the farm. As a result, they are able to cope with changes in the market since they can supply different products. 5. Women farmers are market sensitive and are aware of the changes taking place the market hence they are able to respond to these changes by diversifying their enterprises.Weaknesses 1. Time constraints - Women perform multiple roles as agricultural producers, workers, mothers, and caregivers (Razavi and Miller, 1998). Women face far greater time constraints than men. They may spend less time on farm work but work longer total hours on productive and household work and paid and unpaid work, due to gender-based division of labour in childcare and household responsibilities. 2. Small land holding sizes - In most parts of sub-Saharan Africa including Malawi where customary property regimes prevail, community leaders tend to favor males over females in the allocation of land, both in terms of quantity and quality. Malawi is a densely populated country with an average land holding size of less than a hectare. However, men continue to dominate over them in terms of land 32
  48. 48. holding. Small land holding sizes is common in Malawi especially among women (FAO, 2010).3. Poor access to markets - One of the major challenges that farmers in Malawi face is poor access to markets for their agricultural produce. Due to poor market infrastructure farmers tend to travel long distances to urban areas in search for viable markets. Due to lower economic status than men, women tend to face challenges to travel to such markets. Furthermore, traveling to such distant markets compromises their reproductive roles. This trend results into women being forced to use local markets trading with intermediate buyers who reap them off by buying at poor prices. The situation for Malawian women farmers is even worse considering the disproportionate obstacles in accessing and competing in markets. These include women’s relative lack of mobility, capacity and technical skills in relation to men (World Bank, FAO and IFAD, 2009).4. Illiteracy levels among women in Malawi are over 60 percent (GOM, 2010), which poses a challenge for them to ably indulge in market-oriented farming. Until recently, the boy child was the most favored in terms of education as the belief was women would rely on their husbands once they are married. Hence, illiteracy level is higher among women than men. This trend has had an impact on record keeping and access to information that is important to agribusiness. Furthermore, high illiteracy levels affect technology adoption, which impacts heavily on enhancement on agriculture production (World Bank, 2007).5. Less access to financial and credit facilities - Women compared to men have less access to financial and credit facilities in most developing countries including Malawi (FAO, 2010). Women have less access to formal financial services because of high transaction costs, limited education and mobility, social and cultural barriers, the nature of their businesses, and collateral requirements, such as land title, they can’t meet. Women’s roles as primary caregivers and health risks associated with 33
  49. 49. childbearing also lead to intermittency in employment, which makes them risky clients for banks.6. Less access to agricultural extension services - On average, women have less access to agricultural extension services compared to men. Some of the reasons for this bias are: womens daily workloads do not usually allow them to be absent from home for residential training. Second, these services have been predominantly staffed by and they tended to direct their services to male farmers or heads of households, excluding female-headed households and women members of male-headed households (World Bank, 2000). Women farmers have less contact with extension services than men do, especially where male-female contact is culturally restricted. Male agents often provide extension to men farmers on the wrong assumption that the message will trickle down to women. In fact, agricultural knowledge is transferred inefficiently or not at all from husband to wife. In addition, the message tends to ignore the unique workload, responsibilities, and constraints facing women farmers.7. Poor access to and control over production resources - Generally, Malawian women farmers have poor access to and control over production resources. Women produce most of the food that is consumed locally and are responsible for household food security in many rural areas. More equitable access to land, fertilizers, water for irrigation, seeds, technology, tools, livestock and extension services would make agriculture a more efficient means of promoting shared economic growth, reducing poverty and improving food security and rural livelihoods. They often have weak property and contractual rights to land, water and other natural resources. Even where legislation is in place, lack of legal knowledge and weak implementation often limits the ability of women to exercise their rights (Koopman, 1993). 34
  50. 50. Opportunities 1. Existing government support - the government of Malawi makes an effort to support women farmers through the formulation of policies under various government policy strategies like the Malawi Growth and Development Strategy (MGDS), the Millennium Development Goals (MGD) of the United Nations to address issues of gender. Government support has been evident through setting a ministry (Ministry of Gender, Child Development and Community Development) specifically looking at gender issues. Furthermore, gender focal points have been put in government institutions besides allocation of funds meant for reducing gender inequalities. With such support, the initiatives that aim at ensuring equity and equality can be achieved. The government also implements projects and programs that are aimed at empowering and supporting women farmers to enhance their contribution in the agriculture sector. Some of these programs include: provision of input subsidies that benefit disadvantaged farmers including women (for example the Farm Input Subsidy Program (FISP); provision of micro-loans; linking women farmers to markets and negotiating product prices with international buyers on behalf of farmers; investing in education for girls; and protecting women’s property rights. To ensure incorporation of gender as a crosscutting issue in all the agricultural development programs, the government promotes a gender mainstreaming approach. 2. Gender awareness campaigns - Gender issues cut across virtually all aspects of agriculture. In recent years, greater attention has been devoted to gender at both national and international levels and since the recognition of the contribution of women in agriculture, there have been gender awareness campaigns at both levels. With more donor support which emphasis upholding of human rights especially those of 35
  51. 51. the marginalized, the country embarked on sensitization campaigns which have opened up people’s minds to ably challenge practices that abuse women. These campaigns are continuing which simplifies the efforts in ensuring that women are empowered and participate actively in decision making3. Existing support from the private sector and Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) - the private sector and NGOs like World Bank has institutional policies and commitments to ending discrimination against women and promoting gender equality in Malawi. Some of the interventions include investment in women education, provision of credits, promotion of income generating activities, promoting the use of labor and time saving technologies, encouraging the growing of high- value agricultural commodities and promoting value addition to agricultural products. NGOs continue to play a lead role in ensuring that women farmers receive training, information, and improved technologies. Their services often are increasing in scope and scale, either as complementary support to government efforts or to fill the gaps created as government expenditures and capabilities decline. An important emphasis, which recently has been highlighted in NGO programmes, is their support for membership-based community and farmer organizations. Women as well as men benefit from the expanding opportunities to develop farmer-to-farmer extension and training networks and to form partnerships with agricultural researchers and development agencies (World Bank, 2007).4. The government of Malawi enforces laws to protect women’s rights. The Malawi constitution prohibits any discrimination based on gender, race or tribe. This is an opportunity for reducing gender inequalities since it is the only way to challenge patriarchy system. Several reforms have taken place to ensure that legally women are protected from any sort of discrimination. For instance, under the land reforms, the constitution any inheritance of property based on ones gender but all 36
  52. 52. children regardless of sex has equal opportunity of inheriting property. The only challenge is to sensitize communities on their rights and about the constitution to guide their actions.Threats 1. Global Climate change is one of the greatest threats to the agricultural sector in the world today and Malawi has not been spared from the impacts of climate change. For the past years, there have been incidences of droughts in the country that have resulted in crop failures. Although the impacts of climate change are experienced in the whole agricultural sector, but the impact is great among women farmers due to other disadvantages in accessing the production resources. 2. In most African countries, gender discrimination exists and it is usually cultural based. In Malawi, the situation is the same. Social norms underlie the allocation of land, men’s and women’s labour allocation in agriculture. This traditional bias against women has led to an asymmetric distribution of rights, resources and responsibilities (Udry, 1996). In addition, women are considered second citizens in the society such that they are denied most development privileges. In Malawi a number of forms of discrimination still persist especially in rural areas where cultural traditions are still very strong. The government of Malawi has adopted various international conventions advocating for an end to discrimination against women but the extent to which these conventions have been implemented is not known. 3. The agricultural marketing system in Malawi experiences several failures ranging from poor agricultural prices, inadequate demand for the agricultural products, overproduction that causes abundant supply of products and crop failure that reduces the supply of the products. All these become a threat to farmers’ especially small-scale farmers including women. 37
  53. 53. 4. Human Immuno-deficiency Virus/Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (HIV/AIDS) pandemic is a critical problem for rural development and for rural women in particular, especially in sub- Saharan Africa. HIV/AIDS has severe impacts on women and girls because of gender specific division of family care, labour and resource control, as well as gender related discrimination. In addition, women and girls spend so much time taking care for the sick, attending funerals, which exacerbate their problems of time constraints. 5. Competition from male farmers - Men already have an upper hand over the women hence cannot effectively compete. In terms of access and control over productive resources and markets, where women’s issues are not considered then the competition would be unfair to women. Where fairness is orchestrated, women can ably compete with male farmers. Women farmers face a threat of competition from male farmers who have more resources, are equipped with more technical knowledge and their scale of production is much higher than that of female farmers.3.1.2. Strategy Formulation for Malawian Women Farmers SWOT matrix presents a mechanism for facilitating the linkage amongstrengths and weaknesses (internal factors), and threats and opportunities(external factors). It also provides a framework for identifying andformulating strategies. SWOT matrix helps to develop four types of strategies,namely SO (strengths-opportunities) strategies, WO (weaknesses-opportunities) strategies, ST (strengths-threats) strategies, and WT(weaknesses-threats) strategies. SO strategies use internal strengths to takeadvantage of external opportunities. WO strategies improve internalweaknesses by taking advantage of external opportunities. ST strategies usestrengths to avoid or reduce the impact of external threats. WT strategies aredefensive tactics directed at reducing internal weaknesses and avoiding 38
  54. 54. environmental threats (Weihrich, 1982). Table 3.2 shows strategiesformulated for Malawian women farmers. 39
  55. 55. Table 3.1. SWOT Matrix for Malawian Women Farmers Internal factors (controllable) External factors (uncontrollable) Strengths (S) Opportunities (O) SO: Well equipped with local and O1: Existing indigenous knowledge government support S2: Hard working O2: Existing NGOs andFavorable private sector support S3: Ability to produce efficientlyfactors O3: Existing legal S4: Market Sensitive framework to protect S5: Ability to diversify enterprises women’s rights O4: Existing gender awareness campaigns Weaknesses (W) Threats (T) W1: Time constraints T1: Climate change W2: Small land holding sizes T2: Gender discrimination W3: Poor market access T3: HIV/AIDSUnfavorable W4: Poor education pandemicfactors W5: Lack of access to credit T4: Poor agricultural services prices W6: Inadequate access to T5: Competition from agricultural extension services male farmers W7: Lack of access to and control 40
  56. 56. over production resourcesTable 3.2. Strategies Formulated for Malawian Women Farmers Strengths (S) Weaknesses (W) SO strategies WO strategies Opportunities • Establishment of financial • Availability of (O) institutions to provide training and loans and other financial extension to women related assistance farmers ST strategies WT strategies • Formation of women • Government to help farmer’s Production transfer women Threats (T) Marketing Teams (PMTs) farmers out of farming • Establishment of women farmers associations3.1.3. Porter’s Diamond Model Application Porter’s Diamond Model offers an organisational structure fordevelopment linked to a theory of competitive advantage of Malawian womenfarmers in the agricultural sector. This study determines whether Porter’s(1990) theory of competitive advantage and his analysis of global competitionfocusing on inter-firm competition is an appropriate model for Malawianwomen farmers. Michael Porter’s Diamond Model (Porter, 1990) is a useful techniquefor identifying the factors that an enterprise has to consider in the businessoperation and the interactions between these factors with a consideration ofthe organisational structure, external competition and strategic decisions. Thediamond model comprises four major factors and two accessorial factors. 41
  57. 57. Although the variables function independently, an advantage variable in oneelement can provide, or improve, the advantage in another variable. Thismodel was adopted and modified for this research purpose with aconsideration of unique characteristics of the context in which the model hasbeen applied. Five factors are incorporated in this study; these and theircorresponding sub-factors are described below:1. Factor conditions: These are factors of production and inputs required to compete in the industry. Under this factor/criterion, the following sub criteria were identified: a) Human resources - this sub criterion looks at the quantity, skills and cost of personnel for example, extension workers working with women farmers, and the labour required to become competitive. b) Natural resources - this sub criterion looks at the abundance, quality, accessibility and the cost of resources for production such as land and water. c) Technique and equipment - this factor analyses the women farmer’s stock of scientific, technical and market knowledge that can enhance their competitiveness. It also considers the availability, and access to equipment for production like machinery. d) Financial and capital resources - this sub criterion looks at the amount and costs of capital available to finance women farmer’s enterprises. e) Farm location - the location of the farm has a great impact on the transportation costs and on the cultural and business interchange of enterprises. f) Marketing resources - this factor analyses the availability and the quality of important marketing resources like storage facilities, transportation means.2. Demand conditions: Demand conditions emphasise the nature of the consumer demand in the home country in motivating a firm to increase its competitive position. In this study, the following sub criteria have been considered: a) Availability of market for the produce by women farmers - this sub criteria looks at both the domestic and international demand for the products and services offered by women farmers. The higher the demand, the more competitive advantage women farmers have. b) Consumer’s preference to safe produce - this factor considers consumer 42
  58. 58. preferences in demanding safe products and services. The stricter the consumers are in their preference towards safe foods, the more creative and careful women farmers will be and this will create their competitiveness. c) Consumer’s preference to value-added produce - this factor considers consumer preferences in demanding value-added products. The stricter the consumers are in their preference towards value- added products, the more innovative and careful women farmers will be and this will create their competitiveness.3. Related and supporting industries: The presence or absence in a nation of supplier industries and related industries, which are globally competitive. In this study, the following sub criteria were considered under this criterion: a) Availability and consistency of supply inputs - this factor analyses the supply chain for important inputs needed by women farmers like fertilizer, seeds and chemicals. b) Availability of on-job education and training - the effectiveness of available institutions in providing on-job education and training to women farmers in their various enterprises. c) Property rights/legal protection - the effectiveness of legal protection for women farmers on issues of property rights.4. Firm strategy, structure and rivalries: The conditions that govern how companies are created, organised, managed, and as well as determine the nature of domestic rivalry. This study considers the following: a) too many farmers - the competition that exists due to the availability of too many farmers who produce almost homogenous products. The competition triggers innovation among farmers, which in turn creates competitiveness. b) Forming business alliances - this can help to reduce the cost of production for example by buying inputs together in bulk or transporting produce together. c) Low cost production practices – the use of low cost production techniques such as physical and biological methods of weeds and pest control, manure usage instead of fertilizer, which is expensive to reduce production costs. d) Contract farming - the involvement of women 43

×