Education and agricultural inputs use by female farmers in Zimbabwe
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Matshe, I.; Zikhali, Precious; Chilonda, Pius. 2010. Education and agricultural inputs use by female farmers in Zimbabwe. Agenda, 86:96-110.
Permanent link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/10568/40520
There is ample empirical evidence that suggests the existence of gender discrimination when it comes to access to and subsequent use of productivity-enhancing farm inputs, specially those provided via market institutions, such as chemical fertilisers and hired labour. This discrimination is often found to be in favour of male farmers or male-headed households. Against this background, this focus contributes to building an understanding of the role of female education as a possible intervention that could mitigate such gendered agricultural input use disparities. A bivariate probit model on chemical fertiliser and hired labour use by households is estimated, using data collected in 2007 in rural Zimbabwe. This estimation strategy allows for interdependency between the input use decisions. Our results suggest that education significantly raises the probability of female farmers' use of both chemical fertilisers and hired labour. Interestingly, this impact is found to be higher for femaleheaded households in communal areas as opposed to female-headed households in resettlement areas where eneficiaries of Zimbabwe's Fast-track Land Reform Programme reside. This finding confirms the need to promote the education of women, particularly rural women, as part of interventions aimed at empowering female farmers, in the process countering and ending gender-based discrimination in accessing farm inputs.