Small-scale female farmers and their capacity for self-sustenance A sustainable Livelihoods Approach: Findings form Zambia.

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The core of the Sustainable Livelihoods Approach indicates five forms of capital: human, natural, financial, social and physical, which positively contribute to the extent someone can sustain his or her own livelihood. In brief, human capital comprises knowledge and skills of individuals. Natural capital consists of natural resources present such as land and water. Financial capital refers to financial resources such as income, savings and livestock. Social capital comprises the reliance and cooperation of individuals with others including networks and organisations. Lastly, physical capital includes basic infrastructure such as transportation. Individuals which possess a low level of assets are strongly reliant on external factors and therefore increasingly vulnerable for external shocks and (natural) hazards. The main research question is: To what extent do small-scale female farmers have assets to sustain their livelihoods? The research is executed among small-scale female farmers in rural Zambia, Mpanshya. Informants are interviewed and asked about the possession of a variety of resources, including schooling, financial resources and ownership of land. The main findings show that, in particular, financial capital is hardly present among the small-scale female farmers. Human, social and physical capital are minimally present, and natural capital is sufficiently present. Keywords: agriculture, Sustainable Livelihoods Approach, small-scale farmers, gender, human capital, natural capital, financial capital, physical capital, capacity of self-sustenance, rural, Zambia.
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