Impact of Savings and Credit Cooperative Society Groups on Food Security in Zimbabwe: A Case Study of Marange Community in Mutare District.

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Impact of Savings and Credit Cooperative Society Groups on Food Security in Zimbabwe: A Case Study of Marange Community in Mutare District.

Dereck Moyo (Mr)1 , Tough Chinoda (PhD)2 and Unice Goshomi (PhD)3
Principal Author of this paper. Currently pursuing a Doctor of Philosophy degree in Development Studies at the Women’s University in Africa, Harare, Zimbabwe.
Senior lecturer, University of Zimbabwe.
Research Programmes Leader (Research, Innovation and Postgraduate Centre) Women’s University in Africa.

DOI: https://doi.org/10.51244/IJRSI.2023.10612

IJRISS Call for paper

Received: 19 June 2023; Revised: 27 June 2023; Accepted: 01 July 2023; Published: 13 July 2023

Abstract:
Objective: The study aimed to evaluate the impact of Savings and Credit Cooperative Society (SACCOS) on sustaining food security for households in Marange communal area of Mutare rural district in Zimbabwe.
Methods: An exploratory sequential mixed methods research (MMR) design was used in carrying out the present study. In this design, the study first collected primary qualitative data using 6 focus group discussions (FGDs) and 7 key informant interviews (KIIs) followed by collecting quantitative data using a household survey from 204 respondents. The 204 respondents consisted of 102 households participating in VSLAs and SACCOS, and 102 households not participating in VSLAs and SACCOS. NVivo, was used to analyse qualitative data from focus group discussions (FGDs) and key informant interviews (KIIs) to determine themes and content from the data, respectively. SPSS version 23 was used to analyse quantitative data to provide descriptive and inferential statistics for the research. Chi-square Test of Independence was used to analyse quantitative data to investigate the association between participation in SACCOS (independent variable) and food security (dependent variable).
Results: Qualitative results showed that there was an association between participation in SACCOS and the four pillars of food security, namely food accessibility, food availability, food utilization, and stability of the former three pillars. Quantitative results corroborated qualitative results (p<0.05) and showed that, at 95% significance level, participation in SACCOS has positive impact on household food security in Marange communal area.
Conclusion: The study concluded that participation in SACCOS has positive impact on household food security in Marange communal area.
Recommendations: The study made two key recommendations. Firstly, the government of Zimbabwe through Ministry of Finance should provide conducive policy environment for SACCOS to thrive, particularly addressing economic challenges that are currently acting as barrier to viability of SACCOS. Secondly, there is scope for undertaking this study in a different approach such as replicating it over a period of two or more seasons instead of only one agricultural season, as was the case with the present study.

Keywords: Food security, food availability, food accessibility, food utilization, savings and credit cooperative society, village savings and lending associations, food utilization.

I. Introduction

Hunger is a problem for people, governments and development partners world-over since it denotes a population living in extreme poverty. Typically, the phenomenon of hunger is experienced more in developing countries (Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), 2017) in which populations are predominantly smallholder farmers (Mutea et al, 2019). Additionally, food is a fundamental human need hence the concept of food security is an important agenda for social and economic development. According to the FAO World Food Summit held in November 1996 (FAO, 2006) food security was defined as a situation, when all people, at all times,