Poverty determinants in Chivi district, Masvingo Province, Zimbabwe: An application of econometric modelling techniques on household data
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There has been lack of consensus on the determinants of poverty at household level and previous studies in Chivi utilised descriptive statistics in analysing poverty which is not very useful in determining the probability of being poor of households. This study sought to establish the major demographic determinants of poverty, human capital determinants of poverty and agricultural assets that determine poverty utilising appropriate econometric modelling techniques. This was a quasi-experimental research that utilises both qualitative and quantitative techniques to understand the major determinants of poverty at household level utilising the logit model. A questionnaire was the major research instrument that was used in the collection of data. The study followed the Basic Needs approach to poverty analysis and utilised the poverty lines to classify households into poverty categories. The major demographic determinants of poverty were: household size that was positively associated with the probability of being poor; and age of household head that was negatively correlated with the probability of being poor. Education as measured by average years of schooling was the major human capital factor that was negatively associated with the probability of being poor. Cattle ownership was negatively associated with the probability of being poor as the major agricultural asset that determines poverty. Religion and geography were found to be significant determinants of poverty in Chivi. The study recommends renewed focus on rural development with urgency and efficacy to increase labour productivity. It recommended that provision of draught power to the poor households in Chivi might help in increasing agricultural productivity. Maintenance of high levels of education is essential for effective transmission of agricultural technology to increase productivity in Chivi. This study suggested a multi-pronged approach to the fight against poverty that includes religious leaders. The study also suggested a livestock financing scheme for the poor to be championed by Banks and supported by Government. Government should seriously consider embarking community area re-orientation programme which has been on the cards for long.