Indigenous Knowledge and Prospects for Income and Employment Generation: The Case of Handicraft Production among Rural Women in Tanzania

Beatrice Kalinda Mkenda, Jehovaness Aikaeli

Abstract


This paper examines the extent to which handicraft activities can generate viableincome and employment for rural women in Tanzania. Based on survey datacollected from three regions of Tanzania (Iringa, Dodoma, and Mbeya), thestudy finds that women engaged in handicrafts earn lower mean incomes thanthose in farming and livestock keeping. Handicraft activities are not donethroughout the entire year, and selling activities have peak periods. The keychallenges women face are: marketing, inadequate capital, difficulties inacquiring raw materials, and low prices. Some policy implications include:linking handicrafts to tourism activities so the activity can be promoted as aviable employment option for rural women; providing women with access toaffordable loans and inputs; providing marketing channels for selling handicraftproducts; providing support in marketing products internationally; and providingtraining on improving the quality of products so that the women can compete inboth local and international markets.

Keywords


Indigenous Knowledge; Women; Handicrafts; Tanzania

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