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Livelihood Impact of Craft Sales Research Project Carol Murphy and Helen Suich WILD Project and EEU, MET In partnership with Rössing Foundation and IRDNC.

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Presentation on theme: "Livelihood Impact of Craft Sales Research Project Carol Murphy and Helen Suich WILD Project and EEU, MET In partnership with Rössing Foundation and IRDNC."— Presentation transcript:

1 Livelihood Impact of Craft Sales Research Project Carol Murphy and Helen Suich WILD Project and EEU, MET In partnership with Rössing Foundation and IRDNC

2 Background CBNRM Craft Development Programme has contributed to the commercialisation of basket production Generation of individual cash benefits to a large number of poor women is a unique feature of this plant-based CBNRM initiative Money to poor women is a key feature for successful poverty alleviation

3 No studies done on the livelihood impact of craft sales in Namibia Detailed craft sales data available (RF and IRDNC to get database to continue) Focus on baskets (565 weavers in Caprivi sold at least one basket between 1998 and 2001) Other craft makers – potters and wood carvers – are on average much higher earners then weavers, but there are only 22 of them

4 Research To conduct an analysis of craft sales data in Caprivi and determine the impact that basket sales have on the livelihoods of selected basket producers Phase 1 – RF sales in Masokotwane and Salambala Conservancy Phase 2 – Mashi Crafts Co-operative (IRDNC)

5 Research Methods Orientation – field visits with RF and IRDNC, combined proposal and MOU Analysis of basket sales data (field records) from 16 villages in Masokotwane and Salambala Interviews with 24 weavers (high and middle income earners from craft sales)

6 Main Findings Total RF sales figure from June 1998 to end of 2001 was just over $N200,000

7 80% of weavers earned less then $N500 each year between mid 1998 and December 2001 In 1998 and 1999, no weaver earned over $N1,000. In 2000, 11 weavers earned over $N1,000 and in 2001 this dropped to only four women The highest earning weaver over the whole period received $N3,797 (though she only started selling baskets in March 1999)

8 Average income in 2001 for weavers was $N147, ranging between $N6 and $N1,418 Average income in 2001 for potters was $N164, ranging from $N10 to $N1,135 Average income in 2001 for wood carvers was $N4,454, ranging from $N1,416 to $N8,314

9 In 2001, 95% of crafters selling to RF were weavers, but they made only 85% of the total value of sales In the same year, the bottom 125 weavers earned only 3% of total income ($N3,026), while the top 125 women earned almost 75% between them ($N74,441)

10 Description of 24 female weavers interviewed 20 to 80 yrs some had never been to school and only one weaver had completed grade 12 all women but one had children between one and nine, with an average of five

11 Sources of income For all women the three most important sources of income were: Basket sales Thatch grass sales Maize sales

12 Sources of income compared

13 Use of income For the weavers the most important uses of income (from all sources, not just craft income) were Food School costs Clothes

14 Uses of income compared

15 Women’s control of money from basket sales 14 women had full control: of these half were female headed households 6 women made joint decisions with their husbands Two lost control of money by giving it to their husbands

16 Income-generating alternatives to weaving Limited (none mentioned salaried labour, all activities were existing activities carried out by women): Ploughing to grow maize for sale Joining a sewing group Making vetkoek to sell Buying sorghum to make traditional beer Selling thatch and reeds (also reed mats) Collecting and selling wild fruits Growing vegetables to sell Children selling sweets

17 Difficulties Constraints to collecting and preparing natural resources Strenuous nature of weaving Low return activity Finding more markets Selling lower grade craft

18 Conclusions CBNRM Craft Development Programme has commercialised basket production in Caprivi RF – Total sales and numbers of producers are impressive Good ‘fit’ with CBNRM and livelihoods

19 Monetary income from cash upfront is an important source of income for some rural women in Caprivi and has contributed to poverty alleviation Making and selling baskets is one income- generating activity that makes up the diverse livelihoods of rural women In most cases, amount of money generated is small (e.g. compared to pensions) Small amounts of cash to poor people have been identified as being of great significance

20 Basket production is a marginal, supplementary activity that is time-consuming and brings low returns BUT it is very important because: –the development impact of basket sales income is great – money earned from craft sales is spent on basic needs (food, education, health); –women can weave from home (so it fits in with women as homemakers/childminders); and –very little capital is needed to make baskets, so it is an option for even very poor women.

21 Transaction costs are much lower when compared to other CBNRM enterprises and the development impact is more immediate and direct The presence of a conservancy not essential to a successful craft programme Attention has been paid to sustainable use of palm dye trees (harvesting techniques and palm gardens) A strength is that there is collective management (mainly selling) linked to individual benefit

22 Apart from cash generation, indirect benefits include increasing the crafters’ sense of pride and identity Craft programme has helped strengthen the role of women in the CBNRM Also worked to diversify the emphasis on large mammals

23 Recommendations The Craft Development Programme is very important in terms of poverty alleviation There is a need to maintain the development impact of the programme Need for alternative income generating activities that are less marginal

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