Thursday, February 23, 2012

Small ruminants and financial security in rural Nigeria

We are pleased to release our newest working paper, from IMTFI researchers Isaac and Titilayo Oluwatayo on the use of small ruminants, like goats, as a form of financial security among women in rural Nigeria. From the authors:

We realised that small ruminants’ husbandry play a very crucial role in the lives of residents of rural Nigeria and this is because small ruminants provide the easiest and readily accessible source of credit available to meeting immediate and urgent social and financial obligations especially among the vulnerable women. Findings from our recent study show that rural women are involved in the rearing of small ruminants - sheep and goats especially around homes by feeding them kitchen wastes or most times leave them to graze on surrounding herbs and shrubs.  Primary data collected through administration of structured questionnaire and relevant secondary information gathered from livestock institutions in the study area were analysed using descriptive and inferential statistics.  The results of the analysis revealed that 58.7 percent of the respondents had farming as their primary occupation. Analysis of respondents based on the types of livestock raised showed that goat was the most preferred with about 72 percent of respondents indicating it as their favourite and this is unconnected with the fact that consumption and marketability of goat has no religious/ethnic/cultural restrictions. Next to this is poultry (53.5 percent) and the least preferred among the livestock is swine. The result further revealed that 67.7 percent of the respondents utilised part of the income generated from small ruminants’ rearing to meet the welfare needs of their members and settle unforeseen financial demands such as paying hospital bills (10.4 percent) and assisting relations in emergency situations (7.8 percent).  However, education and poverty status of respondents were found to be important determinants of revenue realised from small ruminants. Going by our findings, we therefore recommend that efforts should be geared at building capacity of respondents through education since respondents with formal education were better able to monetise their animals and get better returns. Also, sensitization on family planning and improvement on existing infrastructural facilities in the study area are very important in boosting the financial status of the women.
Click here to read the paper! 

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Funny Money Roundup 3: On Wall Street, the Great Recession, and the Occupy Movements, Part 1

Welcome back to the occasional link collection we here at IMTFI call the Funny Money Roundup. This installment focuses on the Occupy movements that have sprung up around the United States and around the world over the past several months. Part 1, below the break, shares links from our archive on the Occupy movements. Part 2 will look at the recession and Wall Street generally. As always, what follows is idiosyncratic and incomplete. If you’d like to share a link or several, please send them to Taylor Nelms at

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Informal Credit Associations in Lucknow, India

Zardozi embroiderers

We are pleased to announce the release of our most recent working paper, authored by IMTFI researcher Syed Aiman Raza, assistant professor of Anthropology at Shia P.G. College in Lucknow, India. Dr. Raza's research focuses on informal credit associations among Zardozi embroidery workers in Lucknow.
Trapped in a vicious cycle of poverty, the poor are unable to think much about their future. This creates a situation in which the education of the children, health of the household members is often compromised with. Each day of their life is spent struggling to earn a living for the family. They often work for more than 8 hours a day, earning less than two dollar and even sometimes less. These impacts are invisible, but in the truest sense – are irreversible for the dent they make in the future of their families. Their choices are minimal which makes it impossible for them to plan out expenditure and calculate one’s own capacity to save or repay. 
The present study is an ethnographic account of the Shia population attached to Zardozi (embroidery) in Lucknow, who are reeling under intense poverty and suffering as a result of pittance. This study contributes to the linking of micro levels of analysis of money management through informal financial network of Rotating Services and Credit Association (ROSCA), popularly known as Beesi, among the poor skilled Zardozi (embroidery) workers in Lucknow. The research facilitates verbatim accounts of embroidery workers about what they want ,what they expect of themselves and how they make their choices that they can make. The study is open to a wide spectrum of readers belonging to developmental studies, economics and microfinance who are interested in understanding real life situations confronted by the poor in third world countries.
Click here to read it!