When a smallholder farmer goes to the bank: Financial inclusion and farmers in Gokwe South District, Midlands Province, Zimbabwe.


  • Tsitsi L. Senga Midlands State University, Zimbabwe
  • Elliot M. Masocha DeVry University/Keller Graduate School of Management, USA
  • Wonder Dzimiri Midlands State University, Zimbabwe


Financial management , smallholder farmer , financial development, financial inclusion


Economic development is linked to the financial inclusion of citizens in national and global economies. Financial development is generally thought to promote economic growth for households and countries. Regarding farmers in Zimbabwe, financial inclusion has been widely discussed as a critical aspect of fostering smallholder financial stability and economic development. Notwithstanding access to fertile land, and mitigation of climate challenges, among other issues unique to farmers, this paper explores financial management challenges experienced by smallholder farmers, within the context of financial inclusion to establish how farmers fair in this regard. Adopting a qualitative approach underpinned by an interpretive paradigm, the study used a case study design wherein Gokwe South District was taken as the case with a total population of 62,000 smallholder farmers from the 33 wards. Ten stakeholders in smallholder farming constituted the sample and participants with 3-20 years experience in farming were purposively selected with data generated through semi-structured interviews. Results show that farmers face many challenges notably, that most of them have no bank accounts, and those who have, accounts are inactive. They lack confidence in the monetary system signaled by unfavorable withdrawal limits, accessibility challenges, mode of payments, and exorbitant bank charges. They also lack financial management and record-keeping skills. It is, thus, recommended that financial institutions design strategies that cater for marginalised economic groups, such as smallholder farmers to encourage and promote financial inclusion. These include, the establishment of financial inclusion hubs, provision of low-cost bank accounts and agency banking considered a measure that could be put in place to financially include smallholder farmers. In addition, farmers need to be trained in areas of financial management. Furthermore, there is a need for policy adjustments to accommodate the financial inclusion of smallholder farming practices, as a business.

Author Biography

Tsitsi L. Senga, Midlands State University, Zimbabwe

PhD, (MSU) Student, Faculty of Business Sciences.


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