Microcredit to women and its contribution to production and household food security

Samenvatting (Engels)

The contents of this dissertation are based on a quantitative and qualitative panel study that was conducted among BRAC-Uganda microfinance clients, to assess the contribution of microcredit access of women to production and household food security status. The relevance of this study lies in the continuing debate about the impact of microcredit on poor households, with some studies indicating that effects of borrowing may not be as large as once acclaimed and that the previously reported negative effects of microcredit may not be conclusive. Unlike what is commonly theorised, borrowing did not lead to improvement in agricultural production input expenditures, agricultural output, and food security of borrowers’ households, with the later tending to decline. However, borrowers invested microloans into non-farm MEs, and into human capital improvement for children. Just like for agricultural production, we found no evidence of improvement in non-farm microenterprise profits. The most important determinants of the effect of microcredit were the context of borrowing, the loan terms, and processes. Many contextual factors need to change before microcredit will have the desired effect.