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Income does not only

Income does not only vary from week to week. It also may follow seasonal cycles related to the agricultural cycle or annual celebrations and holidays. In addition, as will be seen below, people have to manage in the face of long-term secular economic shifts. During the study, the Zambian kwacha lost about half of its value against the dollar, declining from ZMW 6.34 to the dollar on November 1, 2014 to ZMW 11.02 to the dollar on December 15, 2015. Micro-retail businesses and informal service workers experienced considerable week-to-week fluctuations in income during the study, but there is little evidence to show these were related to seasonal patterns. Figure 11: Income Seasonality - Micro-Retail Businesses Figure 12: Income Seasonality - Informal Labor Services Go To Menu 15

Farmers, too, showed no marked seasonal spikes in earnings. There are several possible explanations for this. First, farmers in our study grew a mix of vegetables, which did not have a specific harvest season, in addition to cereal crops. This mix of produce allowed them to moderate the sales of their produce to have more consistent incomes throughout the year. Second, farmers who grew maize—one of the main cash crops—sold it in small amounts throughout the year, with only a handful of farmers selling the bulk of the harvest at once. In fact, respondents who sold maize completed 2.5 sales on average throughout the year, with some respondents making as many as nine sales during the study. These sales were also staggered, although relatively more sales occurred in the summer months that preceded the maize harvest season. Third, half of crop growing households consumed at least half of their harvest during the study period. With less harvest to sell, and the tendency to sell at multiple times throughout the year, farmers did not have harvest sales large enough to result in a spike. Figure 13: Income Seasonality - Farmers Respondent Insights: Vegetable Farmers. During the in-depth interviews, we asked farmers how they cared for their crops to ensure that they had the best harvest possible. Ten of our interviewees reported growing crops such as vegetables and tomatoes, and seven out of those ten reported drawing water from a river or stream. Two others reported using a different source, such as a water pump or well, to draw water. Relying on these sources ensures that respondents can grow crops all year instead of relying just on the rainy season. HOUSEHOLD SPENDING In addition to revealing differences in the ways respondents earn income, the Financial Diaries can also show respondents’ priorities when making purchases for their households. Enumerators collected data on the respondents’ expenditures, which included information on the types of items purchased and whether they were for a household or business purpose. The respondents averaged about ZMW 150 per week on purchases for household consumption. Men spent more than women did on average. Table 7: Average Household Spending per Week by Gender Average Household Spending (ZMW) Male 169 Female 136 Total 305 16 Go To Menu

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