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Rural Household Livelihood Strategies: Options and Determinants in the Case of Wolaita Zone, Southern Ethiopia

Received: 10 May 2014    Accepted: 3 June 2014    Published: 30 June 2014
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Abstract

Due to sever land scarcity, high population pressure and recurrent drought, farm households in the study area widely engage in and pursue diverse activities as livelihood strategies. The carrying capacity of agriculture to attain food and livelihood security is extremely declining from time to time. Diversifying livelihood strategies at current time become a common phenomenon in the study area. The major objectives of this study are, therefore, to identify the existing livelihood strategies adopted by rural households and to assess factors that determine households’ decision to choose alternative livelihood strategies. For the purpose of this study primary data were collected from randomly selected 300 households in four woredas (districts) of the zone. Descriptive statistics was applied to characterize the sample households’ social, economic, demographic and institutional factors. The finding of the survey result indicates that rural households in the study area practice diversified livelihood strategies, in that large part of the respondents (57.7%) combine agriculture with other activities (non/off-farm). Surprisingly, some farmers were pursuing non-farm and off-farm activities as the primary livelihood strategies rather than agriculture. Multinomial logit model applied to investigate factors influencing the households’ choice of livelihood strategies. In this regard, a total of 19 explanatory variables were included in the empirical model of which 11 were significant. These variables include agro-ecology, sex, education, farm size, livestock ownership, participation in social leadership, annual cash income, fertilizer use, improved seed use, age, and training which were determining farmers’ choice of livelihood strategies. The results of this study suggest that development interventions, policies and supportive services should be designed to suit the felt needs and circumstances of different groups of farmers.

DOI 10.11648/j.ss.20140303.15
Published in Social Sciences (Volume 3, Issue 3, June 2014)
Page(s) 92-104
Creative Commons

This is an Open Access article, distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits unrestricted use, distribution and reproduction in any medium or format, provided the original work is properly cited.

Copyright

Copyright © The Author(s), 2024. Published by Science Publishing Group

Keywords

Livelihood Strategies, Rural Households, Ethiopia, Multinomial Logit Model

References
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  • APA Style

    Yishak Gecho, Gezahegn Ayele, Tesfaye Lemma, Dawit Alemu. (2014). Rural Household Livelihood Strategies: Options and Determinants in the Case of Wolaita Zone, Southern Ethiopia. Social Sciences, 3(3), 92-104. https://doi.org/10.11648/j.ss.20140303.15

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    ACS Style

    Yishak Gecho; Gezahegn Ayele; Tesfaye Lemma; Dawit Alemu. Rural Household Livelihood Strategies: Options and Determinants in the Case of Wolaita Zone, Southern Ethiopia. Soc. Sci. 2014, 3(3), 92-104. doi: 10.11648/j.ss.20140303.15

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    AMA Style

    Yishak Gecho, Gezahegn Ayele, Tesfaye Lemma, Dawit Alemu. Rural Household Livelihood Strategies: Options and Determinants in the Case of Wolaita Zone, Southern Ethiopia. Soc Sci. 2014;3(3):92-104. doi: 10.11648/j.ss.20140303.15

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  • @article{10.11648/j.ss.20140303.15,
      author = {Yishak Gecho and Gezahegn Ayele and Tesfaye Lemma and Dawit Alemu},
      title = {Rural Household Livelihood Strategies: Options and Determinants in the Case of Wolaita Zone, Southern Ethiopia},
      journal = {Social Sciences},
      volume = {3},
      number = {3},
      pages = {92-104},
      doi = {10.11648/j.ss.20140303.15},
      url = {https://doi.org/10.11648/j.ss.20140303.15},
      eprint = {https://article.sciencepublishinggroup.com/pdf/10.11648.j.ss.20140303.15},
      abstract = {Due to sever land scarcity, high population pressure and recurrent drought, farm households in the study area widely engage in and pursue diverse activities as livelihood strategies. The carrying capacity of agriculture to attain food and livelihood security is extremely declining from time to time. Diversifying livelihood strategies at current time become a common phenomenon in the study area. The major objectives of this study are, therefore, to identify the existing livelihood strategies adopted by rural households and to assess factors that determine households’ decision to choose alternative livelihood strategies. For the purpose of this study primary data were collected from randomly selected 300 households in four woredas (districts) of the zone. Descriptive statistics was applied to characterize the sample households’ social, economic, demographic and institutional factors. The finding of the survey result indicates that rural households in the study area practice diversified livelihood strategies, in that large part of the respondents (57.7%) combine agriculture with other activities (non/off-farm). Surprisingly, some farmers were pursuing non-farm and off-farm activities as the primary livelihood strategies rather than agriculture. Multinomial logit model applied to investigate factors influencing the households’ choice of livelihood strategies. In this regard, a total of 19 explanatory variables were included in the empirical model of which 11 were significant. These variables include agro-ecology, sex, education, farm size, livestock ownership, participation in social leadership, annual cash income, fertilizer use, improved seed use, age, and training which were determining farmers’ choice of livelihood strategies. The results of this study suggest that development interventions, policies and supportive services should be designed to suit the felt needs and circumstances of different groups of farmers.},
     year = {2014}
    }
    

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  • TY  - JOUR
    T1  - Rural Household Livelihood Strategies: Options and Determinants in the Case of Wolaita Zone, Southern Ethiopia
    AU  - Yishak Gecho
    AU  - Gezahegn Ayele
    AU  - Tesfaye Lemma
    AU  - Dawit Alemu
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    JF  - Social Sciences
    JO  - Social Sciences
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    EP  - 104
    PB  - Science Publishing Group
    SN  - 2326-988X
    UR  - https://doi.org/10.11648/j.ss.20140303.15
    AB  - Due to sever land scarcity, high population pressure and recurrent drought, farm households in the study area widely engage in and pursue diverse activities as livelihood strategies. The carrying capacity of agriculture to attain food and livelihood security is extremely declining from time to time. Diversifying livelihood strategies at current time become a common phenomenon in the study area. The major objectives of this study are, therefore, to identify the existing livelihood strategies adopted by rural households and to assess factors that determine households’ decision to choose alternative livelihood strategies. For the purpose of this study primary data were collected from randomly selected 300 households in four woredas (districts) of the zone. Descriptive statistics was applied to characterize the sample households’ social, economic, demographic and institutional factors. The finding of the survey result indicates that rural households in the study area practice diversified livelihood strategies, in that large part of the respondents (57.7%) combine agriculture with other activities (non/off-farm). Surprisingly, some farmers were pursuing non-farm and off-farm activities as the primary livelihood strategies rather than agriculture. Multinomial logit model applied to investigate factors influencing the households’ choice of livelihood strategies. In this regard, a total of 19 explanatory variables were included in the empirical model of which 11 were significant. These variables include agro-ecology, sex, education, farm size, livestock ownership, participation in social leadership, annual cash income, fertilizer use, improved seed use, age, and training which were determining farmers’ choice of livelihood strategies. The results of this study suggest that development interventions, policies and supportive services should be designed to suit the felt needs and circumstances of different groups of farmers.
    VL  - 3
    IS  - 3
    ER  - 

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Author Information
  • Department of Rural Development and Agricultural Extension, Haramaya University, Ethiopia

  • Capacity Building Manager (USAID) to improve agriculture and food security, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia

  • Department of Rural Development and Agricultural Extension, Haramaya University, Ethiopia

  • Agricultural Economic Research –Extension Farmer’s Linkage, Ethiopian Institute for Agricultural Research, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia

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