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Title: HOUSEHOLD LIVELIHOOD STRATEGIEHOUSEHOLD STRATEGIES IN SOUTHERN WOLLO: THE CASE OF DENKA KA, AMBASSEL WOREDA
Authors: DANIEL, TESFAYE
Advisors: Dr. Getachew Kassa
Copyright: 2002
Date Added: 17-May-2008
Publisher: Addis Ababa University
Abstract: This study is a result of three months of field work in the Denka Kebele Association (KA) in Amhara Regional state in Northern Ethiopia. Research was conducted among households who cultivate plots of land and keep livestock in a rugged ecosystem. An analysis of data from households interviewed indicated that the traditional agriculture has remained the main economic activity and the majority of farmer-producers practices it. The traditional farming system is based on small plots of land, family labor, small-scale production and limited capital input. The livelihood and food security of households is influenced primarily by farm and grazing land availability. Land has the most important influence on the livelihood strategies employed by households, type of crop harvested, and the type and number of livestock possessed or kept by households. The size of household land holding in the research area has been decreased considerably over the past decades. This process has been accompanied by population increase. Population increase coupled with land redistributions contributed to the land diminution at the household level. The recent land redistribution, which was carried out in 1991 particularly, had a serious impact on the diminution of land size as it included town dwellers that were not previously farmers. The diminution of land size in turn has an impact on share cropping arrangements and inter-community relationships. Sharecropping arrangements are shifting in favor of landowning households because newly established households, returnees from resettlement and land short households need land though the carrying capacity of the land is limited. Furthermore, a patron-client relationship is developing between landowning and landless households. On the other hand, newly established households are becoming dependent on their parents (often fathers) in order to have land to construct their houses. These households do not have direct access to services provided by the local government such as credit. They depend on their fathers to access such services. Consequently, a “new domain” that stands between the already contrasting “domestic” and “public domains” is in the formation. Furthermore, fathers become the most influential counterparts in bargaining and decision making in the household. Scarcity of land has an impact on livestock ownership. The decrease in the size of grazing land has an impact on the number and type of livestock households own. As land becomes scarce, the number of livestock households has decreased and the kind of animals shifted to animals that need less grazing area while they can bring about more income. Analysis of data further shows that shortage of grazing land and the subsequent limit in the number and type of livestock make ownership of livestock less important in differentiating households. Labor cannot be identified in isolation from other household resources. The mere availability of family labor in the rural parts of the country can hardly make a household viable given the lack of employment and/or low wage which often hardly enable to sustain the household for a larger period of time in the year. Looking into coping strategies of households, those households that shifted from crop production to marketable cash crops and products such as chat, coffee, eucalyptus trees, sesame, fruit trees, etc.; those households that diversify to raising animals which need less grazing area and that can bring in more money and those households that involve in the market can cope with crises more successfully. Such households are engaged in risk minimization prior to the crises period. Whenever there is crisis, households can modulate to risk absorption, which includes dependence on cash credit or food aid in the food-for-work program. The last way out to households that do not have assets at their disposal is reliance on sale of animals, famine foods and reduction of consumption, which are referred as risk taking to survive.
Description: A THESIS SUBMITTED TO THE SCHOOL OF GRADUATE STUDIES, ADDIS ABABA UNIVERSITY IN PARTIAL FULFILLEMENT OF THE REQIREMENT FOR THE DEGREE OF MASTER OF ARTS IN SOCIAL ANTHROPOLOGY
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/123456789/1103
Appears in:Thesis - Social Anthropology

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