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Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/123456789/4114

Title: Livelihood Strategies among the Agricultural Land Scarce Peasants in the
Authors: Reta, Hailu Belda
Advisors: Ali Hassen
Keywords: Tole Woreda,
Southwest Shewa
Copyright: Jul-2010
Date Added: 28-Nov-2012
Publisher: AAU
Abstract: Ethiopian economy is dominated by peasant agriculture. It contributes a significant share to the national economy and the livelihood base of majority of the population. Agricultural activities require key resources. Among these, land is one of the key productive livelihood assets for agrarian society. This basic resource is becoming scarcer and scarcer for a number of reasons and several contending debates on it to transform agrarian communities. However, two realities are still blurred. First, for those peasants who do not have sufficient farmland, agriculture provides only a limited portion of household‘s livelihood security on a sustainable manner. Thus, there is a critical need to assess their livelihood strategy in the context of ever diminishing agricultural land and its potential viability and adverse effects. Second, although there are ample studies on land issues and alike in the Central Highlands of Ethiopia, there are no or few studies that explicitly focus on the livelihood options in this area. Therefore, the overall objective of this study is to identify the livelihood strategies of the agricultural land scarce peasants in Tole Woreda. The study has drawn onto Sustainable Rural Livelihoods approach as a conceptual framework to underpin the holistic aspects of the issue. To this end, Tole Woreda of Southwest Shewa zone is purposefully selected and the top two most populous agro-ecologically distinct Kebele Administrations (KAs) were sampled. The study involved a multistage sampling, i.e. a combination of purposive, stratified, and simple random sampling procedures to select the studied Kebeles and 75 sample households from the two KAs. The study employed both qualitative and quantitative research methods. The key findings of the study reveal that the majority of the highland and midland agricultural land scarce households are still predominantly pursuing agricultural livelihood strategies through agricultural intensification, extensification, and diversifications. Most of them usually work fulltime on their own available and/or rented-in/sharecropped land, but in some cases, they are also wageworkers on others‘ farm. It was also found that the land scarce and landless peasants engaged in ranges of non-agricultural strategies and seasonally migrate outside their village for additional sources of income. The pursuits of these strategies significantly depend on the access to the natural, social, physical, human, and financial capitals. Accordingly, the midland area is better than the highland in terms of accessing the livelihood assets and thereby less vulnerable. The implications of the strategies have different connotations on the natural resource base. While agricultural intensification and extensification adversely affect the natural resource base at current level of farm technologies, the desirable outcomes of agricultural livelihood diversifications, non-agricultural activities, and seasonal migrations outweigh their negative aspects. Thus, interventions and policies need to promote sustainable livelihood of the area must consider the agricultural land scarce farmers through enhancing non-agricultural activities away from agriculture and reduce the heavy dependence on limited land. This can be achieved through the supply of credits and improve agricultural technologies, and specific policy instruments. These entail that the best approach is to promote a package of integrated agricultural and non-agricultural livelihood strategies for small landholders. Key words: Central Highlands of Ethiopia; agricultural land scarcity; livelihood strategies; natural resource
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/123456789/4114
Appears in:Thesis - Rural Livelihoods & Development

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