Determinants of Wage Labor P Articii' Ation Among the Afar Pastoralists: The Case of Amibara District

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Addis Ababa University


The pastoral sector in A/hI' region has supported the community/or many years in the past. However, it has been/acing a challenge /01' the past jive decades after commercial irrigated farming was considered as a development intervention in the area. Due to the intervention, the Afar pastoralism underwent major trans/ormation mainly because 0/ the changes in land use. These changes undermined the functioning 0/ the pastoral system. The overall process contributed to impol'erishment, resource scarcity, vulnerability to drought and deepening ecological crisis. The deteriorating living conditions have forced the pastoral communities to diversi/jl their actil'ities by engaging in non-pastoral pursuits to supplement their income. Among these subsidiary income-generating activities, wage labor in the irrigated/arms is one(Ql'lnaloption. The pili pose a/this study was to assess the overall/eatures of/emil wage employment in general and its determinants in particular. To meet this objective, a household survey was undertaken during March 2004. The survey covered six Kebeles 0/ Amibara district of Afar region. A multi-stage random sampling technique was used to select sample households. Descriptive and econometric methods were used to analyze the datel The descriptive analysis used included independent t-test, Chi-square test, fiequencies, means and percentages. The econometric analysis applied logistic regression model. The survey result provided a glimpse o/the importance of the sector/or employment and its role in the survival 0/ the household. But given the insignificant number of A/elI'S in stable and better paying jobs, it is difficult to conclude that wage employment has resulted in a greater improvement in household l"ell-being in this regard, socio-economic f elctors and local characteristics l"ere/aund to in/luence wage labor participatiol1. The logit lIIodel indicated age, wealth and distance determined significantly and negatil'ely. ll'hereas education and attitude determined significantly and positively the probability 0/ engaging in wage employment. Considering the impartance 0/ alterative employment opportunities in the fiilure, promoting education and training as well as giving support to the pasroral and tramport sector were recommended as strategies /01' success in promoring wage emp!oymenl.



Wage labor, Pastoralists, off-farm employment