Livelihood Strategies and Food Security of Landless Households in Dehana Woreda of The Amhara National Regional State

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Addis Ababa University


Land constitutes one of the most critical factors of production in subsistence farm based rural households. Its significance stems from the role it plays as a primary source of food, feed, access to credit. and social legitimacy and entitlement to development intervention by different actors. Hence, lack of access to land can easily make life complicated; and increase vulnerability to poverty and food insecurity. This study investigates the coping livelihood strategies and food security situation of landless farmers in Dehana Woreda of the Amhara National Regional State. Dehana in particular and the northeastern part of Amhara Region in general is known for its structural food insecurity caused by an adverse combination of various environmental. demographic and institutional factors. On the other hand, though access to land is a constitutional right in the region, with increasing population pressure and virtually fixed amount farm land available in the area, the number of landless households has been building up since the last redistribution in 1990/91. The landless households are thus suffering from the double specter of landlessness and repeated drought induced famine. In the midst of these difficult situations, the landless have to devise certain strategies to continue to survive, which this research is supposed to pinpoint. The study was conducted in three purposefully selected PAs by randomly selecting 181 sample households from whom the major quantitative data and information has been elicited through structured modular questionnaire. Similarly, participatory rural appraisal tools such as focus group discussion, key informant interview and researcher's field observation were used to generate qualitative data and information. Data generated from primary sources has been complemented by secondary sources. Quantitative Data processing was done using the Statistical Package for Social science (SPSS 12) computer software program. Descriptive statistics such as frequencies, mean. percentages, as well as inferential statistics like correlations, appropriate univariate and bivariate analysis using cross tabs and other models were applied to understand the relationship and associations between variables. The result of the study indicated, inter-alia, nearly 35% of the total household heads in the sample PAs are landless. And 48% of the total landless sample households are food insecure unable to meet the minimum recommended calorie requirement per day for health functioning of an adult person. On the other hand, these people are still heavily dependent on agricultural activities to derive up to 78.2% of their annual income. Their inadequate endowment of necessary capitals such as marketable skill, seed money, lack of effective demand, and poor infrastructure and marketing development constrain the contribution of the nonfarm sector On the ground of these and other findings various actions, inter-alia, strengthening the nonfarm sector through improving access to subsidized credit. provision of marketable skill, marketing and infrastructure development; proper targeted public employment generation schemes; distribution of closed areas; promotion of apiculture and small scale irrigation are recommended.



Food Security of Landless Households