Livelihood Diversification as Household Strategies. A case study of Rural Kebeles around Gelan town, Oromia, Ethiopia

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Addis Ababa University


The objective of this study was to assess the rural households‟ involvement in livelihood diversification .i.e. off-farm and non-farm activities. The study also aimed at investigating the various factors that affect and increase the involvement of households in various diversification activities. To achieve this objective both qualitative and quantitative methods were employed. Households survey which is obtained from the rural kebeles around Gelan Town of Finfine Surrounding Oromia Special Zone in Oromiya Regional State covered 90 households in three Rural kebeles; Chafee Tumaa, Tuluu Gurachaa, and Mareloo. Focus group discussions and key informant interview were also conducted in order to support the data obtained from household survey. The result has shown that households‟ involvement in various diversification activities are affected by credit service, education, households‟ size and farm holding size. The study revealed that lack of access to credit is found to be the major institutional constraints of households to involve in various diversification activities. Those with relatively big farm size have the financial opportunity to involve in non-farm activities. However, the majority is small farm holders and need to have access to credit to involve in the activities. Off-farm activities usually include wage labor and since wage is very low in the area a few who do not have or little farm land are involved. Involvement in diversification is also affected by access to education, and it is found that the literates; besides, formal education, lack of awareness of information and trainings on various income generating activities constrained the households‟ involvement. It is also found that large households‟ size leads to the involvement of households in non-farm and off-farm activities due to the availability of more labor. Therefore, the findings call for efficient allocation of budget on easy access to credit, on the provision of information, knowledge and the various income generating activities, and promote NGOs and private sector which are useful as sources of job opportunities. Key words: livelihood strategies, non-farm, off-farm, livelihood diversification



Livelihood Strategies, Non-Farm, Livelihood Diversification, Off-Farm