Household Access to Farmland and Socioeconomic Status: The Case of Wonqa Kabale, Gozamin Warada (East Gojjam), Amhara Region

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Addis Ababa University


This study deals with the changing role of access to farmland on household socio-economic status overtime and regimes in Wonqa, East Gojjam, where land was an index for socio-economic status in pre-1975. The research identified local level dynamics in relation with household access to farmland and socio-economic status since the 1975 Land Reform. The study attempted to show the processes of land distributions, redistributions and household heads' strategies to maximize their access in such processes since 1975. Politico-economic status and kinship has been persistent means to get access to more farmland. Inheritance, which was weakened as a major means of access to land in the Därg period, has been re-instituted as a major means of land access. The role of capital and labour is also important to get access to farmland through local agreements in which their values vary with the varying value of land over time. Moreover, local agreements developed a market nature in which everybody tried to maximize their share and the involvement of money has increased. The research also analyzed the socio-economic implications of the 1975 Land Reform and subsequent distributions on inter and intra-household relations, as well as relations among the kinsmen and so on. Above all, the thesis argues that political position has continued as a primary factor to get access to more farmland. Furthermore, land has continued as an important factor for household livelihood and a major component together with capital for economic stratification. However, land is no longer a symbol of social status. Thus, the study shows continuity as well as change in the socio-economic status of the farming households in relation to access to farmland across the time period under discussion



Social Anthropology