Determinants of Smallholder Farmers’ Livelihood Strategies in Wogera District of Ethiopia

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Tegegne Derbe

Abstract

The livelihood of most people in Ethiopia depend on subsistence agriculture whose carrying capacity has decreased due to rapid population growth rate and farm size reduction. The smallholder farmers are engaged in off-farm and non-farm diversified livelihood strategies to improve their food security. However, these farmers could not easily participate in diversified activities. Hence, this study identified the livelihood strategies adopted by smallholder farmers and assessed the determinants of their decisions to choose diversified livelihood strategies in Wogera district. Multistage sampling technique was adopted to systematically select the 118 households from which to collect data through household survey, field observation and FGDs. Besides, descriptive statistics, the multivariate logistic regression was applied for the identification of determinants that helped to choose diversified livelihood strategies. The data analyzed through STATA revealed that most households have diversified their livelihood strategies into off and/or non-farm activities to improve their livelihood. Access to irrigation and credit were positively affected choices of diversified livelihood strategies. While, being aged, having more farm size and far from the main road hinder the households to diversify the livelihood strategies. The study argues that most of smallholder farmers tend to diversify their livelihood strategies although various factors influence the diversification of livelihood strategies. Thus, researchers, governmental and non-governmental institutions should pay attention beyond the farm’s activities to strengthen the off-farm and non-farm activities to improve the livelihood of smallholder farmers.

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