Determinants of Rural Households Livelihood Strategies: Evidence from Western Ethiopia

Seid Sani Asfir


This study identified rural household livelihood strategies and their determinants in the Assosa district of BGRS, western Ethiopia. Both primary and secondary data sources were used for the study. Primary data were collected from 180 sample households through interview and focus group discussions. Relevant secondary data were also obtained from Assosa bureau of agriculture and rural development, other governmental offices, internet and reports. Descriptive statistics (mean, percentage and frequency) and inferential statistics (ANOVA and chi-square) were used. MNL model was estimated to identify the determinants of households’ choice of livelihood strategies. Descriptive statistics result pointed out that about 66.7% of rural households combined on-farm activities with non-farm and/or off-farm activities, whereas about 33.3% were relying only on on-farm activities to achieve their livelihood goal(s). ANOVA and Chi-square tests showed that there was a significant difference between household falling in different livelihood strategies in terms of total annual cash income, frequency of extension contact, literacy status of the household heads, leadership, access to training and participation in cooperative membership. MNL model results confirm that age of household head, settlement, family size, frequency of extension contact, livestock holding, access to credit, access to training, total annual cash income, membership in cooperatives and access to fertilizer have a statistically significant impact on the choice of livelihood diversification strategies. Therefore, future policy should focus on awareness creation on livelihood diversification through different sources such as training and extension on off-farm and non-farm opportunities and on the role of participating in cooperatives, facilitating the availability of credit and fertilizer, enhancing elder farmers’ knowledge, etc.

Keywords: Livelihood, Livelihood strategies, Multinomial logit model, Rural households, Western Ethiopia


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