Determinants of non-farm livelihood diversification across agro ecologically different rural settings
Brhanu Tsegay Mesele
Non-farm livelihood diversification is a multi-dimensional concept which encompasses engagement on various activities other than agriculture. This research is aimed at assessing determinants of rural non-farm livelihood diversification among farming households across two agro-ecologically distinct rural settings (Weynadega and qola) in Saharti Samre Woreda, South Eastern Tigray. Cross-sectional survey was used as a survey design due to the nature of the study. Purposive sampling for sampled Tabias and simple random sampling for sampled farming households were used. Household survey, in-depth and key informant interviews and focus group discussions were used as data collection methods so as to generate firsthand information. Qualitative and quantitative information was analyzed thematically. Qualitative information recorded on notebook from FGDs, conversations with key informants, and in-depth interviews were organized and constructed coherently, analyzed in word description form. SPSS version 21was used as a tool to analyze quantitative information gathered through the survey instrument. The analysis was done using descriptive statistical analysis i.e. frequency distributions, percentages. In addition, a non-parametric statistical analysis, Chi- square, was used in order to analyze the relationship between and the dependent and independent variables. Although farming households predominantly pursue agriculture as their major livelihood strategy, they also pursue non-farm livelihood activities due to various reasons. Factors regarded as push rather than pull play significant role in influencing households to diversify their livelihoods to the non-farm sector. Household size and farm land holding size was among the determinants of diversification. Seasonality of agriculture was also found significant determinant of non-farm livelihood diversification. Besides, the increasing price of agricultural inputs was also found as a driving force for diversification.