Rural Livelihood Diversification Strategies of Sodo Zuria Woreda: Determinants and Constraints

Sintayehu Shibru


Agricultural activities are subjected to a variety of risk arising from natural and manmade factors. These factors endanger not only the household’s livelihood and income but also undermine the viability of agricultural sector. Therefore, supplementary sources of livelihood and household diversification strategies assume an important place in this situation. The present study investigated factors and constraints that influence the rural households’ choice of livelihood strategies in Sodo Zuria, Woreda, Wolaita Zone of Southern Nations Nationality and Peoples’ Regional State. The main objective of the study was to identify the determinants of rural livelihood diversification strategies. A multistage stratified sampling technique was employed to select 123 household heads from 6 selected kebeles. The data was collected using survey questionnaire, key informants interview and focus group discussions. Both descriptive and econometric analyses were used. Descriptive analysis addressed the wealth status and strategies practiced by household heads. The results showed that age of HH head, family size, education level, dependency ratio, training conducted, operational land size, agro-ecology, livestock holding, input use, cooperative membership, extension contact and proximity to market were found to be significant among the sample households who pursue different livelihood strategies. The majority of households from poorest of the poor, poor and medium, and better off; choose a livelihood strategy of AG + nonfarm, AG + Off farm and AG + Nonfarm + Off farm income diversification, respectively. The Multinomial logit model results revealed that out of 14 explanatory variables, choice of AG + Nonfarm livelihood strategy was determined by livestock holding, proximity to market and dependency ratio, and choice of AG + Nonfarm + Off farm livelihood strategy was influenced by agro-ecology, land size, credit access, dependency ratio and training received. Poor asset base, poor credit and training facility, agro-ecology and risk fearing becomes the major constraints. Thus, interventions must be undertaken regarding asset status of rural household and targeting specific group of societies. Infrastructure development, accessing credit service and training will expand the household’s choice of livelihood strategies.

Keywords: Constraints, Livelihood diversification strategies, Multinomial logit, Stratified, Wolaita


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