Urban Agriculture and Household Welfare: Evidence from Hossana Town, Ethiopia

Abraham Tessema Handalo


Background: Urban Agriculture plays a very important role in decreasing hunger and poverty contributing towards sustainable food production and promoting the integration of environmental values in development. Despite its significant role in fulfilling the basic demand of low-income families, however, it continues to get far less attention and lacks the rightful place among policy-makers, urban planners, and authorities. We analyze households’ participation in urban agriculture and its effect on household welfare in Southern Ethiopia using cross-sectional data collected from a sample of 176 households in Hossana Town. Descriptive statistics, binary logistic regression and propensity score matching techniques were used for data analysis. Results: The results revealed that participation in urban agriculture was higher for households with older and female heads and was associated with higher level of nonfarm earnings compared to nonparticipation, with the difference being statistically significant at 5%. On the other hand participating families had a significantly fewer family members, lower access to credit, extension services, and decreased supply of improved input than their non-participating counterparts. Participation was also found to be associated with smaller land ownership and lower access to water, the differences being significant at 5%. Indeed, results of the binary logistic regression indicated that access to credit, access to extension services, access to improved inputs, household size, access to water except income from other sources were important factors significantly enhance participation in urban agriculture practice in Hossana Town. On other hand, propensity score matching model showed that urban agriculture has a positive significant impact on poverty reduction. It was indicated by using two proxy of urban household poverty status (wellbeing) that is consumption expenditure per adult equivalent and asset building per capita. Conclusion: The results indicates that urban agriculture is constrained by a number of factors among which access to credit, access to extension services, access to improved inputs, household size and non-farm income were the major ones.. Furthermore, our analysis reveals that participation in urban agriculture has a significant positive impact on consumption expenditure per adult equivalent. This indicates the direct role of participation in urban farming on improving household welfare.

Keywords: Binary logistic model, Hossana Town, propensity score matching, Ethiopia, urban agriculture, urban poverty

DOI: 10.7176/JESD/11-5-06

Publication date:March 31st 2020

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ISSN (Paper)2222-1700 ISSN (Online)2222-2855

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