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Factors Affecting Female-headed Households’ Livelihood Diversification Strategies Choice in Ambo District, Ethiopia

Author: 
Mulu Debela Ofolsha and Dr. J. Paul Mansingh
Subject Area: 
Life Sciences
Abstract: 

Ethiopia, as compared to the rest of the world, is a region most grounded in poverty due to periodic drought and extreme variable environment making agriculture a risky economic activity. As a consequence, agricultural production has been deteriorating over time, and forces rural people in the region to look for alternative employment option other than agriculture. Ethiopian rural female-headed households (FHH) are not exceptional to this scenario. Therefore a study was conducted on livelihood diversification strategies choice of female-headed households in Ambo district, Central highland of Oromia region, Ethiopia. The study was carried out in five Kebeles with 104 households to characterize livelihood options being practiced by FHHs and to examine the constraints that hinder FHHs participation in different livelihood options. Multi-stage sampling procedure was employed. Structured interview schedule and check list were employed to gather the data. The study used descriptive statistics, like mean, percentage and multinomial logit regression model for data analysis. The study has concluded that diverse livelihood options were available and thus, FHHs pursued diverse range of activities that draw on their labor and time. However, the participation levels varied within FHHs. The variation was mainly in terms of the activity they diversify into and conditions under which diversifications are made. Generally, FHHs participated in low-return and high risk and last resort activities. The study concluded that livelihood diversification strategies choice of FHHs was determined by a number of factors. Hence, it is recommended that the livelihood of FHHs needs to be recognized and policy intervention should concentrate on improving access to assets within the aim of expanding livelihood options rather than assuming households as spatial homogenous and individual engaged in one type of activity only.

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