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Land Access and Youth Livelihood Opportunities in Southern Ethiopia

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Author Info

  • Holden, Stein

    (Centre for Land Tenure Studies, Norwegian University of Life Sciences)

  • Bezu, Sosina

    ()
    (Centre for Land Tenure Studies, Norwegian University of Life Sciences)

Abstract

This study aims to examine current land access and youth livelihood opportunities in Southern Ethiopia. Access to agricultural land is a constitutional right for rural residents of Ethiopia. We used survey data from the relatively land abundant districts of Oromia Region and from the land scarce districts of Southern Nations, Nationalities and Peoples’ (SNNP) Region. We found that youth in the rural south have limited potential to obtain agricultural land that can be a basis for viable livelihood. The law prohibits the purchase and sale of land in Ethiopia. We found that land access through allocation from authorities is virtually nonexistent while land that can be obtained from parents through inheritance or gift is too small to establish a meaningful livelihood. The land rental market has restrictions, including on the number of years land can be rented out. Perhaps as a result of limited land access, the youth have turned their back on agriculture. Our study shows that only nine percent of youth in these rural areas plan to pursue farming. The majority are planning non-agricultural livelihoods. We also found a significant rural -urban migration among the youth and especially in areas with severe agricultural land scarcity. Our econometric analyses show that youth from families with larger land holding are less likely to choose non-agricultural livelihood as well as less likely to migrate to urban areas. We suggest here some measures to improve rural livelihood such as creation of non-farm employment opportunities and improvement of land rental markets. We also argue that as a certain level of rural-urban migration is unavoidable, investigating youth migration is essential to design policies that help the migrating youth as well as the host communities.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Centre for Land Tenure Studies, Norwegian University of Life Sciences in its series CLTS Working Papers with number 11/13.

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Length: 91 pages
Date of creation: 16 Sep 2013
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:hhs:nlsclt:2013_011

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Postal: Centre for Land Tenure Studies, Norwegian University of Life Sciences, P.O. Box 5003, NO-1432 Aas, Norway
Web page: http://www.umb.no/clts

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Keywords: Youth unemployment; youth livelihood; rural livelihood; migration; Ethiopia;

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References

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  1. Deininger, Klaus & Jin, Songqing & Adenew, Berhanu & Gebre-Selassie, Samuel & Nega, Berhanu, 2003. "Tenure security and land-related investment - evidence from Ethiopia," Policy Research Working Paper Series 2991, The World Bank.
  2. Bezu, Sosina & Holden, Stein T., 2013. "Generosity and social distance in dictator game field experiments with and without a face," CLTS Working Papers 1/13, Centre for Land Tenure Studies, Norwegian University of Life Sciences.
  3. Manser, Marilyn & Brown, Murray, 1980. "Marriage and Household Decision-Making: A Bargaining Analysis," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 21(1), pages 31-44, February.
  4. Lundberg, S. & Pollak, R.A., 1991. "Separate Spheres Bargaining and the Marriage Market," Discussion Papers in Economics at the University of Washington 91-08, Department of Economics at the University of Washington.
  5. Juan Camilo Cardenas & Jeffrey Carpenter, 2008. "Behavioural Development Economics: Lessons from Field Labs in the Developing World," Journal of Development Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 44(3), pages 311-338.
  6. Christoph Engel, 2011. "Dictator games: a meta study," Experimental Economics, Springer, vol. 14(4), pages 583-610, November.
  7. Holden, Stein & Shiferaw, Bekele & Pender, John, 2004. "Non-farm income, household welfare, and sustainable land management in a less-favoured area in the Ethiopian highlands," Food Policy, Elsevier, vol. 29(4), pages 369-392, August.
  8. Bezu, Sosina & Barrett, Christopher B., 2010. "Employment dynamics in the rural nonfarm sector in Ethiopia Do the poor have time on their side?," MPRA Paper 35756, University Library of Munich, Germany, revised 2011.
  9. Stein Holden & Hailu Yohannes, 2002. "Land Redistribution, Tenure Insecurity, and Intensity of Production: A Study of Farm Households in Southern Ethiopia," Land Economics, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 78(4), pages 573-590.
  10. Dufwenberg, Martin & Muren, Astri, 2006. "Generosity, anonymity, gender," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 61(1), pages 42-49, September.
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Cited by:
  1. Holden, Stein & Otsuka, Keijiro, 2013. "The Roles of Land Tenure Reforms and Land Markets in the Context of Population Growth and Land Use Intensification in Africa," CLTS Working Papers 15/13, Centre for Land Tenure Studies, Norwegian University of Life Sciences.

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