Diversification and Livelihood Sustainability in a Semi-Arid Environment: A Case Study from Southern Ethiopia
AbstractThis paper examines the recently growing adoption of non-pastoral livelihood strategies among the Borana pastoralists in southern Ethiopia. A large portion of the current non-pastoral participation is in petty and natural resource-based activities. Pastoral and crop production functions are estimated using the Cobb-Douglas model to analyse the economic rationale behind the growing pastoralist shift to cultivation and other non-pastoral activities. The low marginal return to labour in traditional pastoralism suggests the existence of surplus labour that can gainfully be transferred to non-pastoral activities. An examination of the pastoralist activity choices reveals that the younger households with literacy and more exposure to the exchange system display a more diversified income portfolio preference. The findings underscore the importance of human capital investment and related support services for improving the pastoralist capacity to manage risk through welfare-enhancing diversified income portfolio adoption.
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Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by Middle Tennessee State University, Department of Economics and Finance in its series Working Papers with number 200806.
Date of creation: Jul 2008
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Web page: http://www.mtsu.edu/~berc/working/Economics_Working_Papers.html
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Pastoralism; Dryland Farming; Diversification; Production Functions; Ethiopia.;
Other versions of this item:
- Wassie Berhanu & David Colman & Bichaka Fayissa, 2007. "Diversification and livelihood sustainability in a semi-arid environment: A case study from southern Ethiopia," Journal of Development Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 43(5), pages 871-889.
- D00 - Microeconomics - - General - - - General
- I3 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Welfare, Well-Being, and Poverty
- J2 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor
- O12 - Economic Development, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Microeconomic Analyses of Economic Development
This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:
- NEP-AFR-2008-08-06 (Africa)
- NEP-AGR-2008-08-06 (Agricultural Economics)
- NEP-ALL-2008-08-06 (All new papers)
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