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Examining the Role of Off-Farm Income in Insulating Vulnerable Farm Households from Poverty

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Author Info

  • Mary Keeney

    (Central Bank of Ireland)

  • Mark O’ Brien

    ()
    (Rural Economy and Development Programme, Teagasc, Athenry, Co. Galway, Ireland)

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    Abstract

    The reliance of farm households on off-farm employment to supplement their income seems to be a growing phenomenon in Irish farming. In 1995, Teagasc’s National Farm Survey (NFS) recorded that on 36.5 percent of the farms sampled; the farmer and/or spouse had an off-farm job. By 2006, this figure had increased to over 58 percent. The objective of this paper is to identify and examine the livelihood strategies implemented in households located in rural Ireland, with particular emphasis on the role of off-farm income in insulating vulnerable farm households from poverty. Our results show that Irish rural households by diversifying their income situation, i.e. being less dependent on farming and more so on the non-farm economy, has resulted in an improvement in the distribution of incomes accruing to farm households and that non-farm incomes are having a significant positive effect on lowering the risk of relative income and consistent poverty in rural areas.

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    File URL: http://www.agresearch.teagasc.ie/rerc/downloads/workingpapers/08wpre20.pdf
    File Function: First version, 2008
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    Bibliographic Info

    Paper provided by Rural Economy and Development Programme,Teagasc in its series Working Papers with number 0820.

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    Length: 67 pages
    Date of creation: 2008
    Date of revision:
    Handle: RePEc:tea:wpaper:0820

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    Postal: Athenry, Co Galway
    Phone: +353 91 845845
    Fax: +353 91 845847
    Web page: http://www.agresearch.teagasc.ie/rerc/
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    1. Barrett, C. B. & Reardon, T. & Webb, P., 2001. "Nonfarm income diversification and household livelihood strategies in rural Africa: concepts, dynamics, and policy implications," Food Policy, Elsevier, vol. 26(4), pages 315-331, August.
    2. Von Witzke, Harald, 1984. "Poverty, Agriculture, and Economic Development: A Survey," European Review of Agricultural Economics, Foundation for the European Review of Agricultural Economics, vol. 11(4), pages 439-53.
    3. Étienne Gilbert, 1983. "Sudhir Anand, Inequality and Poverty in Malaysia, measurement and decomposition," Revue Tiers Monde, Programme National Persée, vol. 24(95), pages 709-710.
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