Migration and non farm activities as income diversification strategies: the case of Northern Ghana
Environmental changes affect the livelihood of the rural population. This is especially true for those households who mainly rely on farming for their subsistence. In Northern Ghana, during the last two decades, soil erosion, the increasing unpredictability of the rains and the raise in the population size - with the ensuing pressure on the land - contributed to make people even more vulnerable to environmental conditions. These factors - together with the adverse market conditions for the local produce and the neglect of the region in the design of adjustment policies - pushed rural population towards income generating activities alternative to farming (i.e. migration and non farm activities). In this paper, we use a multivariate analysis to explore the determinants of income diversification from a household perspective. We find that non agricultural activities represent an option that better-off households - and communities - can resort to, in order to overcome the difficulties of the agricultural sector; while out-rural seasonal migration is emerging as a coping strategy adopted by poor households to meet their basic needs, and it is unlikely to improve their socioeconomic condition in the long run.
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