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Land Access and Youth Livelihood Opportunities in Southern Ethiopia

  • Holden, Stein

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

  • Bezu, Sosina

    ()

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

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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File URL: http://www.umb.no/statisk/clts/papers/clts_wp11_2013.pdf
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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
Contact details of provider: Postal: Centre for Land Tenure Studies, Norwegian University of Life Sciences, P.O. Box 5003, NO-1432 Aas, Norway
Phone: (+47) 6496 5700
Fax: (+47) 6494 3012
Web page: http://www.umb.no/clts

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  1. 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.
  2. Jeffery Carpenter & Juan Camilo Cardenas, 2006. "Behavioural Development Economics: Lessons from field labs in the developing world," Middlebury College Working Paper Series 0616, Middlebury College, Department of Economics.
  3. 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.
  4. Dufwenberg, Martin & Muren, Astri, 2006. "Generosity, anonymity, gender," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 61(1), pages 42-49, September.
  5. 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.
  6. Holden, Stein & Yohannes, Hailu, 2001. "Land redistribution, tenure insecurity, and intensity of production: a study of farm households in southern Ethiopia," CAPRi working papers 21, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
  7. Deininger, Klaus & Jin, Songqing, 2006. "Tenure security and land-related investment: Evidence from Ethiopia," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 50(5), pages 1245-1277, July.
  8. Lundberg, Shelly & Pollak, Robert A, 1993. "Separate Spheres Bargaining and the Marriage Market," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 101(6), pages 988-1010, December.
  9. Christoph Engel, 2010. "Dictator Games: A Meta Study," Working Paper Series of the Max Planck Institute for Research on Collective Goods 2010_07, Max Planck Institute for Research on Collective Goods, revised Jan 2011.
  10. 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.
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