Article

The Determinants of Rural Livelihood Diversification in Developing Countries

Journal of Agricultural Economics (Impact Factor: 0.97). 02/2000; 51(2):289-302. DOI: 10.1111/j.1477-9552.2000.tb01229.x
Source: RePEc

ABSTRACT The diversity of rural livelihoods in low income developing countries is receiving increased attention in discussions about rural poverty reduction. This paper explores just one facet of livelihood diversity, namely the reasons for households to adopt multiple livelihood strategies. The distinction is made between diversification of necessity and diversification by choice. Six determinants of diversification are considered in the light of that distinction, and these are seasonality, risk, labour markets, credit markets, asset strategies, and coping strategies. The paper concludes that under the precarious conditions that characterise rural survival in many low income countries, diversification has positive attributes for livelihood security that outweigh negative connotations it may possess. Policy should facilitate rather than inhibit diversity. Diverse rural livelihoods are less vulnerable than undiversified ones.

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    • "Diversification resulting from push or pull factors have been categorised as either 'survival-led' or 'opportunity-led' respectively (Ellis, 2000b; Lay et al., 2008; Reardon et al., 2006). Survival-led diversification, mainly driven by push factors, occurs when poorer rural households engage in low-return nonfarm activities by necessity to ensure survival, to reduce vulnerability or to avoid falling deeper into poverty. "
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    ABSTRACT: This article provides a comprehensive review of the literature on the nature and evolution of rural livelihood diversification in sub-Saharan Africa, and the situation regarding smallholders. It reveals mixed findings about the causes and consequences of livelihood diversification on rural smallholders adopting this strategy. A lot of evidence from the literature suggests that it is relatively better-off smallholders with sufficient assets who achieve successful livelihood diversification, mainly by exploiting opportunities and synergies between farm and nonfarm activities. Because of asset constraints, increase in incomes and wealth based on livelihood diversification has not yet benefitted the large majority of smallholders.
    Journal of Development Studies 08/2015; DOI:10.1080/00220388.2015.1046445 · 0.79 Impact Factor
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    • "Livestock is important as an asset and as a supplementary source of subsistence and cash income in many households, and many households receive remittance payments from migrant workers . This pattern of highly diversified income portfolios, engaging in several activities simultaneously or sequentially in order to make a living, is typical of poor rural areas throughout the developing world (Ellis, 2000). The proportions of income from different sources differ by zone, with significantly higher forest product incomes (cash and subsistence) in HFLA and HFHA villages, and significantly higher agroforest incomes in the more remote HFLA "
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    World Development 02/2015; 66:269–279. DOI:10.1016/j.worlddev.2014.08.023 · 1.73 Impact Factor
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    • "The non-farm enterprise activities reduces the rate of rural-urban migration by providing job opportunities to growing rural labor force that cannot be employed in the agricultural sector. Likewise, non-farm activities may enhance income growth and promote a more equitable distribution of income among the households (Reardon 1997, Ellis 2000 Lanjouw 2001 and Pham 2010). Evidences from developing countries suggest that, the sector accounts for 30−45 percent of rural households' income (Reardon et al., 1992; Haggblade et al., 2009). "
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    12/2014; 1. DOI:10.1016/j.umkpro.2014.07.004
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