Livelihood Diversification as a Strategy to Overcome Food Insecurity Challenges in North Central Ethiopia: The Case of Borena District
Keywords:Food security, livelihood diversification, Borena, Ethiopia
Food insecurity remains a major challenge for millions of rural people in Ethiopia despite the government has given more emphasis to foster agricultural productivity rather than livelihood diversification. Thus, the main purpose of this study was to investigate whether livelihood diversification strategy is an antidote to food insecurity or not in Borena district, north-central Ethiopia. The required data were drawn both from primary and secondary sources. The study used a multistage sampling procedure, involving a combination of purposive and random sampling techniques to select 358 sample household heads. Household sample surveys, key informant interviews, and focus group discussions were the principal means used to acquire primary data. In analyzing and interpreting the primary data, both quantitative and qualitative research techniques were employed. Quantitatively, statistical tools such as chi-square, one-way ANOVA, and binary and multinomial logistic regressions were employed. SPSS version 24 was used to analyze the quantitative data while a narrative technique was used to analyze the qualitative data. The study found that nearly two-thirds (66.2%) of the investigated households diversified their livelihood. Out of this, 39.6%, 16.5%, and 10.1% of the respondents were engaged in on-farm plus non-farm, on-farm plus off-farm, and on-farm plus off-farm plus non-farm activities, respectively. Analyses of food security showed that 71.7% of the respondents were food insecure. The findings of this study confirmed that livelihood diversification is a key made for way out of food insecurity. This suggests that policymakers need to identify and focus on the most suitable strategies for supporting the diversification of livelihoods for food security.
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