Central Data Catalog

Citation Information

Type Working Paper
Title Land Access and Youth Livelihood Opportunities in Southern Ethiopia
Publication (Day/Month/Year) 2013
URL http://mpra.ub.uni-muenchen.de/49860/1/MPRA_paper_49860.pdf
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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