Informal Land Markets and Patterns of Agrarian Differentiation Among Cereal Producing Rural Households in Central Highlands of Ethiopia

Course ID
Ethiopian Economics Association (EEA)
Abebe Haile Gebriel

This study sets out to investigate the factors that influence households’ scope and pattern of participation in informal rural land markets; it also explores the likely impacts of these on agricultural growth, equity and rural livelihood in general. Two sets of data were collected at six years interval – the first in 1996 and the second in 2002 on same farm households and comparison made on the patterns of change in several important variables. Households were classified into high, middle, and poor groups, so that the patterns of change in the key variables could be gauged for households in each stratum. The discussion of informal land markets was linked with the concept of agrarian differentiation with a view to determining whether the patterns of change were structural and the extent to which informal land markets have enhanced the process.

The degree of participation in informal land markets was found to be positively and significantly correlated with subsistence units, number of oxen ownership, and households’ status (higher strata); and negatively and significantly correlated with size of allocated land and households’ status (middle or poorer strata). The results are consistent for the two periods corroborating the observation that informal land markets are triggered largely by the need to meeting household consumption drives and less by the motive of production for market. The scenario depicts one of a production organization gravitating towards subsistence rather than market-drive, and a missing dynamism for increased surplus production. In this case, one may argue that the function of informal land markets has been largely one of entitlement redistribution among different strata of households rather than enhancing efficiency and growth. The findings suggest for a land rental market policy and strategy that is subsumed within and aims at transformational goals from subsistence-based to market-driven livelihood processes

Corporate Author: Alemayehu Seyoum(Editor) & Ethiopian Economic Association/Ethiopian Economic Policy Research Institute
Publisher: Ethiopian Economic Association (EEA)
Primary Descriptors: Land tenure; Land tenure security
Secondary Descriptor: Land markets
Geographic Descriptors: Ethiopia
Cataloge Date: 02/27/2013
Call Number: 330.963 PRO 2004
Serial Key Title: Proceedings of the First International Conference on the Ethiopian Economy
Publication catagory: International Conference
Content type: EEA Publication
Volume: II
Publication date: 2013-05-27 23:04:00
Forum or Discussion date: 2013-02-27 14:45:33
Place of publication: Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
Type of material: Book
Current frequency: Annualy
Author: Abebe Haile Gebriel