Drivers of Livelihoods Diversification in Rungwe District

  •  Atupakisye S. Kalinga    
  •  Richard Y. M. Kangalawe    
  •  James G. Lyimo    


This paper examined the factors influencing livelihoods diversification in Rungwe district. Specifically, the study assessed the livelihoods activities in the study area and determined the drivers of livelihoods diversification. The study was carried out in six villages of Rungwe District, Mbeya Region in which about 253 households were interviewed for the study. Data was collected through documentary review, household interviews, focused group discussions (FGDs), key informant interviews (KIIs), transect walks and field observation. Quantitative data were analysed using SPSS version 20 and Excel spreadsheet. While chi-square test was conducted to determine the associations between influencing factors and livelihoods activities, content analysis was used to analyse qualitative data. The study results showed that there were various livelihoods activities in the study villages such as cash crop production, livestock keeping, trade and wage labour. Livelihoods diversification was influenced by factors like markets, climate, population, land shortages, institutions, policies, and livelihoods assets. However, agriculture has remained the main occupation of households in Rungwe District. Moreover, market appeared to be a strong factor in influencing livelihoods diversification in the area than any other factors. On that basis, this paper recommends that livelihoods activities which were environmentally friendly should be encouraged. Additionally, markets and transport services should be improved to provide equal opportunities for diversification among rural populations.

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