The purpose of this paper was to identify the factors influencing households to diversify rural on-farm livelihood activities in Intsika Yethu Local Municipality. This is against a background where literature suggests low livelihoods diversification among rural households despite several claimed benefits of diversification. Cross-sectional survey data was randomly collected for this study in October 2018 from 190 rural households in Intsika Yethu Local Municipality. A structured questionnaire was used for that purpose. Ordered logistic regression analysis was used to analyze the data. The results showed that diversification of on-farm livelihood activities was influenced by the gender of household head, education level of household head, household size, and number of livestock units owned. To promote on-farm livelihoods diversification in rural areas, the paper suggests targeting gender differential, informal education and awareness, labor dynamics associated with on-farm livelihood activities and household livestock units.


on-farm livelihood diversification,; rural households,; ordered logistic regression,; Intsika Yethu Local Municipality

Abdulai, A., CroleRees, A. (2001). Determinants of income diversification amongst rural households in Southern Mali. Food Policy, 26(4), 437–452.

Adanacioglu, H. (2017). Factors affecting farmers’ decisions to participate in direct marketing: A case study of cherry growers in the Kemalpasa District of Izmir, Turkey. Renew. Agric. Food Syst., 32(4), 291–305.

Adepoju, A. A., Adegbite, M. (2009). Application of ordinal logistic regression model to occupational data. J. Sci. Ind., 7, 39–49.

Adeyemo, P. A., Kayode, A. O. (2015). Sustainability of community-driven development approach of World Bank assisted projects in South Western Nigeria. Int. J. Res. Soc. Sci., 5(1), 151.

Agyeman, B. A. S., Asuming-Brempong, S., Onumah, E. E. (2014). Determinants of income diversification of farm households in the western region of Ghana. Quart. J. Int. Agric., 53(1), 55-72.

Alemu, T. (2015). Determinants of wheat yield variation of smallholders in South Eastern Ethiopia: application of ordered logistic regression. Sci. Technol. Arts Res. J., 4(3), 61–66.

Ananth, C. V., Kleinbaum, D. G. (1997). Regression models for ordinal responses: a review of methods and applications. Int. J. Epid., 26(6), 1323–1333.

Asmah, E. E. (2011). Rural livelihood diversification and agricultural household welfare in Ghana. J. Dev. Agric. Econ., 3(7), 325–334.

Babatunde, R. O., Qaim, M. (2010). Impact of off-farm income on food security and nutrition in Nigeria. Food Policy, 35(4), 303–311.

Barrett, C. B., Bezuneh, M., Aboud, A. (2001). Income diversification, poverty traps and policy shocks in Côte d’Ivoire and Kenya. Food Policy, 26(4), 367–384.

Barrett, C. B., Reardon, T., Webb, P. (2001). Nonfarm income diversification and household livelihood strategies in rural Africa: concepts, dynamics, and policy implications. Food Policy, 26(4), 315–331.

Belay, M., Bewket, W. (2015). Enhancing rural livelihoods through sustainable land and water management in northwest Ethiopia. Geogr. Env. Sust., 8(2), 79–100.

Bowen, S., De Master, K. (2011). New rural livelihoods or museums of production? Quality food initiatives in practice. J. Rural Stud., 27(1), 73–82.

Brandth, B., Haugen, M. S. (2011). Farm diversification into tourism–implications for social identity? J. Rural Stud., 27(1), 35–44.

Datta, S. K., Sing, K. (2011). Livelihood Diversification: Case Study of Some Backward Region of India. Int. J. Curr. Res., 3(2), 139–151.

Devereux, S. (2001). Livelihood insecurity and social protection: a re‐emerging issue in rural development. Dev. Policy Rev., 19(4), 507–519.

Dixon, J., Taniguchi, K., Wattenbach, H., TanyeriArbur, A. (2004). Smallholders, globalization and policy analysis (vol. 5). Rome: FAO.

Dong, Y. (2007). Logistic regression models for ordinal response: A study of self-efficacy in colorectal cancer screening. Unpublished PhD Thesis. The University of Texas.

Echebiri, R. N., Onwusiribe, C. N., Nwaogu, D. C. (2017). Effect of livelihood diversification on food security status of rural farm households in Abia State Nigeria. Sci. Papers. Manag. Econ. Eng. Agric. Rural Dev., 17(1), 159–166.

Ellis, F., Freeman, H. A. (2004). Rural livelihoods and poverty reduction strategies in four African countries. J. Dev. Stud., 40(4), 1–30.

Fafchamps, M., Udry, C. and Czukas, K., 1998. Drought and saving in West Africa: are livestock a buffer stock. J. Dev. Econ., 55(2), 273–305.

FAO, 2009. The State of Food Insecurity in the World: Economic Growth is Necessary but not Sufficient to Accelerate Reduction of Hunger and Malnutrition. Rome: FAO.

Gebru, G. W., Beyene, F. (2012). Rural household livelihood strategies in drought-prone areas: A case of Gulomekeda District, eastern zone of Tigray National Regional State, Ethiopia. J. Dev. Agric. Econ., 4(6), 158–168.

Gidi, L. S. (2013). Rural Households Livelihoods’ Strategies and Opportunities with Regard to Farming: A Case of Intsika Yethu Local Municipality. Doctoral dissertation, University of Fort Hare.

Hill, M. O. (1973). Diversity and evenness: a unifying notation and its consequences. Ecology, 54(2), 427–432.

Hilson, G. (2016). Farming, small-scale mining and rural livelihoods in Sub-Saharan Africa: A critical overview. Extr. Ind. Soc., 3(2), 547–563.

Holst, A., Martens, P. (2016). Determinants of Animal Protection Policy: A Cross-Country Empirical Study. Polit. Anim., (2), 1–14.

IFAD (International Fund for Agricultural Development). (2009). Comprehensive Report on IFAD’s Response to Climate Change Through Support to Adaptation and Related Actions (Draft). Retrieved Dec 8th 2018 from:

IUCN (International Union for Conservation of Nature). (2010). Building climate change resilience for African livestock in sub-Saharan Africa – World Initiative for Sustainable Pastoralism (WISP): a program of IUCN – The International Union for Conservation of Nature, Eastern and Southern Africa Regional Office, Nairobi, March 2010. Retrieved Dec 7th 2018 from:

Jepson, W., Vandewalle, E. (2016). Household water insecurity in the Global North: a study of rural and peri-urban settlements on the Texas–Mexico Border. Profes. Geogr., 68(1), 66–81.

Joshi, P. K., Gulati, A., Birthal, P. S., Tewari, L. (2004). Agriculture diversification in South Asia: patterns, determinants and policy implications. Econ. Polit. Week., 39(24), 2457–2467.

Khatun, D., Roy, B. C. (2012). Rural Livelihood Diversification in West Bengal: Determinants and Constraints. Agric. Econ. Res. Rev., 25(1), 115–124.

Kim, K., Frongillo, E. A. (2007). Participation in food assistance programs modifies the relation of food insecurity with weight and depression in elders. J. Nutr., 137(4), 1005–1010.

Loison, S. (2015). Rural livelihood diversification in sub- Saharan Africa: a literature review. J. Dev. Stud., 51(9), 1125–1138.

Makita, R. (2016). Livelihood diversification with certification‐supported farming: The case of land reform benefi¬ciaries in the Philippines. Asia Pac. View., 57(1), 44–59.

Maniriho, A., Nilsson, P. (2018). Determinants of Livelihood Diversification among Rwandan Households: The Role of Education, ICT and Urbanization. Retrieved from:

Manjur, K., Amare, H., Mariam, G. H., Tekle, L. (2014). Livelihood diversification strategies among men and women rural households: evidence from two watersheds of North¬ern Ethiopia. J. Agric. Econ. Dev., 3(2), 17–25.

Manona, S. S. (2005). Smallholder agriculture as local economic development (LED) strategy in rural South Africa: exploring prospects in Pondoland, Eastern Cape. Doctoral dissertation, University of the Western Cape.

Martin, S. M., Lorenzen, K. A. I. (2016). Livelihood diversification in rural laos. World Dev., 83, 231– 243.

McCullagh, P. (1980). Regression models for ordinal data. J. Royal Stat. Soc. Ser. B Methodol., 109–142.

Megbowon, E., Mushunje, A. (2018). Livelihood Diversification and Its Effect on Household Poverty in Eastern Cape Province, South Africa. J. Dev. Areas, 52(1), 235–249.

Mgxashe, N. P., Palmer, A. R., Hintsa, M. (2000). Report on the rangeland condition in the Xume rural village for integrated livestock and crop production project (Landcare). Grahamstown: ARC – Range & Forage Institute.

Mukotami, S. (2014). Rural households livelihood strategies in communities around the Fort Hare and Middle Drift rural dairy projects in Eastern Cape Province South Africa. Doctoral dissertation, University of Fort Hare.

Mukotami, S. (2014). Rural households livelihood strategies in communities around the Fort Hare and Middle Drift rural dairy projects in Eastern Cape Province South Africa. Unpublished MSc Dissertation, University of Fort Hare.

Munhenga, D. (2014). Determinants of rural households’ diversification of livelihood strategies: a case of Intsika Yethu farmers of the Eastern Cape Province, South Africa. Doctoral dissertation.

Murphy, R. (1999). Return migrant entrepreneurs and economic diversification in two counties in south Jiangxi, China. J. Int. Dev., 11(4), 661–672.

Mutenje, M. J. (2010). Rural livelihoods in south-eastern Zimbabwe: the impact of HIV/AIDS on the use and management of non-timber forestry products. Unpublished PhD Thesis, University of KwaZulu Natal.

Nengovhela, R., Taruvinga, A., Mushunje, A. (2018). Determinants of Indigenous Fruits Consumption Frequency among Rural Households: Evidence from Mutale Local Municipality, South Africa. J. Adv. Agric. Technol., 5(3), 227–231.

Niehof, A. (2004). The significance of diversification for rural livelihood systems. Food Policy, 29(4), 321–338.

Nin, A., Ehui, S., Benin, S. (2007). Livestock productivity in developing countries: an assessment. In: R. Evenson, P. Pingali (Eds.), Handbook of Agricultural Economics (vol. 3, pp. 2467–2532). Oxford, UK: North Holland.

Pica-Ciamarra, U., Tasciotti, I., Otte, J., Zezza, A. (2011). Livestock assets, livestock income and rural households Cross-country evidence from household surveys, ESA Working Paper No. 11-17. Roe: FAO.

Reardon, T., Berdegué, J., Barrett, C. B., Stamoulis, K. (2007). Household income diversification into rural nonfarm activities. Transforming the rural nonfarm economy: opportunities and threats in the developing world (pp. 115–140). Retrieved from:

Regasa, D. T. (2016). Rural Livelihood Strategies and Household Food Security: The Case of Farmers Around Derba Cement Factory, Sululta Woreda, Oromia Regional State. J. Agric. Econ. Rural Dev., 4(2), 423–435.

Saha, B., Bahal, R. (2016). Livelihood diversification pursued by farmers in West Bengal. Indian Res. J. Exten. Edu., 10(2), 1–9.

Scoones, I. (2009). Livelihoods perspectives and rural development. J. Peas. Stud., 36(1), 171–196.

Seo, S. N., Mendelsohn, R. (2008). Animal husbandry in Africa: climate change impacts and adaptations. Afr. J. Agric. Res. Econ., 2(1), 65–82.

Shaha, B. (2010). Livelihood Diversification Pursued by Farmers in West Bengal. Indian Res. J. Exten. Edu., 10(2), 1–9. Retrieved from:

Sherren, K., Loik, L., Debner, J. A. (2016). Climate adaptation in ‘new world’cultural landscapes: The case of Bay of Fundy agricultural dykelands (Nova Scotia, Cana¬da). Land Use Policy, 51, 267–280.

Stifel, D. C. (2010). The rural non-farm economy, livelihood strategies and household welfare. Afr. J. Agric. Res. Econ., 4(1), 82–109.

Suharyanto, S., Indrasti, R. (2017). Assessment of Food Security Determinants among Rice Farming Households in Bali Province. KnE Life Sci., 2(6), 658–669.

Sujithkumar, P. S. (2007). Livelihood Diversification: a case study in rural Tamil Nadu. Indian J. Labour Econ., 50(4), 715–722.

Tsue, P. T. (2015). Effects of arable land tenure and utilisation on environmental degradation among small-scale farmers in north-central Nigeria. Doctoral dissertation, University of Nigeria.

Walker, S. H., Duncan, D. B. (1967). Estimation of the probability of an event as a function of several independent variables. Biometrika, 54(1–2), 167–179.

Yobe, C. L. (2016). Analysis of factors determining livelihood diversification among smallholder farmers in KwaZulu Natal. Unpublished MSc Dissertation, University of KwaZulu Natal.

Published : 2019-12-28

Tyenjana, A., & Taruvinga, A. (2019). DETERMINANTS OF RURAL ON-FARM LIVELIHOODS DIVERSIFICATION. Journal of Agribusiness and Rural Development, 54(4), 373–384.

Abongile Tyenjana
Agricultural Economics and Extension, Alice Campus, Ring Road, University of Fort Hare, Alice, 5700  South Africa
Amon Taruvinga, Prof 
Agricultural Economics and Extension, Alice Campus, Ring Road, University of Fort Hare, Alice, 5700  Zimbabwe

CitedBy Crossref

CitedBy Scopus

HTML tutorial

Creative Commons License

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License.

This journal permits and encourages authors to post items submitted to the journal on personal websites or institutional repositories both prior to and after publication, while providing bibliographic details that credit, if applicable, its publication in this journal.