Accepted 10th October, 2016
Rural households in the Aral Sea Basin are characterized by their heterogeneity giving the diversity of farms’ livelihood settings in the post-independence area. The main objective of the present study was to formulate empirical agricultural livelihood typology in selected villages of Karauzyak district of Karakalpakstan, Northwestern Uzbekistan. A multivariate analysis combining PCA to K-CA, and expert knowledge were used in the present study to identify agricultural livelihood types. Based on the Sustainable Livelihood Framework, a multidimensional dataset of 100 households was collected through interviews. The results showed that the main variables affecting and shaping agricultural livelihoods in Northwestern Uzbekistan were human (labor, labor age, education and dependency), natural (land holdings and livestock), financial (annual gross income, and non-farm income) assets. Three agricultural livelihood types were identified: (1) Educated, land-poor, livestock- and poultry-rich, off-farm-income-oriented household farms; (2) Farm-income-dependent, less educated, land-poor, poultry-turned farms; and (3) Land-rich, poultry-turned, off-farm-income-dependent farms. The study recommends the use of this typology for further systems analysis, subsequent formulation of specific and targeted rural livelihood strategies and policy intervention.
Keywords: Agricultural livelihood typology, Smallholder farms, Sustainable livelihoods, semi-arid areas, Uzbekistan.