Accepted 23rd December, 2016
This study examined rural households’ off-farm and non-farm employment activities and determinants of their participation in off-farm and non-farm employment opportunities in Assosa zone, western Ethiopia. The study used a primary data collected from 180 randomly selected households using interview schedule. In addition, FGD and key informant interview were used. Moreover, secondary data were also used. As to the method of data analysis, the study employed descriptive statistics and inferential statistics along with the binary logit model. The finding of the study revealed that the majority (66.1%) of sampled households was engaged in off-farm and non-farm employment opportunities. The model result showed that out of fifteen explanatory variables, the age of heads, settlement of heads, literacy status of heads, household size, extension contact, access to training, total income, membership in cooperatives and distance to market were found to have a significant impact on households’ participation. Moreover, the study identified that lack of off-farm and non-farm employment opportunities, time constraint, lack of financial resources, lack of awareness and health related problems as major challenges to engage in off-farm and non-farm activities. Therefore, future policy should focus on investment strategies that promote households access to off-farm and non-farm activities as well as on enhancing farmers’ awareness.
Keywords: Rural Household, Off-farm and non-farm, Binary logit model, Assosa Zone, Western Ethiopia