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Rwabukambiza, Venuste, 2022. Household livelihoods and food security in jeopardy : farmers’ perspectives on impacts of land scarcity on household livelihoods and food security in rural Rwanda. Second cycle, A2E. Uppsala: SLU, Dept. of Urban and Rural Development



Land scarcity is a global challenge that has implications for rural household livelihoods. This study explores how land scarcity impacts not only rural livelihoods, but also food security for smallholder farmers and their households in Rwanda. Empirical data was collected for this project through four focus group discussions with smallholders, and 20 semi-structured interviews with individuals in order to detail the causes and effects of land scarcity, as well as the strategies devised to overcome these problems. The research for this study was carried out in the Southern Province, in the villages of Kimina and Kanyampongo. The findings of this research show that land scarcity resulted from land subdivisions due to inheritances over a long period of time, and that the shrinking of arable land has affected food security and livelihoods of rural households. The status of food security is undermined because small farms do not generate enough food. Household livelihoods are also impacted because agriculture as a source of income is less productive. Most households use crop production for home consumption because they cannot eat and sell at the same time. The study revealed that rural households use various mechanisms to deal with the issue of land scarcity and associated constraints. Diversification of livelihoods is found to be an important mechanism that is used by most households but still with some limitations to poor households. Non-farm and off- farm activities help smallholders to obtain some additional incomes that can be used in the households. Moreover, migration and selling assets are also used as a mechanism to overcome shocks. But, all of these diversification strategies first require capabilities to do so. The study shows how cultural capital, social capital and economic capital enable rural households to undertake responses to land scarcity and food security challenges. As poor smallholder farmers are more vulnerable, this study reveals how support from the state to transform the structure of rural livelihoods, could help create more favorable conditions and increase resilience towards land scarcity problems.

Main title:Household livelihoods and food security in jeopardy
Subtitle:farmers’ perspectives on impacts of land scarcity on household livelihoods and food security in rural Rwanda
Authors:Rwabukambiza, Venuste
Supervisor:Fischer, Harry
Examiner:Bartholdson, Örjan
Volume/Sequential designation:UNSPECIFIED
Year of Publication:2022
Level and depth descriptor:Second cycle, A2E
Student's programme affiliation:NM009 Rural Development and Natural Resource Management - Master's Programme 120 HEC
Supervising department:(NL, NJ) > Dept. of Urban and Rural Development
(LTJ, LTV) > Dept. of Urban and Rural Development
Keywords:smallholder, rural livelihoods, diversification, rural household food security, land scarcity
Permanent URL:
Subject. Use of subject categories until 2023-04-30.:Development economics and policies
Rural sociology and social security
Nature conservation and land resources
Deposited On:26 Apr 2022 08:48
Metadata Last Modified:27 Apr 2022 01:01

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