Diversification of Livestock-Keeping Smallholders in Mountainous Rural Regions of Azerbaijan and Georgia | Land Portal

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Date of publication: 
August 2020
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© 2020 by the authors; licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland. This article is an open access article.

Diversified livelihoods combining farming, livestock keeping and non-farm income are characteristic of many rural households worldwide. For the Central Asian and Caucasian region, livestock keeping is especially important in terms of land use and socio-cultural heritage. We contribute to the literature with data from the under-researched Caucasus region and investigate: (i) the extent of diversification in smallholder households; (ii) the role of livestock keeping in diversification; (iii) the influence of household-specific and location-specific variables and diversification on household income. Based on a dataset of 303 households, we calculate contribution margins for the main agricultural activities, household income, and diversification indices and analyze the influence of diversification, asset and location variables on household income with a regression model. Household income is generally diversified and a combination of four income sources (crops, livestock, poultry/bees and social benefits) was the most frequent. The econometric analysis shows that higher household incomes are positively correlated with higher household land and livestock assets, the presence of non-farm work and social benefit income sources and with an increasing specialization as measured by the diversification index. For enhancing rural household incomes and slowing down rural-urban migration, the development of non-farm job opportunities is recommended.

Authors and Publishers

Author(s), editor(s), contributor(s): 

Neudert, Regina
Allahverdiyeva, Naiba
Mammadov, Niyaz
Didebulidze, Alexandre
Beckmann, Volker


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