What's happening at IRRI

Seminar: SSD

Monday, May 11, 2015, 01:15pm - 02:15pm


Rural Livelihood Diversification in Rice-based Areas of Bangladesh

Md Tanvir Ahmed
MS Research Scholar
International Rice Research Institute (IRRI)
Los Banos, Laguna, Philippine

MSc Student (Agricultural Economics)
University of Philippine Los Banos (UPLB)

Young Professional (in study leave)
Agriculture and Food Security Program
BRAC, Bangladesh

Diversification of livelihood activities minimizes households’ vulnerability to shocks by reducing income variability. Livelihood of rural Bangladesh encompasses farm, off-farm and non-farm activities. This study investigated the patterns and extent of diversification of livelihoods in rural Bangladesh. It also identified the major factors affecting livelihood diversification. The study drew a random sample of 500 rural farm households in Bangladesh through a multi-stage sampling technique. The primary data were collected using semi-structured questionnaires and the data were analyzed using descriptive statistics and the Simpson Index. Tobit regression model was used to determine the factors affecting the livelihood diversification. The results showed that farm-income accounted for one-third while non-farm income accounted for two-thirds of the total household income. Remittance contributed highest to the household income followed by business and caste occupation and rice farming. The estimated Simpson Index showed that rural Bangladeshi households have diversified their livelihood activities at medium level. Households from South-Eastern region had highest level of livelihood diversification than other regions. The small and medium landholding households are more likely to diversify their livelihoods compared to the functionally landless and large landholding households. Gender of the household head, household size and amount of credit had positive and significant effects on livelihood diversification. While number of migrant household members, dependency ratio, household assets, education of the household head and amount of savings had negative but significant effects on livelihood diversification. The implication is that non-farm employment opportunities should be expanded to combat poor households’ vulnerability to shocks and income fluctuations. Functionally landless households should be given more attention to increase and diversify their incomes.


SSD Conference Room, Drilon Hall