Food and Agriculture Statistics

New working papers shed light on rural livelihoods


The Rural Livelihoods Information System (RuLIS) compiles and disseminates harmonized household and individual-level data and indicators on different aspects of rural livelihoods, including off-farm and non-farm income, agricultural inputs, technology use, access to social protection, time use, shocks and migration crops and livestock production, households’ composition and demographics. RuLIS provides data on a wide set of indicators, cross-tabulated by rural vs urban areas, gender and other variables; and standardized variables at the household and individual level. RuLIS currently includes information from 39 countries, with increasing data coverage in time and space as more micro-data becomes available. RuLIS aims to provide critical information for understanding medium- and long-term trends in the structural transformation of agriculture and rural economies; and for the design of policies that promote and accompany social and economic transformation and enhancement.

The following five papers leverage RuLIS data to explore aspects of rural livelihoods in detail:

Gender and age dimensions in rural agricultural employment: analysis using Rural Livelihoods Information System (RuLIS)

Using data and indicators from RuLIS, this brief explores patterns and trends in rural employment for women and youth with a focus on agriculture in 16 low-income and lower-middle-income countries around the world: 11 from sub-Saharan Africa, two from East Asia and the Pacific, two from Latin America and the Caribbean, and one from Central Asia.


What is the share of income from crop and livestock production in total income in rural sub-Saharan Africa?

This brief aims at exploring the importance of income from on-farm agricultural sources in rural livelihoods using data and indicators from RuLIS to estimate the contribution of crop and livestock income to households’ total annual income.


Adoption of farm inputs, mechanization, irrigation and gender gaps in sub-Saharan Africa: insights from the Rural Livelihoods Information System (RuLIS)

Using data and indicators from RuLIS, this brief focuses on the observations made in the adoption of agricultural inputs, along with improved technology such as irrigation, and mechanized tools among crop farm households in sub-Saharan Africa. Furthermore, the brief looks at the scope of vaccination of animals among farm households, in order to understand the heterogeneity in livestock health and productivity.


Weather- and disease-related shocks in agriculture using data from the Rural Livelihoods Information System (RuLIS)

Using data and indicators from RuLIS, this brief focuses on weather and geophysical shocks, and crop or livestock disease-related shocks, along with the coping strategies used by the affected households. The analysis covers 11 countries spread across East and West Africa.


Measuring SDG indicator 5.a.1: Individual’s land ownership over agricultural land using data from the Rural Livelihoods Information System (RuLIS)

Among the several indicators and data that it provides, RuLIS allows monitoring the status and progress over time of the Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) indicator 5.a.1. This brief is the first analysis that employs a harmonized methodology for measuring tenure rights over agricultural land based on RuLIS data. Through this indicator it is possible to assess the extent of women’s disadvantages in ownership and tenure rights over agricultural land, providing a basis for policy measures aimed at securing women equal opportunities and access to economic resources.