Agrifood Economics

Agricultural interventions and food security in Ethiopia – What is the role of adjusting livelihood strategies?

FAO Agricultural Development Economics Working Paper, No. 22-13
Year: 2022
Author(s): Cordonnier, V., Covarrubias, K.A. & de la O Campos, A.P.
Publisher: FAO

This paper assesses the food security impacts of widespread agricultural interventions, aiming at increasing agricultural yields, and explores the role played by adjustments in rural households’ livelihood strategies in mediating those impacts. Our empirical strategy combines project and remote-sensing data with a household panel survey and exploits the timing and geographic variation in the roll-out of interventions implemented from 2011 to 2016 by the Ethiopian Agricultural Transformation Agency (ATA), recently renamed as Agricultural Transformation Institute (ATI).

Results show that agricultural interventions are effectively associated with higher agricultural yields, better food security outcomes and adjustments in livelihood strategies. However, when exploring the role of livelihood strategies through a Causal Mediation Analysis, we show that livelihood adjustments do not seem to play any mediating role in food security impacts. Heterogeneity analysis suggests that the absence of a mediating role stems from agricultural interventions affecting different types of households differently: the most vulnerable households primarily benefited through food security improvements while more-endowed households adjusted their livelihood strategies.

The findings of this paper have been summarized in the policy brief: Enhancing welfare and livelihoods through agricultural transformation in Ethiopia

Publication type: Working paper
Country coverage: Ethiopia
Region: Africa
ISBN: 978-92-5-137329-3
ISSN: 2521-1838
JEL codes: I3, I38, J24, J43, O13, O22, O55, Q12.