An Assessment of Livelihood and Food Security of Farmers Displaced due to Urban Expansion
Muluwork, Bebu Belay
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The Objectives of this study were to assess the impacts of urban expansion on livelihoods of displaced farmers. Problems associated with asset losses, food security as well as the measures taken to address are investigated. Urbanization is one of the most important demographic trends of the twenty first century where cities are rapidly expanding through a continuous process of urban growth towards the peri-urban agricultural farmlands. One of the many manifestations in urban expansion is the transformation of more and more farmlands away from agricultural production. Kobmolcha is one of the Amhara regional state towns which have recorded high urban expansion since recognized and selected as industrial development centre. The peri-urban areas of the surrounding rural kebeles have rapidly integrated into the urban setting due to rapid growth of the municipality that brought significant changes on farmers’ livelihood assets as well as food security status. In assessing the impacts of urbanization on farmers, a sample of 146 of farmers were selected out of the 2461 displaced farmers from six rural kebeles. The necessary data were gathered through participatory group discussions, key informants interviews, open-ended interview guided questionnaires and semi-structured interviews. The study found that urban expansion has negatively affected the livelihood assets possessions that have been used as means of income sources for making a living. On the other hand, the result of the study revealed that, though local urban government in several intervention programs in deliberately targeting in view of improving the earning potentials of the evicted farmers were found below average scores, provision of compensation and adjusting plots of land to be served for house construction for displaced farmers were found the most important interventions that were successfully performed. Moreover, the participation of partner organizations such as NGOs, CBOs and private investors for supporting displaced farmers in alleviating poverty for increasing economic outputs were found below average. Moreover, the study revealed that former farmers integrated to the urban setting are confronted with problems food insecurity and mismanagement of compensation funds that have been given for the dispossession of assets taken for public benefits of urban expansion.