Livelihood strategies and the determinants of subjective wellbeing; A case study of subsistence farmers in the Northern region of Ghana
The study analyzed livelihood strategies and the determinants of subjective wellbeing among subsistence farmers in the Northern region of Ghana. Cross-sectional data was collected from a sample of 346 subsistence farmers drawn from four districts (Tamale metropolis, West Mamprusi, Central Gonja and Kpandai) using a multi-stage sampling technique. Data was collected from households heads through personal interview using structured questionnaire. The livelihoods of subsistence farmers in the Northern Region of Ghana was characterized by income poverty and deprivation from many needs like food, health and low levels of formal education. Using cluster analyses four livelihood strategies were identified among subsistence farmers. The strategies comprised of the adoption of; Agriculture only strategy, Agriculture and Off-farm strategy, Agriculture and Nonfarm strategy and Agriculture, Off-farm and Nonfarm strategy (The Mixed strategy).The Hirschman-Herfindahl index which measured income diversification found incomes of subsistence farmers to be 71% diverse. The asset pentagonal analysis showed that subsistence farmers had less social and financial capital compared to other capital assets. Results from the study reveals that 29% of subsistence farmers were completely unsatisfied with their life situations whiles 32% of them felt their livelihoods left them completely satisfied. Using an ordered logit procedure, food insecurity and the adoption of Agriculture and Off-farm livelihood strategy reduced the subjective wellbeing of subsistence farmers while social capital, human capital, annual income per capita, residence in the Tamale Metropolis and adopting the Agriculture and Nonfarm livelihood strategy improved the subjective well- being of subsistence farmers. Encouraging nonfarm activities and social capital formation is recommended for growth in income and the improvement in the subjective well-being of subsistence farmers.
A thesis submitted to the Department of Agricultural Economics, Agribusiness and Extension, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Philosophy in Agricultural Economics, 2014