Socio-economic factors influencing livelihood outcomes sustainability among households of sunflower smallholder farmers in Iramba district, Tanzania

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Moshi Co-operative University (MoCU)


Sunflower is one among the major cash crops that is important in smallholder farmers’ household livelihoods. Despite its potential to smallholder farmers’ livelihoods there are imperfections along the production chain which lower its anticipated impact and leave smallholder farmers exposed to livelihood vulnerability, stresses and shocks. This study determined the levels of livelihood outcome sustainability among smallholder farmers’ households and examined the influence of socio-economic factors on livelihood outcomes sustainability among households of smallholder farmers. The study adopted a crosssectional research design and the sample size was 213 respondents. Quantitative data were analysed using descriptive statistics which were useful in the calculation and interpretation of livelihood outcomes sustainability index. Principal component analysis was used in order to scale out the socio-economic factors while multiple regressions were used to determine the influence of socio-economic factors on livelihood outcomes sustainability. Qualitative data were transcribed, categorised, coded, thereafter grouped into themes and analysed using constant comparison technique. Findings show that the majority of the smallholder farmers’ households were categorised into lower levels of livelihood outcomes sustainability with a few households on higher levels of livelihood sustainability. Among the socio-economic factors influencing livelihood sustainability, household size, household head education, household asset index and total household savings were significant (p < 0.05). Provided that there are many households with lower levels of livelihood sustainability, it suggests that these households were not able to withstand livelihood shocks and stresses due to limited capabilities. Thus, it is recommended that members of households should consider diversifying their livelihood activities. This can be done through collective efforts by the smallholder to access micro credits from microfinance institutions and share investments into micro businesses such as retailing of sunflower by-products (seed cakes and cooking oil) in order to increase household incomes and hedge their chances of livelihood sustainability.