【Title】Status and determinants of other gainful activities by farmers in mountainous rural regions of Gilgit-Baltistan, Pakistan
【Author】SHAHZAD Muhammad Abid1*; AHMED Vaqar2; FISCHER Christian
【Addresses】1 Faculty of Science and Technology, Free University of Bozen-Bolzano, Bolzano 39100, Italy; 2 Sustainable Development Policy Institute, Islamabad 44000, Pakistan
【Corresponding author】SHAHZAD Muhammad Abid
【Citation】Shahzad MA, Ahmed V, Fischer C (2021) Status and determinants of other gainful activities by farmers in mountainous rural regions of Gilgit-Baltistan, Pakistan. Journal of Mountain Science 18(10). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11629-021-6673-y
【Abstract】Non-farm income sources are important for livelihood sustenance, especially in the mountainous regions of developing countries. To implement effective policies to improve economic development, policymakers need insights at the grassroots level. Yet, there is a lack of empirical evidence in the context of Pakistan. This study examines the current situation and the factors influencing the decision by farmers to engage in other gainful activities (OGAs) such as farm diversification and off-farm work in the northern mountainous regions of Pakistan. The study is based on quantitative survey data obtained from 459 farm managers and qualitative data from 24 key informants from five different districts in Gilgit-Baltistan. Utilizing a logistic regression model, a statistical analysis is conducted on farmer and farm characteristics to investigate the probability of farm managers to engage in OGAs. The survey results show that around 71% of farm managers are engaged in OGAs (with 24% in farm diversification, 61% in off-farm work and 15% in both). The share of female farm managers is 51% in farm diversification while male farm managers dominate off-farm activities (69%). The most prevalent types of farm diversification are the processing of farm products and tourism-related farm work, while the main off-farm activities are setting up grocery stores outside the farm, having salaried jobs or engaging in other non-agricultural business. There are significant differences between farmers with and without OGAs particularly regarding farmer characteristics, agricultural income and some other variables. The logit model results show that farmer characteristics mainly determine off-farm work activities while farm (and other) characteristics mostly explain farm diversification. These findings suggest that OGAs primarily exist as livelihood strategies. Farm diversification is linked with the long-term sustenance of agricultural activities while off-farm work is predominantly driven by economic needs. Both types of OGAs require specific support policies while attention needs to be given not to threaten regional food supply.
【Keywords】Other gainful activities; Off-farm work; Farm diversification; Gilgit-Baltistan; Pakistan