The Role of Local Institutions and Social Capital in Household for Food Security: A Case Study at Two Rural Communities in Oromiya Zone, Amhara Region
The paper discusses the issue of how a number of local institutions and social capital contribute for addressing livelihood resources, which in turn help in augmenting household level food security. Sustainable Livelihood Framework (SLF) underpins the conceptual background of the study. Qualitative social research methods of observations, focus group discussions, key informant interviews and case studies were employed to generate first-hand data among the inhabitants of the two communities. Institutions such as wedaja, fatimaye, telamma and abdoye are practiced mainly in connection with people’s belief through which they express their world outlooks and wishes. Absence of nature-related crisis (drought, flooding, human and livestock disasters) and human induced problems such as disputes and conflicts are believed to be the outcomes of proper and timely exercising of the necessary rituals that are attached to the various institutions. Avoidance of the risk is equated with minimizing vulnerability to food insecurity. Other institutions like kaya, kire, tassiga and hirppa have overwhelmingly economic contexts since they were set up as strategies for getting access to livelihood resources. Societal transfers among community members (through zakka, and borrowing human labour, getting access to farm oxen, etc), and transfers in kind and cash from government and NGOs have considerable role in maintaining livelihood and food security.
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