Access to livelihood resources and choices of development strategies: implications for the development of conservation strategies

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Christina Mwivei Shitima
Romanus Dimoso


Access to Financial Capital; Access to social capital; Development strategies; River basin; Rural Tanzania


This study engages with the debate in the literature on access to livelihood resources and livelihood diversification to show how differences in people’s access to resources result in differences in the choices of development strategies (DST) that people pursue for livelihoods’ enhancement. It uses a multinomial logit model to analyse how access to social and financial capitals affects people’s choices of DST in the rural river basin areas of Tanzania. Further to that, the study links the findings with policy initiatives related to the conservation of river basin resources (RBR). The study uses survey data which were supplemented by qualitative data gathered through focus group discussions. Findings show that both access to social and financial capitals affect the choice of secondary DST, though access to social capital seems to be more important in Kilombero, and access to financial capital more important in Meatu. In Kilombero, access to social capital is an important factor for people to diversify their activities away from traditional pastoralism, an activity that is not environmentally friendly. In Simiyu, access to financial capital raises the likelihood of people to participate in off-farm activities instead of other activities that make enormous use of RBR, for example, traditional pastoralism and irrigated farming.