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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:The role of local institutions and social capital in household food security: a case study at two rural communities in Oromiya Zone, Amhara Region
Author:Tolossa, DegefaISNI
Year:2007
Periodical:Ethiopian Journal of the Social Sciences and Humanities (ISSN 1810-4487)
Volume:5
Issue:1
Period:June
Pages:1-23
Language:English
Notes:biblio. refs., ills.
Geographic terms:Ethiopia
Northeast Africa
Subjects:food security
rural households
rituals
rural development
food supply
Infrastructure (Economics)
Sustainable living
Abstract:This article examines how local institutions or practices and social capital contribute to accessing livelihood resources, which in turn helps in augmenting households' food security. Focusing on two communities, Erenssa and Garbi in Oromiya Zone of Amhara Region, Ethiopia, the article explores the main institutions and related ritual practices in which the local population is involved and the reasons why. Secondly, it examines to what extent social and public transfers contribute to the food security of households. Institutions such as 'wedaja' (prayer), 'fatimaye' (a form of 'wedaja' practised by pregnant women), 'telamma' (ritual start of seasonal land cultivation), and 'abdoye' (Wednesday prayer for livelihood improvement) are practised mainly in connection with peoples' beliefs. Absence of nature-related crises and human-induced problems is believed to be the outcome of the proper and timely exercise of the necessary rituals. Other institutions, such as 'kaya' (exchange of cows between peasants and agropastoralists), 'kire' (semi-formal burial associations), 'tassiga' (annual feeding ritual for unmarried boys), and 'hirppa' (community-based financial assistance in case of the death of farm oxen), have a largely economic character and are aimed specifically at access to livelihood resources. Social transfers among community members through 'zekka' (one-tenth share given to the poor), borrowing labour or farm oxen, and transfers in kind and cash from the government and NGOs play a considerable role in maintaining food security. Bibliogr., gloss., sum. [ASC Leiden astract]
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