Agricultural households, poverty and the rural labour market in Kosovo

Type Conference Paper - World Bank Conference on Poverty and Social Inclusion in the Western Balkans
Title Agricultural households, poverty and the rural labour market in Kosovo
Publication (Day/Month/Year) 2010
City Brussels
Country/State Belgium
This paper assesses the incomes of agricultural households in Kosovo and engagement in Other Gainful Activities (OGAs). After adjusting for household size, rural incomes in Kosovo are low. For the poorest quartile of sampled households, incomes per household member are below €657 per annum. Overall, agricultural sales only account for 27% of total (cash) income and OGAs make a substantial contribution to the livelihoods of rural households. The poorest households are characterised by lower engagement in self-employment, are less likely to receive remittances, have less non-agricultural work experience and the head of the household has low educational attainment. The poorest quartile operates significantly smaller farms and is less likely to sell agricultural output. There is considerable underemployment of family members and if the economic situation improves, the flow of labour out of agriculture is likely to be substantial. The main self-reported barriers to self-employment are insufficient capital and credit, suggesting a role for mircofinance schemes to enable start-ups and small business expansion. In dealing with its current chronic economic problems in rural areas Kosovo would be best served by adapting measures from a development agenda (microfinance, upgrading education, skills and training, aiding non-agricultural selfemployment etc.).

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