The Impact of HIV/AIDS on Sorghum Productivity. The Case of Rural Households in Ethiopia

Scientific Study, 2012

10 Pages



The study was initiated with the specific objectives of assessing the impact of HIV/AIDS on sorghum output. Cross-sectional data collected from a total of 120 respondents were used in this study whereby 40 were affected households and 80 were non-affected households. Cobb- Douglas (CD) production function was used to estimate the productivity difference in sorghum output between affected and non-affected households. The estimate of CD production function shows that livestock, manure, sorghum area, hired labor and family labor were statistically significant for non-affected households while sorghum area, hired labor, seed rate and family labor were significant variables for affected households. The decomposition model that extends from Cobb-Douglas (CD) production function revealed that sorghum output of affected households was lower, by about 166.28 percent than that of the non-affected ones. The output difference between the two groups of household was due to both health impact and difference in input endowment. Health impact and input use differences accounted respectively for about 108.53 percent and 57.75 percent of the difference in sorghum output between the two groups of households. However, if affected households had equal access to the inputs as non-affected households, sorghum output would be higher by 57.75% for affected households. On the other hand, if the affected households could increase their efficiency to the same level of non-affected households they can increase sorghum productivity by 108.53. Based on the results obtained, the following policy implication can be drawn: accessing affected households to inputs (that increase the productivity of sorghum) such as seed, livestock and also introducing technologies that reduce the time and energy of affected households especially in time of ploughing and threshing that require high labor demand.

Keywords: HIV/AIDS, Sorghum, affected and non-affected, Cobb-douglas, productivity


The agricultural sector in general and sorghum production in particular in the rural part of Ethiopia is characterized by low productivity which mainly uses labour as an input. However, the availability of the labour force is greatly reduced in both quantity and quality due to the prevalence of HIV/AIDS. Besides, the loss of the labour force, the quality and quantity of food available for household will decline as the breadwinner member of the family became sick and die. These particularly threaten the food security status of the household. As a result, many households have tended more towards giving up their landholding to sharecropping rather than to lease in additional land.

UNAIDS (2002) found that in Ethiopia, AIDS affected households spent between11.4 - 16.6 hours Per week performing agricultural work, compared with a mean of 33.6 hours for nonAIDS affected households. The livelihoods of whole households are compromised by the impact of AIDS. Time and cash are diverted from productive activities into medical treatment, caring for the sick and burying the dead. Another study conducted in the mid-1990s found that: rural women spent 100 hours per week nursing the sick and the average cost of treatment, funeral and mourning expenses amounted to several times the average annual household income (Demeke, 1993).

The reduction in labor supply through the loss of worker due to HIV/AIDS at the crucial period of planting and harvesting could significantly reduce the size of harvest, affecting crop production particularly sorghum production since it require high demand of labor. In addition to this, loss of knowledge about traditional farming method and loss of asset will occur as member of rural households are affected by the disease and are not able to pass on their know-how to subsequent generation.

HIV/AIDS prevalence in Ethiopia among urban-rural disparities has long been noted, with the disease more prevalent in urban areas. Nonetheless, many reports of epidemiological data also indicates that while the pandemic has stabilized and declining in most of urban areas, the rate of new HIV infections seems to be increasing in smaller towns (HAPCO, 2007). The possibility of a sharp increase in the rate of new HIV infections in small towns is worrisome as these can potentially bridge further spread of HIV to rural settings. Bridging populations link low prevalence rural areas with high prevalence urban, semi-urban and small town communities. Most farmers, migrant laborers and rural commercial farmers often visit local small towns for social and business/work purposes. Disproportionate access to information including limited information on preventive measures and related services such as IEC/BCC and VCT can further increase the risk of HIV infection among rural population. According to (EHHB, 2011), Babile district in Oromia region is one of the small towns with high rate of HIV/AIDS infection. The town serves as a trade center for many districts and a temporary staying place for heavy truck drivers and for those who go out of Ethiopia through Somali and who came in to Ethiopia. The rural parts of the district considered as transit and waiting areas for different marketable commodity and cash crop producing areas. As a result of commercialization of groundnut, there are flows of peoples from rural to urban as wellas from urban to rural. Therefore, this may facilitate the high rate of infection in rural area of the district. According to MfMBIRDP (2009), the estimated HIV/AIDS prevalence among rural district of Babile to be about 1265 peoples which is female contribute 64 percent to the total number. Chapoto and Jayne (2006) suggest that the spread of HIV/AIDS among rural dwellers is faster due to its subsequent death in the family after one member contain of the disease. The rural district of Babile is considered as one of the major sorghum producing area and Sorghum production by its nature greatly depend on the contribution of human labor from the start to the end. So that the impact of HIV/AIDS greatly manifested in sorghum production. However, there is absence of discussion on the impact of HIV/AIDS on smallholder sorghum production in Ethiopia and also in the study area. One main research question arises from this gap: therefore, this study was conducted to fill the knowledge gap with the aim of addressing questions like; what is the impact of HIV/AIDS on sorghum production? And how does the affected household mitigate the effect of HIV/AIDS?


The samples of respondents are rural households which include HIV affected and non-affected. A multistage purposive and stratified random sampling technique was used to select 120 respondents from the study areas. In the first stage, kebele association in the district divided in to high prevalence and low prevalence of HIV/AIDS. KAs that are in close proximity and have easy access to the urban centers are considered to have high prevalence areas ofHIV/AIDS (Hailemariam, et al., 2002). Accordingly seven of the twenty one kebele associations in the district were classified as high prevalence of HIV/AIDS. Out of these seven KAs, four of them namely Ifadin, Erer Guda, Ifa and Rahmeta Selama KAs were randomly selected. Then after, in each of the selected KAs, a list of households was prepared in consultation with the administrator and extension workers of the respective KAs.

On the third stage, 120 respondent households were selected. 80 HIV non-affected and 40 were selected randomly proportional to households. In the selection of non-affected households efforts were made to avoid the probability of including affected households as non-affected. Hence the non-affected households sample respondent were also selected from those households that diagnosed as HIV/AIDS negative from different hospitals/clinics and their list were also taken from those hospitals/clinics. During the selection of respondent households, consultation with the administration and extension worker of the respective KAs was done. Moreover, affected households were identified from each KAs in consultation with health workers of different Hospitals/Health centers and extension workers of respective KAs.

In the identification of 40 HIV affected households, detailed discussion was made with the VCT and ART clinic in the Bisidemo hospital, Erer clinic, Harar TB centers, Babile Health office, Down of Hope Relief Center, Menschen für Menschen, Ifadin health post, Ifa health center, Tula health post and Harar Hiwot Fana Hospital and office in Babile center. Affected households in this case are defined as a household who is affected directly or indirectly by HIV/AIDS. It comprises widowed households in which the husband had died due to HIV/AIDS, widower households who lost their wives due to HIV/AIDS, households who lost at least one member of the family to HIV/AIDS, orphan headed households and households with at least one member of the family who is suffering from HIV/AIDS.\

in which the husband had died due to HIV/AIDS, widower households who lost their wives due to HIV/AIDS, households who lost at least one member of the family to HIV/AIDS, orphan headed households and households with at least one member of the family who is suffering from HIV/AIDS.

Specification of the model

CD production function was used to assess the magnitude of yield loss due to HIV/AIDS. Considering those factors that are expected to affect Sorghum production, the empirical model that was used in this study is specified as:

Abbildung in dieser Leseprobe nicht enthalten

The Cobb-Douglas production function was finally selected for the present investigation, because it has given best fit and the expected input-output relationships.

No serious multicollinearity was observed between any pair of explanatory variables under study as per the criteria suggested by Klein.

For any given production function the total charge in output is brought about by the shifts in the intercept and by changes in the volume of input. In order to test the homogeneity between the parameters of the production functions, the Chow’s test was performed. This examines whether the affected and non-affected household functions differ significantly due to shift in the intercept or/and due to change in the slope of the functions. The shift in the intercept term was checked by using dummy in intercept. The impact of HIV/AIDS (neutral and non-neutral) was examined by testing equality of Sorghum output elasticities with respect to various inputs with separate regressions for HIV/AIDS affected and non-affected groups of the Sorghum growers and pooled production function which combined the two observation together by allowing the constant terms in the two production functions to differ, i.e. with the Help of formulation of hypothesis and Chow’s F-statistic was used to determine the equality between the two functions:


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The Impact of HIV/AIDS on Sorghum Productivity. The Case of Rural Households in Ethiopia
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impact, hiv/aids, sorghum, productivity, case, rural, households, ethiopia
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Tsega Abebe (Author), 2012, The Impact of HIV/AIDS on Sorghum Productivity. The Case of Rural Households in Ethiopia, Munich, GRIN Verlag,


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