The Handbook of Research on Entrepreneurship in Agriculture and Rural Development
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The Handbook of Research on Entrepreneurship in Agriculture and Rural Development

Edited by Gry Agnete Alsos, Sara Carter, Elisabet Ljunggren and Friederike Welter

The agriculture sector around the world has experienced profound changes in recent years. This unique and path-breaking Handbook draws together the best current research in the area of entrepreneurship in agriculture, food production and rural development.
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Chapter 3: Pluriactivity, Entrepreneurship and Socio-economic Success of Farming Households

Lasandahasi R. de Silva and Sarath S. Kodithuwakku


3 Pluriactivity, entrepreneurship and socioeconomic success of farming households Lasandahasi R. de Silva and Sarath S. Kodithuwakku While pluriactivity has mainly been identified as a capital accumulation strategy, it has also been recognized as a survival strategy particularly in a resource-constrained environment. Accordingly, it is questionable as to what extent pluriactivitity leads households to be socio-economically better off. This question has a greater significance particularly in rural contexts of developing countries since a transformation from a traditional agricultural-based rural economy to a more diversified economy has been observed over the past few decades. In this chapter, this issue is addressed through research carried out to compare and contrast better-off and worse-off pluriactive households in a given locality in Sri Lanka, based on their motive to become pluriactive (pull and/or push), the portfolio of income-generation activities carried out by them, and their entrepreneurial qualities. Multiple data collection methods were used and the data were analysed qualitatively. The findings were supplemented with quantifiable evidence when necessary in order to increase the validity of the conclusions. For better-off households, being pluriactive was initially due to push motives which were later transformed into pull motives. In contrast, for worse-off households being pluriactive has always been a push motive. Better-off households diversified into more off-farm income generation activities and hence their dependency on agriculture was less than that of worse-off households who were mainly dependent on agricultural-related diversification. In addition, the better-off households exhibited more entrepreneurial qualities, extracting value from the environment without regard to...

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