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This paper examines the types of strategies rural households in the Bolivian Altiplano utilize to secure income and food consumption. Constrains to choice sets, climate, knowledge systems and social and human capital have influential roles in the ability of a household to secure income and food, and the livelihood strategies employed. For household welfare to increase development agencies must take into account the factors influencing these strategies. Climate, local knowledge systems and modern technology are important in shaping household production strategies. Production decisions are made within the household unit. A livelihood strategies approach was used to conduct the research that would reflect the diverse strategies and influences that a household confronts and uses annual to make production decisions. Research was conducted over a seven-year period in San Jose Llanga, Bolivia, which is a small rural town 90 Km south of the capital of the country, La Paz. Each year of the survey data was collected from 45 households. Twenty-nine of these households were surveyed three times during the seven-year period (1993, 1995 and 1999). The study using factor analysis shows that there are four essential factors, which are important in securing income and food: human capital, traditional agricultural practices, food plots, grazed cows, and remittances. These five factors are important diversification strategies for households, present over the seven-year research period. Human capital and food plots were statistically significant in explaining income, highlighting the importance of household characteristics and spatial diversification for this region.


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