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Abstract

The Seed Voucher System (SVS) was adopted by the Emergency Rice Initiative (ERI) to grant farmers access to certified improved seed, in order to mitigate the adverse effect of the 2008 global food crisis on resource poor farmers in rural Nigeria. This study examined the impact of the SVS on income inequality reduction and rice income per hectare among rice farming households in Nigeria. Structured questionnaire was used to collect Baseline (2008) and post-voucher (2010) data, using multistage sampling procedure. Using Randomized Control Trial approach, 160 farmers out of the 600 rice farmers randomly selected in 2008 received the seed voucher (treated), and others did not (control). The results revealed that poverty and income inequality declined significantly after the intervention. The SVS also lead to significant increase in rice income per hectare. Therefore, the use of seed vouches to grant farmers access to production inputs could actually be a way out of the endemic poverty situation in rural Nigeria and can also be used to redistribute income among rural households in Nigeria.

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