Transforming Smallholder Farming in Nigeria through Off-Farm Employment

Poverty is one of the Nigeria’s policy challenges stalling all efforts to develop rural areas and transform agriculture. Although, poverty is an endemic problem in Nigeria, available evidence shows that rural areas in the country are the most affected. This study advocates off-farm employment for poverty reduction in the rural areas. An empirical investigation was carried out among farming households in Kwara State, Nigeria to analyze the potentials of off-farm employment in poverty reduction. Kwara state is among the six poorest states in Nigeria. A four-stage sampling technique was employed to select 200 farming households used as sample for the study. Three analytical tools including: descriptive statistics, regression analysis, and Foster, Greer and Thorbecke (FGT) classes of poverty measures were used for data analysis. The result of the study shows that a typical household comprised more than 10 persons with a male household head. The average age of the household heads was 45.5 years. 73.3% practiced farming with off-farm work. Poverty analysis was disaggregated into age, marital status, household size and primary occupation. Poverty incidence and severity are more among households with farming as the sole occupation. Households combining off-farm jobs with farming are non-poor. Age, literacy level, household size and occupation were the determinants of off-farm employment of the farming households. Policy options which will increase rural productivity, reduce rural poverty and encourage youth participation in rural economy were suggested.

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 Record created 2017-04-01, last modified 2020-10-28

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