INCOME DIVERSIFICATION: A STRATEGY FOR MANAGING POVERTY AMONG WET SEASON SMALL-HOLDER RICE PRODUCERS IN JIGAWA STATE, NIGERIA
Keywords:Employment, Income diversification, Livelihood, Poverty status, Small-holder
This study was conducted to assess income diversification as a strategy for managing poverty among wet season smallholder rice producers in Jigawa State, Nigeria. The justification for the research hinges on the fact that more knowledge about the extent and nature of livelihood diversification and poverty status among rural farming household is required for effective designing and implementation of poverty reduction policy and strategies. Multi-stage sampling techniques consisting purposive and random sampling were used in selecting 292 wet season smallholder rice producers who were interviewed using structured questionnaires by trained enumerators. The analytical tools employed include descriptive statistic, Simpson diversification index, FGT model and Probit regression models. The result shows that the mean age of 40 years and mean household size was 12 persons. Wet season rice production was the major occupation for the farmers with most of them having a farming experience of more than 24 years on the average. However, the average farm size was 2 hectares. The average annual income from rice production is ₦166119, while the average annual income from dry season production was ₦159704. The result of SID of the farming household shows that 51.6% had high income diversity and 48.4% had low-income diversity scores. The FGT model revealed the poverty level of the farming household which shows that 60.3% of the smallholder wet season rice producers were poor while 39.7% were non poor. The poverty depth was -0.35 for the poor and 0.53 for non-poor. The severity of poverty index for the poor is 0.78. Farming household income diversification also significantly influence poverty status. It is therefore recommended that since the study observed that the incidence of poverty had slightly drop from 64.1% to 54% as a result of diversification among the non-poor farming household. Therefore, farmers should be encouraged to diversify their economic activities to earn more income to be able to increase their income base so as to cover their expenditure on consumption and social obligation. This can be achieved through creation of enabling socio-economic environment that will generate employment opportunity for the farming household.
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