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Thisstudy focused on analyse of livelihood diversification by farming households in Kachia, Kagarko and Jaba Local Government areas of Kaduna State, Nigeria. Primary data were collected from 220 respondents using structured questionnaire. The statistical tools used to analyse the data were descriptive statistics, logit regression and t-statistics. The result of the analysis shows that the average age of the farming households were 44 years with an average household size of 7 persons. Majority (64%) of the respondents were not literate. The respondent had an average farming experience of 18 years. About 90% of the respondents do not have access to credit; the respondents had an average farm size of 1 hectare. However, 85% of the farmers do not belong to any cooperative association while about half 50% of the respondents had no other source of income. The result of this study also shows that all the households derived income from farming which in average account for 60.6% of the total household income. Crop production provides about 51.3% of total income. More than half of the household derived income livestock enterprises which however account for only 9.3% of total income. The estimated coefficients of the Logit model, along with the standard error, t-values and marginal effect are presented. The likelihood ratio test was 63.259 with 6 degree of freedom is significant at (p≤0.01). The t-test indicated that there was significant difference between output, income and level of living of household that are involved in livelihood diversification and non-diversifying household. The result shows that the output, income and level of living had significance on the household that are involved in livelihood diversification at p< 0.05 level of probability.Lastly, among the major constraints to livelihood diversification in the study area were: lack of credit facilities, poor asset base, lack of awareness and training facilities, fear of taking risk and lack of opportunities in non-farm sector. It could be concluded that engagement in off-farmincome generation activities decreases with farming experience while it increases with male-headed household, education, credit and market. It is recommended that the monetary authority in collaboration with the government should promote non-farm employment by ensuring farmers access to credit.
1.1 Background to the Study
Agriculture has been an important sector in the Nigerian economy in the past decades
and is still a major sector despite the oil boom. Basically it provides employment
opportunities for the teeming population, eradicates poverty and contributes to the
growth of the economy. Despite these however, the sector is thus characterized by low
yields, low level of inputs and limited areas under cultivation (Izuchukwu, 2011). It
involves small scale farmers scattered over wide expanse of land area, with small
holding ranging from 0.5 to 3.0 hectare per farm land. It is characterized by rudimentary
farm systems, low capitalization and low yield per hectare (Kolawale and Ojo, 2007).
The roles of agriculture remain significant in the Nigeria economy despite the strategic
importance of the oil sector. Agriculture provides primary means of employment for
Nigeria and accounts for more than one third of total Gross Domestic Product (GDP)
and labour force (Ismaila et al., 2010).
The Contribution of agriculture to Nigeria‟s Gross Domestic Product (GDP), which
stood at an average of 56% in 1960-1964 decline to 47% in 1965-1969 and further
declined to 35% in 2002-2004 and with crop production accounting for an estimated
85% of this total, the agricultural sector provides a livelihood for the bulk of the rural
population (Amaza and Maurice, 2005); Provides up to 70% active labour force (Bello,
2004; Ayinde, 2008), supplies raw materials required by the industrial sector and
generate foreign exchange through export. In spite of this, agricultural production has
failed to meet the food needs of the country‟s rapid growing population (Ayinde, 2008).
In Africa, various studies have shown that while most rural households are involved in
agricultural activities such as livestock, crop or fish production as their main source of
livelihood, they also engage in other income generating activities to augment their main
source of income. A majority of rural producers have historically diversified their
productive activities to encompass a range of other productive areas. In other words,
very few of them collect all their income from only one source, hold all their wealth in
the form of any single asset, or use their resources in just one activity (Barrett et al.,
In Nigeria, the agricultural sector is plagued with problems which include soil
infertility, infrastructural inadequacy, risk and uncertainty and seasonality among
others. Thus, rural households are forced to develop strategies to cope with increasing
vulnerability associated with agricultural production through diversification,
intensification and migration or moving out of farming (Ellis, 2000).In other words, the
situation in the rural areas has negative welfare implications and predisposes the rural
populace to various risks which threaten their livelihoods and their existence. As a
result of this, they struggle to survive and in order to improve their welfare, off-farm
and non-farm activities have become an important component of livelihood strategies
among rural households in Nigeria.
1.2 Problem Statement
Nigeria has a huge agricultural endowment;hunger characterizes the majority of the
population. About64.4% and 83.7% of the population live below the povertyline of
US$1.25 and US$2 per person per day, respectivel
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