ANALYSIS OF LIVELIHOOD DIVERSIFICATION BY FARMING HOUSEHOLDS
This study focused on the analysis 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, 2017). 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).