EFFECTS OF HIV/AIDS ON THE LIVELIHOODS OF RURAL FARMERS IN ENUGU STATE, NIGERIA
HIV/AIDS related problems have continued to be major problems for human welfare. The study was set to evaluate the impact of HIV/AIDS on livelihood of rural farmers of Enugu State which has HIV prevalence of 5.2 with about 51,639 persons infected. The study specifically sought to: describe socio economic characteristic of people living with HIV/AIDS, describe the major HIV/AIDS related problems in the rural areas, describe people living with HIV/AIDS’ access/responses to sources of helps to cope with their health status, determine people living with HIV/AIDS’ access to farm assets such farm size, labour, and estimate determinants of technical efficiency of HIV/AIDS infected households. A total of 54 HIV/AIDS affected households were selected. Data were collected through the use of structured questionnaires. Data analysis involved the use of descriptive statistics, Principal Component Analysis, Analysis of variance (ANOVA) and Lest Significant Difference (LSD) as well as Coelli 4.0 maximum likelihood estimation techniques. Results showed that fifty six percent of the respondents were females while forty four were males. The distribution by age shows that majority of the patients were between 16-38 years. Access to free drugs and medication was very limited in the study area. Results show that only 16 percent of respondents always had access to free medication while the majority (63%) did not. Free medication is necessary in view of the high cost of drugs and numerous diseases associated with HIV. Twenty-seven percent of the respondents often received help from NGOs while 55 percent did not often receive such help. Principal component analysis showed that HIV infected households were responding most to family helps and also to nutrition and free medication as well as financial help. The LSD test showed that HIV reduces the mean scores of the selected farm assets namely farm size, family labour, hired labour and income. The Maximum Likelihood Estimates (MLE) estimate showed that variance-ratio parameter γ* was 0.5659. It implied that 56.59 percent of the differences between observed and the maximum frontier output for the farmers was due to the existing differences in efficiency levels among them. The estimated value of gamma was 0.782 for all the farmers. Its t-value was 2.636. The statistical significance of this value at 5 percent level implied that all the farmers were grossly inefficient in agricultural production. It showed that productivity is positively related to Land Area (farm size), Family labour, Hired labour and quantity of fertilizer. It was recommended among others that Champaign against HIV should be directed more to young people who are the most infected in order to increase the number of youths actively involved in farming.