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Effect of off-farm income on multi-dimensional poverty among rural farm households in Nigeria

Ifeoluwa Damilola Adeoye (Department of Agricultural Economics and Agribusiness, University of Ghana, Accra, Ghana)
Wayo Seini (Department of Agricultural Economics and Agribusiness, University of Ghana, Accra, Ghana)
Daniel Sarpong (Department of Agricultural Economics and Agribusiness, University of Ghana, Accra, Ghana)
Ditchfield Amegashie (Department of Agricultural Economics and Agribusiness, University of Ghana, Accra, Ghana)

International Journal of Social Economics

ISSN: 0306-8293

Article publication date: 17 September 2019

Issue publication date: 4 October 2019

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to analyze the effect of the different components of off-farm income on multi-dimensional poverty. Furthermore, the study aims to measure multi-dimensional poverty and also identify the determinants of multi-dimensional poverty in Nigeria. The paper reveals the different contributions of the dimensions of education, health and living standard.

Design/methodology/approach

The study focuses on rural farm households in Nigeria. Data are obtained from the Nigeria General Household Survey, 2013. The survey covers both urban and rural areas of the 36 states of Nigeria. Owing to the interest of this study in the rural farm household’s sub-sector, a nationally representative sample of 836 rural farm households are selected for the study after the data merging process. Rural farm households in this paper earn 50 percent of their total income from crop and livestock production. The paper employs the Multi-dimensional Poverty Index (MPI) to measure multi-dimensional poverty across the six different geographical zones of Nigeria. The probit regression model is used to estimate and analyze the effect of off-farm income components on multi-dimensional poverty and also to identify the determinants of multi-dimensional poverty.

Findings

The results of the study show that among the off-farm income components, the non-farm wage income and non-farm self-employment income have negative association with multi-dimensional poverty. Findings show that multi-dimensional poverty is high in Nigeria with deprivations in health contributing the most. Northern Regions have a higher estimate. Results reveal that sex, age, number of adults, formal credit access, access to extension services and location characteristics are key determinants of multi-dimensional poverty. The MPI for Nigeria averaged 47 percent. Across regions, deprivation in the health dimension contributes about 44 percent to multi-dimensional poverty. Deprivation in living standards contributes 40.5 percent, while deprivation in education contributes 15.5 percent to multi-dimensional poverty.

Research limitations/implications

Due to the nature of the data used, the health indicators (nutrition and child mortality) are absent but proxies are used instead. Future research could introduce gender dimensions.

Practical implications

Improving the involvement of rural farm households in non-farm self-employment sector could improve their livelihoods and prevent migration to urban centers, especially among the youths.

Social implications

Improving the quality of health, education and living standards will lead to lower poverty levels in Nigeria. Farmers can best reduce their multi-dimensional poverty by engaging in more off-farm jobs.

Originality/value

This paper provides information to policy makers on the effect of different components of income from the off-farm sector on multi-dimensional poverty alongside with the determinants of multi-dimensional poverty at a national level for the rural farm households. By using MPI, the contribution of the different dimensions used in computing the MPI across the six geographical regions within the country is revealed. This provides policy makers with more information for development purposes.

Keywords

Acknowledgements

The authors especially thank Alliance for Green Revolution in Africa for funding this work.

Citation

Adeoye, I.D., Seini, W., Sarpong, D. and Amegashie, D. (2019), "Effect of off-farm income on multi-dimensional poverty among rural farm households in Nigeria", International Journal of Social Economics, Vol. 46 No. 9, pp. 1081-1094. https://doi.org/10.1108/IJSE-02-2019-0090

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2019, Emerald Publishing Limited