Assessment of Poverty Severity and its Determinants among Rural Farm Households in Southwest, Nigeria
Poverty still remains high among Nigerian rural households and this affects growth and productivity of the agriculture sector. The study examined factors determining poverty severity among rural farm households in Southwest Nigeria. Structured questionnaire was used to obtain primary data from 475 rural farm households through a multistage sampling technique. The study data were analysed using descriptive statistics; Foster, Greer and Thorbecke (FGT) index; and Tobit regression methods. Estimate of FGT based on US$1.25 per day showed that poverty incidence, depth and severity of the farm households were 0.79, 0.24 and 0.10 respectively. Majority (67.1%) of the households was poor based on poverty line of N49,781.29 per annum. About 19.7% of households’ heads below 30 years and 12.3% of female headed households were severely poor. The poor families had 7-9 members or more. Poverty was more evident among farmers with primary education (11.5%). Non-farm-based households (10.8%), households with borrowed farmland (10.6%) and those cultivating below 2.0 hectares were severely deprived. The Tobit regression revealed that the likelihood of being poor as well as depth and severity of poverty were significantly reduced by education (p<0.10), and amount of credit obtained (p<0.01) while increase in age and household size contributed positively to poverty severity. Therefore, rural households need to adopt family planning. They should increase their farm size through cooperative efforts and farm mechanisation. Stakeholders should facilitate farmers’ access to credit, extension service, and modern input delivery system in order to reduce poverty in the rural area.
Keywords: Poverty severity, Rural, Profile, farm size, Tobit model.