OKIEMUA T. OKOROR1* JOSEPH AHMADU1 AND BLESSING E. EKOMWEN2
1Department of Agricultural Economics and Extension Services, Faculty of Agriculture, University of Benin, Benin City, Edo State, Nigeria.
2Department of Agricultural Economics and Extension Services, Faculty of Agriculture, University of Benin, Benin City, Edo State,
Cassava farmers are faced with several constraints that have often times led to reduced income and consequently, poverty. Hence, they tend to find alternative means to generate income. This study therefore focused on the effect of livelihood diversification on the poverty status of cassava farmers in Edo South, Edo State, Nigeria. A three-stage sampling procedure was used to select 104 cassava farmers in the study area. The data were analysed using descriptive statistics, budgetary technique, Foster- Greer- Thorbecke (FGT) poverty measure and logit regression model. Results showed that many of the cassava farmers were growing plantain (67.6%), maize (64.7%) and yam (56.9%), while the off farm activity mainly engaged in was trading (16.7%). The result also showed that the gross margin and net profit per hectare of cassava farm per production cycle were ₦133,527.59and ₦124,279.2 respectively. The result showed that the average income of farmers that engaged in other on-farm activities was ₦100,898.04, while, the average income of the farmers that engaged in off farm activities was ₦134,352.94. The relative poverty lines of the farmers with and without diversification were ₦323.11 and ₦253.04 respectively. The absolute poverty line was ₦456.56. Result on the poverty status showed that about 49% and 45% of farmers with and without diversification respectively were poor. The significant determinants of poverty were household size and farm size at 1% level of significance. It was concluded that livelihood diversification reduced the poverty of the cassava farmers in the study area.
Keywords: Diversification; Poverty; Foster-Greer-Thorbecke (FGT) model; Cassava; Edo State.