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The Persistence of Small Farms and Poverty Levels in Nigeria: An Empirical Analysis


  • Apata, Temidayo Gabriel
  • Rahji, M.A.Y.
  • Samuel, K.D.
  • Igbalajobi, O.A


Small farmers are one of the more disadvantaged and vulnerable groups in Nigeria. Studies have shown that majority of people living in absolute poverty can be found on small farms with half in this group undernourished. The study examined heterogeneity in circumstances and diversity in rural agriculture, the persistence of small farms, poverty and institutional development and facilities. Data for this study came from Nigerian living Standard Survey (NLSS) which covered the two periods 1994/2004. The data set consists of 9550 respondents’ but only 8264 cases were useful for this study. The index of heterogeneity at 29.1 indicated persistence of small farms in the two periods under consideration. Persistence of small farms and poverty are closely related (r = 0.674). The poverty differential in the two surveys data revealed that poverty increased by 14.72%. Disaggregation analysis indicated that institutional development and facilities improved farm outputs, diversification to non-farm and reduction in poverty. Access to these institutional facilities can enable the small farmers to rearticulate their livelihood activities. Policy makers need to show more commitment to develop agriculture through identifying and providing the capacity need of small farmers in order for them to absorb and used whatever modern techniques introduced.

Suggested Citation

  • Apata, Temidayo Gabriel & Rahji, M.A.Y. & Samuel, K.D. & Igbalajobi, O.A, 2009. "The Persistence of Small Farms and Poverty Levels in Nigeria: An Empirical Analysis," 111th Seminar, June 26-27, 2009, Canterbury, UK 53001, European Association of Agricultural Economists.
  • Handle: RePEc:ags:eaa111:53001

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    Heterogeneity index; Poverty Differential; Institutional Development; Structural Constraints; Nigeria; Agricultural and Food Policy; International Development;

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