Livelihood, Agro Ecological Zones and Poverty in Rural Nigeria

Omobowale Ayoola Oni


Poverty and vulnerability being observed as rural phenomenon in sub-Sahara African and that majority of the rural poor in Nigeria derive their livelihood from subsistence agriculture, are popular research findings across the country. However, the extent of effect of the interaction of agriculture as a livelihood with agro-ecological variation on poverty status of rural households is not verified in literature as at now. This formed the focus of this paper. The nation-wide cross-sectional data of the Harmonized Nigerian Living Standard Survey (HNLSS, 2009) data was used along with the FGT class of poverty measure and Ordered Probit regression model in the study to achieve the objective. The result reveals that poverty headcount was highest in Sahel zone and least in the Forest zone. The result shows a gradual decline in all the three poverty measures down the agro-ecological horizon. Farming households contributed 84.5% of the total poor households in the rural communities in Nigeria. The Sudan-Sahel farming households contributed the largest proportion of the poor rural households. The study observed that interaction between farming and agro-ecological variation have significant effect on households’ poverty. Among recommendations emanating from this study is that agro-ecological-specific farm support policies/services should be provided to rural households in order to enhance their welfare.

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Journal of Agricultural Science   ISSN 1916-9752 (Print)   ISSN 1916-9760 (Online)  E-mail:

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