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ISSN : 2456-8643

Title:
FACTORS INFLUENCING INCOME/ OCCUPATIONAL DIVERSIFICATION AMONG FARMERS: A CASE STUDY OF FARMERS IN BENUE STATE, NIGERIA

Authors:
Iwuchukwu J. C. and Igbokwe, E. M

Abstract:
Agriculture may be said to has been constrained from providing improved and sustainable livelihood to farmers due to factors like seasonality of agricultural activities, pests and diseases infestations, poor adaptability of crops and livestock to climate change, low price of agricultural commodities and consequently low profit/income from farming. Farmers have therefore resorted to diversification of income sources in order to cope. This study therefore sought to ascertain those factors that facilitate or impede this act. Data were collected with interview schedule from 432 farming households selected from three agro-development zones, twelve blocks and 36 cells of the state. Findings revealed that although the farmers had diversified their occupations mainly in the farm sector, there was no significant difference in the income they generated from farm and non-farm sectors. Formal education (t = 2.056; P = 0.040) and ownership of farm land (t= 2.069; P = 0.039) promote occupational diversification among farmers. Natural, institutional, and capacity building factors were extracted as reasons while training, security/logistic, fund/infrastructural, health and stress related problems were extracted as factors that constrained farmers from diversifying their occupations. The study emphasized on the need for Government to situate appropriate measures that will checkmate or monitor the trend of diversification of income sources among farmers especially in the non-farm sector. This is to avoid extinction of agriculture as a livelihood option and itís negative consequences on humanity, economy and the entire universe

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