Rural infrastructure and poverty profile of arable crop farming households in Ogun State, Nigeria. (284)
Keywords:Rural infrastructure, Farming households, Poverty, FGT Index, Rural communities
AbstractAvailability of rural infrastructure is critical for sustainable agricultural production, resilient livelihoods and improved welfare among the rural folks. This study assessed the influence of rural infrastructure on the poverty status of Arable Crop Farming Households (ACFHs) in Ogun State, Nigeria. A multistage sampling technique was used to select 150 ACFHs from two agricultural zones in the State. Data on socio-economic characteristics, household expenditure and infrastructure facilities were collected through questionnaire and analysed using descriptive statistics; Foster, Greer and Thorbecke (FGT) poverty index; Relative Infrastructure Status index (RIS) and Logit Regression (LR) technique. Results revealed that 70.7% of the ACFHs heads were male who cultivated an average farm size of 1.8ha with a mean age and household size of 47.9 years and 7 persons respectively. Majority (96.6%) of the households practised agriculture as a major occupation with a mean annual income of NG270,993.3 (US$1,260.43). RIS showed existence of heterogeneity in the availability of infrastructural facilities in the study area. FGT index revealed that the incidence of (relative) poverty for households in Highly Developed Rural Communities (HDRC), Moderately Developed Rural Communities (MDRC) and Lowly Developed Rural Communities (LDRC) were 18.3%, 56.7% and 56.7% respectively. LR revealed that the likelihood of being poor was significantly reduced by years of education and infrastructural status (p<0.01) but was significantly increased by household size (p<0.01). It was thus recommended that more rural infrastructure should be provided in LDRC and MDRC to alleviate poverty in the study area.