Journal of Agricultural Economics, Extension and Rural Development

ISSN 2360-798X

Effect of Sustainable Agriculture on Livelihood Diversification Strategies of Rural Communities in Niger State, Nigeria


Accepted 28th January, 2022.


Agricultural sustainability is a necessity in rural areas, where farming alone rarely provides sufficient means of survival. Conceptualization of agricultural sustainability and sustainable livelihood as plurality of activities from past studies is paramount for improved livelihood condition. Agriculture and livelihood sustainability is conceived in terms of the interplay of ability, assets and activities. Therefore, agricultural extension service delivery plays a crucial role in sustainable livelihood strategies among rural households in Niger State Nigeria as investigated. Multistage random sampling technique was used to select respondents for the study. Shiroro and Kainji LGAs in Niger state were purposively selected. Twenty percent of villages from each of Kaiji and Shiroro LGAs were drawn. Ten percent of wards in each of the LGAs were selected, from which 2.5% of households were used to give 309 respondents. Structured interview schedule was used to collect data on respondents‟ socio-economic characteristics, livelihood abilities, and livelihood activities, reasons for diversification, livelihood assets, constraints and level of diversification. Data were analyzed using frequency counts, percentage, means and ANOVA. Respondents‟ age, household size and income were 52.3±10.9 years, 4.82±1.88 and N18851.85±16593.65 respectively. Most (96.3%) of the respondents were males, married (87.9%) and Christians (63.0%). Majority had farming as primary occupation (57.34%), no formal education (62.2%) and acquired their land through inheritance (73%). Most (72.4%) of them diversified into arable crop farming while 57.0% into off-farm activities. Majority (72.4%) diversified for sales and consumption only while 76.3% diversified in both seasons. Rural households had low livelihood assets (x =37.39±11.67) and activities (x =3.15±1.27) while they had high livelihood abilities (x =63.27±12.53). Constraints to livelihood sustainability were lack of infrastructural facilities (91.9%), inadequate livelihood assets (82.0%) and poor transportation system (66.9%). Respondents‟ level of livelihood sustainability was significantly increased by primary occupation (β=0.64), income from farming (β = 0.16), length of stay (β = 0.28) and income from non-farm activities (β = 0.13). Significant relationship existed between constraints (r=-0.130) and level of livelihood diversification. However, frequency of visits to urban centres (β = -0.25) significantly reduced respondents‟ level of livelihood sustainability. Livelihood assets (F = 35.095), activities (F = 2.891) and level of livelihood sustainability (F = 6.075) were also significantly different across the two LGAs. Livelihood sustainability was significantly influenced by livelihood ability (β = 0.860), assets (β= 0.29) and activities (β = 0.09) among rural households across the LGAs. Level of livelihood sustainability of rural households was low, in spite of their high level of livelihood abilities. Differences in level of livelihood assets and activities accounted for non-uniform level of livelihood sustainability across the LGAs. Therefore, enhanced livelihood and agricultural extension in rural development initiative could improve livelihood sustainability of rural households in Niger State.


Keywords: Sustainable Agriculture, Livelihood Diversification Strategies, Niger State, Nigeria