Effect of maize production on poverty alleviation of farmers in Edo state, Nigeria
The high incidence of poverty in Nigeria calls for a concerted effort towards combating the problem. Maize production which is one of the major sources of livelihood to the rural poor may be one of the means to alleviating poverty among the poor populace. This study examined the effect of maize production on poverty alleviation of farmers in Edo State, Nigeria. A three-stage simple random sampling technique was employed to sample 180 maize farmers from the study area. Data were collected from the respondents using structured questionnaire. A total of 178 correctly completed copies of the questionnaire were used for analysis. Data analysis was done using descriptive statistics, poverty index, the Likert scale and t-test. The results of the study showed that the annual income and per capita income of the farmers without maize production were N548,197.00 and N215.00 respectively but these significantly (p < 0.01) increased by N169,016.00 and N66.00 respectively when income from maize production was added. The incidence, depth and severity of poverty among the farmers without maize production were 97%, 63% and 40% respectively but these significantly (p < 0.01) decreased to 70%, 39% and 16% respectively with maize production, accounting for 27%, 24% and 24% reduction respectively. Other perceived significant benefits derived from maize production included rare cases of hunger in the family, and ability to participate actively in social activities, among others. Thus, maize production in Edo State had contributed significantly to improving the income of the maize farmers and alleviating their poverty.
Keywords: Effect, Maize production, Poverty, Small-scale farmers, Benefits