Income and crop diversification among farming households in a rural area of north central Nigeria
Income and crop diversification have been identified as essential strategies for raising income and reducing rural poverty. Both strategies were analyzed based on empirical data collected from rural households. The analysis was done using the Simpson Index of Diversity (SID) and Ordinary least square (OLS) regression analysis. The results revealed that diversification into a number of income sources and crops grown were very high. The determinants of income diversification were number of children less than 12 years old, number of adults above 60 years old, availability of electricity in the household and distance from local market. The determinants of crop diversification were, age and level of education of the household head, number of extension visits, availability of tractor hiring services and returns from crop production. Most households occupations in the study area were no longer agriculture based, however there willingness to diversify was significantly influenced by their socioeconomic characteristics.
Key words: Income, Crop, Diversification, Rural area, Households