Livelihood Diversification among Arable Farm Households in the Forest Zone of Oyo State, Nigeria
The study assessed the livelihood diversification strategies among the arable farm households in the forest zone of Oyo State, Nigeria. A 3-stage random sampling technique was used to select a total of 160 arable farm households around some selected forest reserves for the study. A well-structured questionnaire was used for the collection of data. The analytical tools employed were descriptive statistics, livelihood index, and logistic regression model. The findings of the study revealed that majority of the respondents were male (57.5%), educated (81.2%), married (71.9%), and had a household size of about 7 members. Non timber forest products (NTFP) gathering (39.38%) was the most preferred livelihood diversification strategy followed by transportation business (16.88%), petty trading (13.75%), artisanal work (12.5%), firewood sales (6.25%), wage employed (4.38%), charcoal production (3.75%), timber sales (1.88%), and hunting (1.25%) in that order respectively. The forest-related livelihoods accounted for 52.5% of the predominant livelihood strategies, whereas, non-forest-related livelihoods accounted for 47.5%. The significant predictors of the probability of engaging in forest-related strategies include; primary education, and secondary education (10% each); tertiary education, and household size (1% each), and age of household head (5%). The study recommends the intensification of local capacities of the farmers such as access to education and training facilities to enable them access and process information, and credit to enhance their livelihood and minimize forest dependence.
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