Vulnerability of Farming Households to Environmental Degradation in Developing Countries: Evidence from North Central Nigeria

Peter Terfa Tsue, Noble Jackson Nweze, Chukwuemeka Uzoma Okoye


This study examined the vulnerability level of individual farming households in North central Nigeria. A survey of 356 households in North Central Nigeria was used to generate household level data. Principal Component Analysis (PCA) was used to develop vulnerability index for individual household so as to classify households depending on their level of vulnerability to environmental degradation impacts and then ordered logistic regression model was employed to identify the key determinants of vulnerability to environmental degradation impacts. The households were categorized into three levels as: highly vulnerable (vulnerability index, Vi of 1.24), vulnerable (Vi=3.35) less vulnerable and (Vi=6.18). The result of households vulnerability to environmental degradation showed that mean household vulnerability index in the study area was 2.86, and only the farming households from Kogi State (3.189) had above this average. Households in Benue State had an average vulnerability index of 2.585 while those from Plateau State had an index of 2.811. Access to credit, land fragmentation and land tenure security positively favoured less vulnerability while intensity of environmental hazards was found to increase the likelihood of households being highly vulnerable to environmental degradation. It was recommended that government should encourage farming households in the study area to obtain loan from banks and micro-credit institutions by regulating interest rate on loans for farmers as well as removing the stringent conditions attached to loans. This will increase farmers’ adaptive capacity to changes in the environment.

Key words: Vulnerability, vulnerability index, farm household, environmental degradation

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