Analysis of Poverty-Environmental Degradation Nexus among Arable Crop Farmers in Plateau State, Nigeria.

Sunday Mailumo, Ahmed Ben, Raphael Omolehin


The study analysed the poverty-environmental degradation nexus among arable crop farmers in Plateau State, Nigeria. Using multi-stage sampling technique, 265 farming households were randomly sampled from 9 communities spread across three Local Government Areas of the three agro ecological zones in the State. Primary data generated from farming household heads through well-structured questionnaires were used. The household’s income, expenditure and information on factors that lead to environmental degradation dominated the bulk of the data. The data were analysed using Foster, Greer and Thorbecke (FGT) index and probit regression model. The monthly mean per adult equivalent household expenditure (MPAEHE) was N3,940. A poverty line of N2,627 was estimated, based on this poverty line, the FGT measures show that 42% of the farming households in the study area were poor. The probit regression result revealed that the quantity of wood collected, number of animals allowed to graze and length of time they graze were significant (P<0.01). A unit increase in any of these variables would lead to the probability of an increase in the poverty depth of the farmers. Knowledge of natural resource conservation was significant (P<0.05) and farm size was significant (P<0.10). Increasing any of these variables by a unit, would result to the probability of decreasing poverty among the households. Hence the hypothesis that there is a strong and direct relationship between these phenomena of poverty – environment trap thesis is accepted. It is recommended that there is the need for policy makers and managers of poverty alleviation programmes to identify the poor at community levels so as to direct poverty programmes and projects towards them. Also environmental aid should be introduced to abate environmental degradation.

Keywords: Poverty, Degradation, Nexus, Arable

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