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1.1     Background of the study

Agriculture is the most popular and predominant activity in most rural communities in Nigeria (Oni, 2014 and Akpan and Udoh 2016). The sector employs more than 70% of the rural population and is a major absorber of labour during economic crises. Literature has provided evidence that, more than 60% of the rural population who are mostly farmers in Sub Saharan Africa live below poverty line and do not have sufficient access to social services and infrastructures (World Bank, 2007, and Apataet al., 2010). This does not actually connote that farming is synonym to poverty, but as noted by Udoh and Akpan 2007, most rural farmers in Nigeria have poor resource based which culminated into low farm income. Haggblade (2004) also suggested that, significant poverty reduction will not be possible without rapid agricultural growth and development. In Nigeria, issues related to poverty and income inequality are mostly reported as a rural phenomenon and moreprevalent among the farming households ( NBS, 2006; Okunmadewaet al., 2010).

Poverty is one of the most familiar and enduring conditions known to humanity, it is an extremely complicated concept to understand, and is a multifaceted concept, which includes social, economic, and political elements (Ofori-Boateng, 2017). It can be classified into two groups based on how the people got into poverty, where they live and how they experienced the issue. There are absolute and relative poverty. Absolute poverty is measured in terms of access to basic necessities, it is a condition characterized by severe deprivation of basic human needs including food, safe drinking water, sanitation facilities, health shelter, education and information. It depends not only on income but on access to social services (Wikipedia,2017).

Relative poverty takes into consideration individual, social and economic status compared to the rest of the society (UNESCO, 2016). This is the one that has consistently had the greatest effect on the evolving concept of poverty including political, economic, social and cultural forces. Poverty in all its forms is the greatest challenge to the international community of special concern are the 1.2 billion people living on less than $1 a day and the additional 1.6 billion living on less than $2 a day (Kanayo, 2014).

          Globally, poverty and income inequality have been identified as major limitations to economic growth and development. Despite years of commitments in agricultural researches and development through enunciation of poverty alleviation programmes and institutions with evidences of achievements; hunger, income inequality as well as poverty still triumph over majority of Nigerians (Damisaet al.,2011). For instance, in 2004 the relative poverty stood at 54.4 % representing 68.7 mil-lion Nigerians; whereas in 2010, poverty incidence rose to 69.00 % representing 112.47 mil-lion Nigerians; while in 2011 it was 71.50 %. The report also revealed that, 73.2 % of the rural population was poor while 61.8 % of urban population lives below poverty line in 2010. In recent survey, income inequality has also showed irregular pattern in Nigeria as revealed by(NBS,2016).

          Poverty and inequality are global phenomenon but the rates in Nigeria are higher than most countries in the world.This indicates that there is high level of uneven distribution of income in the country1 (IMF, 2015).

1.2     Statement of the problem

            Persistence income inequality in household continuously increase in societal poverty could lead to inefficient allocation of resources, militancy, revolt, criminalities and stunted growth in economic activities. In agricultural sector, the devastating situation of income inequality and increasing societal poverty is made worst by aggravated rural- urban migration among active labour force and diversification of agricultural landsAkpan (2010) and Aworemi et al.,(2011).

            According to Awoyemi(2007) reported that the increasing income inequality and poverty continue to be the most challenging economic problem facing most developing countries, particularly Nigeria. It is also widely believed that majority of the people in sub-Saharan Africa live in the rural areas and this rural community are majorly agrarian with majority of them owing just a small piece of land on which they grow crops hardly sufficient to feed themselves let alone to sell in other to generate income. The rural farmers therefore live on small and meager income as compared to urban dwellers who earn more than rural dwellers due to their higher literacy level and education. Meludu (2005) reported that nearly all the agricultural activities are done in all the rural areas as a source of income; however, the income generated from overall agricultural production is highest in these areas leading to a high income inequality between rural and urban areas. This research is being proposed to evaluate to the following problems;

  1. What are the socioeconomics characteristics of the respondent in the area?
  2. What are the poverty statuses of the respondent in the study area?
  3. What are the factor influencing the poverty status of the rural households?
  4. What are the determinants of poverty among the rural households?

1.3       General Specific

  1. To determine the socio economics characteristics of the respondents in the study?
  2. Access the poverty status of the respondents in the study area?
  3. Examine the determinant of rural household poverty profile?
  4. Examine the factor influencing household per capital expenditure?
    • Hypothesis of the study

          There is no significant relationship between the socio economic characteristics of the respondents and their poverty level in the study area.

1.5        Justification of the study

This research will examine whether the transformation of research has been successful to improve farm household and their poverty status.

To hasten the agricultural development process will required motivating rural farmers to become active participants in the ongoing engineering of the agricultural sector in the country. 

Poverty is a global issues of concern affecting both the developed and developing words (in either relative or absolute terms) but felt most in the developing world because it present  itself in an absolute terms as a vicious circle very difficult to break

This study therefore provides a very useful insight into the various income generating activities in rural households in Nigeria. Specifically, the study examined the different participation rate of the rural households in different income poverty sources and identified the factors influencing income distribution among rural households in the study area. (Olatona, 2007).