Underscoring the Vulnerability of Livelihood Activities of Rural Households to Soil Erosion in Imo State, Nigeria
Keywords:Vulnerability, Livelihood activities, Rural Households, Erosion, Imo State, Nigeria
The study underscored the vulnerability of livelihood activities of rural households to erosion menace in Imo State, Nigeria. Specifically, the study described the socio-economic characteristics of rural households in Imo State; identified the livelihood activities of rural households in the study area; and ascertained the perceived effects of soil erosion on predisposed livelihood activities of rural households. Data were collected from 90 households selected through multistage sampling procedure using structured questionnaire. Data analysis was performed using percentage, mean score from the result, the sampled household members were dominated (53.3%) by male gender with average age of 44 years and Secondary school qualification (50.0%). In terms of social organization membership, 63.3% of them did not belong to any social organizations, and at the same time 63.3% lacked access to credit, while 46.6% of the households indicated having extension forth-nightly. From the result, majority (93.3%) of the rural households were into crop production. followed by 85.5% who derived their livelihood from livestock production. The result showed that soil erosion is capable of destroying 9 (nine) predisposed livelihood earnings of rural households out of the 19 livelihood activities understudied. These include the tendency of destroying farm lands (Mean = 3.1), reducing crop yield (Mean = 2.9), destroying economic trees (M = 2.8), impoverishing farm lands (Mean = 2.6), increasing of cost hiring farm labour (Mean = 2.6), marketing difficult (Mean = 2.7), decreasing income diversification of rural households (Mean = 2.8), destroying residential buildings and farm structures (Mean = 2.5). The study concluded that rural households in Imo State engage in multiple streams of nonfarm activities that directly or indirectly predispose farm activities to soil erosion. Hence, it is recommended that environmental friendly policies like government’s support for soil conservation farming, organic farming should be put in place by the government to increase the consciousness of protecting the soil from actions that predispose it to erosion
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