POVERTY AND THE MILLENNIUM DEVELOPMENT GOALS (MDGs): THE EXPERIENCE OF SELECTED CROP FARMERS IN LAFIA LOCAL GOVERNMENT, NASARAWA STATE, NIGERIA
This study examined the Impact of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) on Poverty with specific interest on selected crop farmers in Lafia Local Government, Nasarawa State, Nigeria. Data were obtained from 346 respondents which include 227 and 119 MDGs Projects beneficiary and non – beneficiary farmers respectively. The data were collected based on a subsample of respondents among the Rice farmers, Maize farmers and Yam farmers’ beneficiaries and non beneficiaries respectively. Foster Greer Thorbecke (FGT) poverty index was used to assess the poverty status of the respondents. Findings of the study revealed higher poverty incidence before the MDGs intervention than after the intervention and also higher incidences among the control group than the experimental group after the intervention. Poverty incidence for the core poor and moderate poor among the beneficiaries was 40.5% and 35.2% before the intervention, 33.0% and 23.8% after the intervention respectively while the incidence among the non beneficiaries was 48.7% and 34.4% before the intervention, 44.5% and 31.1% after the intervention respectively. Poverty gap of the core poor and moderate poor among the beneficiaries was 0.33 and 0.20 before the intervention, 0.11 and 0.04 after the intervention respectively while the gap among the non beneficiaries was 0.38 and 0.15 before the intervention, 0.23 and 0.05 after the intervention respectively. Poverty severity of the core poor and moderate poor among the beneficiaries was 0.40 and 0.26 before the intervention, 0.18 and
0.10 after the intervention respectively while the severity among the non beneficiaries was 0.42 and 0.22 before the intervention, 0.32 and 0.12 after the intervention respectively. This situation implied that MDGs intervention projects have improved poverty status of the beneficiaries. Therefore, the study recommends that the farmers should be encouraged to engage in value chain production through establishing agriculture related processing industries in their areas such as Rice Mills, maize processing factories etc.
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