Impact of Agricultural Innovation on Improved Livelihood and Productivity Outcomes Among Smallholder Farmers in Rural Nigeria
20 Pages Posted: 4 Oct 2016
Date Written: October 4, 2016
Agricultural research programs that are driven by Agricultural Innovation System concepts usually target to change the way in which low income rural agrarian households in a nation like Nigeria communicate with the market and the decision making strategies pertaining to development of their agri-business and the scarce resources which are at their disposal. As a result there has been a shift in the research paradigm in many African countries like Nigeria; from top down research systems to nonlinear dynamic systems that aim to enhance end users capacity to obtain and utilize knowledge and research outputs. The aim of this paper was therefore to assess the extent to which the use of these innovative agricultural research interventions impact upon the livelihood and productivity outcomes of rural smallholder farmers in Nigeria using a case study from the South west region of Nigeria. Using propensity score matching as a means of establishing a valid counterfactual and single differencing to measure impact, the study establishes that rural incomes and output are significantly impacted upon by agricultural research interventions that are driven by agricultural innovation systems concepts. The study however further finds that although participating households had better livelihood and productivity outcomes and more diversified income portfolios during the implementation of the innovative research intervention as a result of greater linkages to markets and capacity building opportunities; phasing out of the research program reduced the diversity of income portfolios and lead to the erosion of livelihoods. The study therefore concluded that agricultural research interventions that are driven by agricultural innovation system concepts have the potential to positively impact upon the livelihood outcomes of rural smallholder farmers in Nigeria. However there is need for greater capacity building of local extension agents and increased budgetary support to ensure understanding and application of agricultural innovation system concepts by local level public agricultural extension agents to sustain positive livelihood and productivity outcomes. In addition agricultural innovation system concepts should be mainstreamed in all public agricultural extension and research programs to ensure sustained rural innovation and robust livelihood and improved productivity outcomes.
Keywords: Agricultural Innovation Systems, Livelihoods, Productivity, Smallholder’s farmers
JEL Classification: Q15, 031, J24
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation