Effect of Rural-Urban Migation on the Poverty Status of Farming Households in Ogbomoso



1.1 Background of the study

Needless to say that poverty is a global problem; however the menace of poverty is most devastating in the developing countries of the world. Food production has hardly kept pace with population size and the quantity as well as quality of health has also massively deteriorated. According to the World Bank Development Report, (2013), about 10.7 percent of the world’s population lived below poverty line (US $1.90 a day). Poverty is one of the greatest menaces challenging many African countries (Okunmadewa et al., 2010). Of the world’s continents considered to be in either absolute or relative poverty, Africa is the most glaring, especially sub-Saharan African countries where, averages, 47 percent of the population livebelow the poverty line (World Bank, Sub – Saharan Africa Poverty and Equity data, 2012).

Data available on poverty show that it is more accentuated in the rural area than in urban area in the developing countries.In these countries, three quarters of the poor live in rural area (World Bank, 2008).Although the rural population is only forty-nine per cent (49%) of total population, seventy per cent (70%) of the world’s poor live in rural areas (TWBG, 2012). Agriculture is the main stay of livelihood of the people in the rural areas. It provides livelihood for about 60% for Africa and 70% for Nigeria. However, it contributes about 14% of Africa total GDP and 40% of Nigeria total GDP.

Rural to urban migration has historically been an important part of the urbanization process and continues to be significant in scale in developing countries.In Africa, estimates have shown that between 1990 and 2020, half a billion people will be added to already overcrowded conurbations as against the less than 200 million people in north America and Europe (USAID, 2002). Labor migration is considered as a crucial strategy for households to survive, particularly in Africa. For rural households in developing countries, migration to the city might be one essential aspect of the diversification of their livelihoods, in order to cope with structural poverty and collect more family income. In this way, the separate opportunities of both urban and rural locations are being used simultaneously by the same family. Such ways of coping with poverty at the family level are mostly facilitated by traditional extended household structures that make the subdividing of the family over different locations less difficult. According White et al. (2008), these stretched families are jointly contributing to the households’ wellbeing as a whole. The rural part of the household system sends agricultural yield and products to the part of the household in the city, while at the same time the urban inhabitants remit part of their salaries to their rural families for investment or consumption.

In Nigeria, poverty is a policy and economic problem. According to United Nations Development Programme, UNDP, 2016, Nigeria’s HDI (Human Development Index – composite statistics of life expectancy, education, and per capita income indicator) value position the country at 152 of 188 countries which put the country on Low Human Development (LHD). Various programmes initiated by the governments have stressed the need to either permanently eradicate poverty or to alleviate it.Poverty level in Nigeria rural and urban areas has become increasingly connected through movement of people, goods, capital, and information. To cope with poverty, rural households generally combine three strategies: agriculture, non agricultural activities and migration (World Bank, 2008). The rural populace move out in largenumbers temporarily or permanently to towns and cities to seek out new opportunities, improved livelihoods and better standard of living.Migrants are usually concerned with the benefits they hope to gain by moving and usually give less thought to the problems that they will incur as a result of the process. Some of these problems may impact more on the non-migrants left behind in the rural area.

However, there is a general agreement in many literature that migration and remittances from migrants reduce rural poverty and raise rural household living standards. According to Schmook and Radel (2008);Wouterse and Taylor (2008), migrant households that receive remittances from migrants members have higher income and consumption levels than non-migrant households. Migration can help rural households protect themselves against the flows of the credits and insurance markets. The non-migrant households earn higher agricultural income compared to migrant households (Zahonogo 2011), as migration positively affects non-agriculture income and negatively affects agriculture income. In actual fact, remittances can facilitate farmers in on-farm investment, credit problems which have hindered famers in buying fertilizer and other key inputs.

1.2 Problem Statement

Previously, Nigeria was regarded as an agricultural economy of which agricultural sector was contributing about 80% of the total Nigeria export. Then, about 75% of Nigeria total population lived in the rural areas and obtain their means of livelihood from agriculture. But ironically, this sector has been doing badly in the past few years resulting in decline in Nigeria agricultural exports. Many factors have been contributing to this poor performance of agricultural sector but one of the major factors is the rural-urban migration (especially by youths) which involves the shifting of labour force from rural areas to urban centers, in search of employment, better living standard, freedom of religion and others too numerous to mention, one of the factor affecting rural urban pattern of migration is the shortage of agricultural labour supply.Rural-Urban migration especially among the youth has significant influence on the livelihood and agricultural productivity of the rural households. The effect of rural-urban migration may result in the speedy decline of the rural economy that leads to persistent poverty and food insecurity (Mini, 2000). Some scholars attribute the rapid increase of rural-urban migration in particular, to increasing unemployment and rural poverty, inadequate arable land etc. in developing countries (Anarfi et al., 2001; Chant, 2002; and Zhao, 2003).

Migration has also been identified as a survival strategy utilized by the poor, especially the rural dwellers. The assessment of the effects of migration on rural areas has remained relevant since migration acts as a catalyst in the transformation process of not only the destiny of individual migrants but also the conditions of family members left behind, local communities, and the wider sending regions. One significant source of development for the rural populace as a result of this increasing drift towards the cities is remittances. Recently, migrants’ remittances and the income multipliers they create are becoming critical resources for the sustenance strategies of receiving households as well as agents of regional and national development (World Bank, 2005). Households that receive these remittances tend to use the proceeds primarily for current consumption (food, clothing) as well as investments in children’s education, health care, improvement in householdfood and security, and water and sanitation. Nevertheless, the ability of remittances to compensate the labour shortage in rural areas is still a function of the amounts and value of remittances received by migrants’ households at home, especially in the developing countries (World Bank, 2005)

Research questions

Therefore this research is set to answer the following research questions;

  1. What are the characteristics of rural-urban migrant farming households in the study area?
  2. What factors determine rural-urban migration in the study area?
  3. What is the welfare status of the farming households in the study area?
  4. What is the effect of rural –urban migration on the welfare of farming household in the study area?

1.3 Objectives

The broad objective of this study is to determine the effects of rural-urban migration on poverty status of farming households in Ogbomoso, Oyo State. To achieve this broad objective, the following specific objectives are:

  1. Profile the characteristics of rural-urban migrant farming households in the study area;
  2. Determine factors affecting rural-urban migration in the study area;
  3. Estimate the poverty status of farming households in the study area;
  4. Examine the effect of rural-urban migration on the poverty of the farming households.

1.4 Justification of the study

According to Braunvan, (2004) people tend to be pulled to the areas of prosperity and pushed from areas of decline. Migrants are usually concerned with the benefits they hope to gain by moving and usually give less thought to the problems that they will incur as a result of the process. Some of these problems may impact more on the non-migrants left behind in the rural area. The movement of people from rural to urban areas is a common occurrence in Nigeria. The movement poses some problems in the rural as well as in the urban center even though, there are benefits derived from it. In most rural areas, the impact of rural-urban migration was a rapid deterioration of the rural economy leading to chronic poverty and food insecurity (Mini, 2000). Some studies indicate that economic push factors (for example lack of rural credit, unemployment, lack of land, general rural poverty) are most important while others suggest that economic pull factors (e.g. perception of high wages from urban employment) are predominant. A number of other motivations for rural-urban migration including educational opportunities offered in urban areas, marriage and joining the family already at the destination are cited in the literature.

Out of the population in absolute poverty in Nigeria, more than 75 percent are estimated to live in rural areas. It is sad but interesting to state that there is no state in Nigeria without rural dwellers. Four-fifth (4/5) of these rural dwellers are engaged in farming and other low income vocation (World Bank Development Report, 2004). Farming households therefore is the target of this study. The declining standard of living in the country has inspired studies into the poverty situation in Nigeria. These studies have shown that poverty exists both at urban and rural areas but its effect are more pronounced in the rural areas (UNDP, 2000; World Bank, 1997; FGN,1996). Unfortunately, most of these studies were macro in nature. However, the primary manifestation of poverty occurs at the household or individual level. A better understanding of the actual situation of poverty therefore, requires micro studies of this type. Although attempts have been made to fill the gap through a series of studies and household surveys, not much has yet been said about poverty in farming households.

This study is important so as to discover the implicit effects of rural-urban migration on the welfare status of farmers in the rural areas, especially in the study area. This research work will mainly aims at getting some theoretical and empirical evidence of why households diversify their livelihood strategies especially through migration and an understanding of migration and how it affects livelihood of the rural farming household and the resultant consequences. For this reason there is a need to identify successful practices that promote local rural development and reduce poverty by using rural-urban migration. Result of these assessment would provide a useful basis for understanding the significance of migration in relation to poverty reduction, need to promote local rural development, also contribute to increasing literature on development strategies in Nigeria and the world at large. Furthermore, findings from this study will also serve as a framework for recommeding policies for improvement of poor farm household welfare.

1.5 Organization of study

The study will be divided into five chapters. Chapter one will capture the background information on the study, problem statement, objectives of the study and justification of the study including the plan of the study. The second chapter will deal with the operational definitions of some key concepts and conceptual frame work for the study, literature review, where relevant literature on the study concepts will be discussed. In this chapter documented research findings on migration and livelihood issues will be discussed.In chapter three the methodology used for the study will be discussed showing the research, methods employed and the techniques used in collecting the data and also analysing it. Chapter four will presents the results and discussion of the study in the context of the research objectives and the final chapter which will be chapter five will give the summary, conclusion and recommendation of the research work.

To Profile the characteristics of farm households

Farmers characteristics in term of socio-economic and demographic

Age, Sex, Household size, years of education, farm income, marital status, migration status, income from remittance etc

Descriptive statistics; mean, Standard deviation, frequency, percentage

To determine factors influencing rural-urban migration in the study area

Determining the forces promoting rural-urban migration in the study area

Age, Household size, years of education, poor health service, farm income and income from remittances.

Logistic regression

To determine the poverty status of farm households in the study area

Determining the poverty status of farm household in the study area

Household expenditure

FGT measure of poverty

To examine the effects of rural-urban migration on poverty status of farm households in the study area

Examinig the effects of rural-urban migration on poverty status of farm households in the study area

Age, years of education, household size, farmsize, migration status of houshold

Ordered Probit

Table 1: Analysis of Objectives



This chapter describes the theories that underlined this study in addition to coincise discussion of findings from previous related works

2.1 Theoretical Framework

2.1.1. Stouffer’s Theory of Mobility

Stouffer formulated his inter­vening opportunity model in 1940, and claimed that there is no necessary relationship between mobility and distance (Stouffer, 1940). Instead, the observed decline in the volume of migration is due to an increase in the number of intervening opportunities with increasing distance. Stouffer’s model suggests that the number of migrants from an origin to a destination is directly proportional to the number of opportunities at that destination, and inversely proportional to the number of intervening opportunities between the origin and the destination.

Stouffer’s formulation can be mathematically expressed as follows:

where Y is the expected number of migrants, ?x is the number of opportunities at the destination, x is the number of intervening opportunities, and k is a constant.

Stouffer modified his theory of migration and intervening opportunities in the mid-1950s and added the concept of competing migrants in his model. His modified theory of mobility was published in 1960. The revised model proposes that during a given time interval, the number of migrants from city 1 to city 2 is the direct function of the number of opportunities in city 2, and an inverse function of the number of opportunities intervening between city 1 and city 2, and the number of other migrants for the opportunities in city 2. Thus, the revised formulation would read as under (Galle and Taeuber, 1966:6):

where Y is the number of migrants moving from city 1 to city 2, Xi is the number of opportunities in city 2, XB is the number of opportunities intervening between city 1 and city 2, Xc is the number of migrants competing for opportunities in city 2, and k is a constant.

It may be realized here that the volume of migration from one city to another is the function of as much the attraction of one city as the repulsion from the other. Hence, another component as a measure of disadvantages that push people from city 1 is intro­duced in the numerator. The final formulation may be expressed as under:

where Xo is the number of out-migrants from city 1; a, b and c are parameters to be determined empirically; and other notations are as before.

In Stouffer’s model the measure of ‘disadvantages’ or ‘push’ factors in city 1 (X0) is defined as the total out-migrants from the city. Likewise, the measure of number of opportunities in city 2 (X1) is defined as the total in-migrants in city 2, whereas the measure of intervening opportunities between city 1 and city 2 (X2) is defined as the total number of in-migrants in a circle centred mid-way between city 1 and city 2, and having a diameter equal to the distance between the two cities. And, finally, the measure of competing migrants (Xc) is defined as the total number of out-migrants from a circle centred on city 2 with the distance between the two cities as its radius.

2.1.2. Capability theory of poverty

Capability theory of poverty developed by Sen is concerned with the success or failure of a person to achieve basic capabilities to adequately fulfill certain crucial functions at minimal level (Saith, 2001; Sen, 1985). The capability approach views monetary resource as means that can help to enhance people’s well-being. The monetary resource is viewed as a necessary, but not sufficient condition to prevent the casual chain of poverty (Laderchi et al., 2003). Therefore, the capability approach emphasizes both monetary resources and other resources to develop or achieve capabilities. Sen argued that the monetary approach emphasizes utility of a commodity and does not provide a good proxy to assess people’s well-being. Sen’s (1985) capability approach provides a framework that can be use to assess inequality, poverty and individuals’ or groups’ well-being.

Sen’s concept of capability operates at two levels: at the level of realized well-being or outcome measured by functioning, and at the level of potential well-being or opportunity measured by capability. Functioning refers to a person’s achievement while capability refers to the combination of various functions a person can achieve. Sen, as cited in Saith (2001), pointed out that a person’s achievement or functioning is a better proxy for well-being. What a person successfully accomplished with a commodity is what matters, taking into consideration the characteristics of the commodity, the characteristics of the person and external circumstances. Alkire (2007) and Darling (2002) also highlighted that human capital or capability provides people with the necessary skill or ability to function well in society. Alkire (2007) and Darling (2002) noted that lack of human capability places an individual in a more economically vulnerable position when they face detrimental events such as loss of job, illness or family changes. Individuals with a high quality of human capital will do well in the labor market, according to Darling (2002).

According to Sen, (1985) and Gorman (1980) the development of a person’s capability or

achievement functioning can be expressed as where:

  • Q is the capability or state of being of the individual given the resource constraint X.
  • F is the function that maps the characteristics of goods into the state of being.
  • Xi is the vector of commodities chosen by the individual C.
  • X is the standard budget constraint.
  • Zi is the vector of personal, societal and environmental factors that affect the conversion of available resources into outcomes.

A capability model emphasizes the fact that the development of human capital or capability is

influenced by availability of financial resources and other social or environmental factors (Sen,

1985). Schiller (2008) highlighted how personal investment in human capital such as

education can operate as a strong mechanism that can influence the distribution of poverty. According to Schiller, educational achievement is a prime factor for distribution of poverty. Those who invest in education have a higher chance of getting out of poverty. The attainment of higher education can lead to greater productivity and earnings. Higher education can increase one’s chance of employment and delay layoff from job. In line with Sen (1985), and Darling (2002), Schiller (2008) mentioned that person capability or functioning, such as educational attainment, can be determined by a number of factors. Racial inequality, gender inequality, place of residence, and individual or family financial status influence educational achievement.

2.2. Methodological framework

This sub-section presents the various methods used by researchers in determining poverty status of farming households and factors influencing rural-uban migration.

2.2.1. Poverty measurement

Measurement of poverty is complex and varied. Discussion of poverty measure has, therefore, commenced with the simple living standard measure, poverty line determination, array of measures involved in absolute and relative poverty measures and recently the multidimensional poverty measures. Poverty can be measured using money metric approach and non money metric approach. Money metric approach involves methodologies that emphasize monetary indicators and an objective derivation of the poverty line. The Monetary approach emphasizes on the choice of income or expenditure indicator as a proxy for consumption as a proxy for permanent income. Poverty is associated not only with insufficient income or consumption but also with insufficient outcomes with respect to health, nutrition, and literacy, and with deficient social relation, insecurity, and low self-esteem and powerlessness (Coudouel, Hentschel, and Wodon, 2002).

The choice of a poverty line is crucial to poverty measurement. A poverty line may be identified either with respect to a list of basic needs (absolute) or some characteristics of the distribution of the welfare indicators chosen (relative) (Ravallion, 1998). The poverty threshold is computed by putting a monetary value on the minimum amount a family or individual needs to survive. When a family or an individual’s total income falls below the poverty threshold, then the family or individual is considered poor. The family or an individual’s monetary poverty level is associated with family size, age, gender, race, place of residence, marital status (Schiller, 2008).

Absolute poverty which relates to a situation of not having enough to eat, a state of being poor nutritionally, denial of access to good social amenities such as drinking water, good health facilities, among others (World bank, 1996) can be measured in different ways which include; Headcount ratio/incidence of poverty, the poverty gap/income shortfall, composite poverty measures, the physical quality of life index (PQLI) and the human development index (HDI).

Head Count Ratio: Poverty can be expressed in a single index. The simplest and most common measure is the Head Count Ratio (HCR), which is the ratio of the number of poor to total population. This gives the proportion of the population with income below the poverty line. The head count ratio has been criticized for its focus only on the number of the poor and being insensitive to the severity of poverty and to changes below the poverty line. That is, it treats all the poor equally whereas not all the poor are equally poor.

The poverty gap/income shortfall: The poverty gap ratio or the income gap ratio is the difference between the poverty line and mean income of the poor, expressed as a ratio of the poverty line (World Bank, 1993). It is defined as the average poverty gap in the population as a proportion of the poverty line which measures the intensity of poverty. It estimates the depth of poverty by considering how far, on the average, the poor are from that poverty line. The average income shortfall measure the amount of money it would take to raise the income of the average poor person up to the poverty line i.e, it provides a statement on the level of income transfer to the “poor”. Poverty gap index is an improvement over the poverty measure headcount ratio which simply counts all the people below a poverty line, in a given population, and considers them equally poor. Poverty gap index has been criticized for it ignores the effect of inequality between the poor and does not capture differences in the severity of poverty amongst the poor.

Sen poverty index: is attributed to Sen (1976) which incorporates the headcount index, the income gap, and the Gini coefficient. It is related to Poverty gap index. Sen poverty index is calculated as follows:

Where H is the headcount ratio and Gz is the income Gini coefficient of only the people below the poverty line.

PSEN is an increasing function of the headcount index and an increasing function of the income shortfall. Given that the Gz ranges from zero to one, PSEN is also an increasing function of Gz:

The Sen Index has a major drawback. It is more responsive to improvements in the headcount than it is to reduction in the income gap or to improvements in the distribution of income among the poor. This index indicates that the efficient way to reduce poverty is to help the least needy first and the needless last.

Composite measure of poverty proposed by Foster, Greer and Thorbecke (FGT): Foster et al (1984) proposed a family of poverty indices, based on a single formula capable of incorporating any degree of concern about poverty through the “poverty aversion” parameter, ?.

Where z = poverty threshold (line)

N= number of people in the economy

H = number of poor (those with income at or below z)

yi = income of each individual i

? = poverty aversion parameter which takes the value 0, 1 and 2 depending on the degree of concern about poverty.

The quantity in parentheses is the proportionate shortfall of income below the poverty line. By increasing the value of ? (aversion) to poverty as measured by the index is increased.

The FGT model is used in analyzing poverty status. The components of the FGT poverty index is given as follows:

Poverty line

To construct the poverty line, the total expenditure of each household will be calculated for a month, and then corrected for each household size by dividing the household total by the number of people within the household i.e

Per capital Expenditure =

Then the total household’s per capita expenditure will be calculated by finding the summation of all the household per capita expenditure for the sampled households.

Then mean per capital expenditure is calculated by dividing the Total per capita expenditure by the total number of households surveyed

Means per capita Household Expenditure (MPCHHE) =

From the MPCHHE, a cut-off line would be set relative to the standard of living as used by (Canagarajah, 1995)

The poverty line is equivalent to 2/3 of MPCHHE

The core poverty line is equivalent to 1/3 of the MPCHHE

So, households that spend below the poverty line calculated are considered to be poor and those above the poverty line are considered to be non poor.

Poverty Status:

Poverty index is obtained using the following indices:

Where z = poverty threshold (line), N= number of people in the economy, H = number of poor (those with income at or below z), yi = income of each individual i, ? = poverty aversion parameter.

Head count Index FGT0 is the percentage of the proportion of the non poor or poor among the population and this will be obtained thus:

Poverty gap index FGT1 is simply the average depth of poverty for the population. This is the sum of the depth of poverty of each individual divided by the total number of individuals in the population. Poverty gap index is given as follows:

Poverty severity index FGT2 gives some indication of the distribution of poverty and is the average value of the square of the depth of poverty of each individual. Individuals who are further away from the poverty line contribute more relative to the index. The value FGT2 is therefore greater for distribution where more people are in severe poverty.

There are a number of limitations associated with this approach to poverty measurement. Some of which include:

  • Huge reliance on respondent reported/estimated income/expenditure data from surveys
  • Income based measurement do not include wealth e.g asset possession, health, nutrition etc. in its analysis
  • It is a limited (less robust) approach to poverty measurement.

Why use FGT? FGT is used in this study because;

  • It allows one to vary the amount of weight that one puts on the income (or expenditure) level of the poorest members in the society
  • FGT poverty measures are additively decomposable
  • The model is a simplified one which is less tasking to construct, analyze and interpret

2.3. Empirical review

This subsection contains a summary of results and findings of past but recent related works ranging from the determinants of rural-urban migration to the effect of rural-urban migration to the poverty status.

Shivashankara and Siddegowda (2010), analyzed the determinants of Rural to Urban Migration and Environmental Problems. Logistic Regression analysis showed that employment problems, extreme poverty, natural disasters and wage rate and higher income probability positively influence migration.

Thorat et al. (2011) analyzed the Determinants of Rural-Uban Migration in Konkan Region of Maharashtra. The regression analysis showed that Age and Family size positively influence migration while Income before migration, income from agriculture and off farm income negatively influence migration.

Aworemi et al (2011) appraised the Factors Influencing Rural-Urban Migration in some selected Local Government Areas of Lagos State Nigeria. Logistic regression model was adopted for the data analysis. The study revealed that unemployment, education, family reasons, inadequate social amenities in the rural communities, avoidance of boredom in agriculture and health reasons positively influence rural-urban migration.

Ikramullah et al (2011) assessed the impact of various socioeconomic factors on rural-urban migration. The empirical analyses showed that employment type, family members in the labor force, years of education, land holdings positively influence migration. Moreover, living conditions, opportunities of non-farm and farm income negatively influence rural-urban migration.

Asogwa and Agbo (2013), examined the effects of remittances on the livelihood of farm households in Enugu State, Nigeria. Regression result showed that age of household heads, household size, farm size, insecurity positively influenced migration while gender, level of education of household head and income negatively influenced migration. The effect of remittance on families livelihood systems was found to be affected by the number of social organisations the household heads belong to, the age of household head, farm size and size of remittance that is invested.

Shamima and Siegfried (2014) analyzed the Household Level Determinants of Rural-Urban Migration in Bangladesh using Heckman Probit model. The results from the applied model revealed that household age, economically active males, number of old dependent members in the household positively influenced the intensity of migration while number of economically active females, number of young dependence, higher educated member, farm size and households debt negatively influenced the intensity of migration.

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