Document Type: Regular articles
Department of Agricultural Extension and Rural Development, University of Ibadan, Nigeria.
In recent years, Nigeria witnessed significant labour migration coupled with reduction in rural agricultural productivity. Youths abandoned farms for ventures with high returns and less drudgery in cities thus labour availability in peak agricultural seasons became scarce. The declining farm population constituting mostly women and old men are not capable of producing sufficient food for the non-farm population. Hence, this study examined labour migration and rural agricultural production in southwestern Nigeria. Multi-stage sampling procedure was used to select 454 respondents for the study. Data were collected and analyzed with descriptive and inferential statistics. Findings showed that farmers often used combination of local land less residents, contract labour and seasonal labour. Majority (90.4%) of the food crop and most (82.2%) of the tree crop farmers affirmed the existence of migration in their locality. They also indicated that both rural-urban and rural-rural streams of migration existed. Mann-Whitney U test also showed significant difference in labour availability for food (z=-4.38, p ≤ 0.05) and tree crops (z=-4.75, P≤ 0.05). Tackling rural-urban migration problems remain a panacea for increasing food production. Hence, policies that will focus on rural and agricultural development must be enacted.