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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Some aspects of employment in the peasant economy of northern Nigeria: a case study
Authors:Mawuli, Agogo
Khwaja, G.A.
Periodical:Journal of Eastern African Research and Development
Notes:biblio. refs., ills.
Geographic terms:Nigeria
Northern Nigeria
West Africa
Economics, Commerce
Rural employment
Agricultural population
Labor market
Abstract:This case study, based on fieldwork carried out in 1986 and 1987 in two villages in Giwa District, Kaduna State (northern Nigeria), investigates three aspects of employment in a peasant economy: rural unemployment, labour force participation rate and underemployment. The main focus is underutilization of labour in farming. The villages under consideration are typical Hausa farming villages. What distinguishes them from many other villages in the region is their endowment with 'fadama', a rich arable low land which supports gardening in the dry season. In order to spread risk, northern Nigerian farmers pursue one or more off-farm occupations all year round. But the pursuit of off-farm employment during the farming season could result in underachievement in farming. The study found that 1) the active labour force in farming is much smaller than is commonly thought; 2) with adequate water the climate permits gardening on 'fadama' during the dry season; 3) seasonal unemployment is low due partly to the dry season farming and partly to the pursuit of off-farm employment; 4) 43 percent of the farmers were underemployed, agricultural underemployment being more prevalent among farmers who engaged in more than one occupation during the rainy season. The author advocates the development of infrastructural conditions similar to those which permit dry season farming, which could lead to a greater specialization in farming and thereby minimize seasonal unemployment and underemployment. Bibliogr., notes, sum.