Off-Farm Activities, employment and Income generation

OFF-FARM ACTIVITIES, employment and income generation

Farming is the major occupation in the rural areas of most developing countries. Fishing and fish mongering is also a major occupation in the riverine and coastal areas.

Income from Off-farm activity is that portion of household income obtained from activities not based on farm production. They include nonfarm wages and salaries, pensions, and interest income earned by farm families.

We can conveniently say that farming and fishing are the primary source of family income. But this income is not enough and many farming families cannot totally depend on this enterprise to sustain their families in the villages. Furthermore, the cost of agricultural production is rising. Cost of fertilizers and other inputs are increasing and the earnings from farm sales cannot meet the cost of inputs.

Consequently, farmers have to seek other sources of income to meet the cost of purchasing agricultural inputs. Furthermore, many farmers now ensure their children are enrolled in local schools as the need for education cannot be overemphasized.

Many farm families engage in other small scale enterprises like

  1. Basket weaving – mats and many household items
  2. Pottery
  3. Tailoring and Sewing
  4. Fabric dyeing into Adire and Batik
  5. Bead and Bag making with assorted jewelry for men, women and children.
  6. Embroidery on hats and materials
  7. Juice making
  8. Fruit drying and packaging
  9. Yoghurt and Butter making.
  10. Shear butter and other Pomades for the skin

It is interesting to note that Off-farm activities result in employment generation thus reducing rural unemployment. it also reduces rural-urban migration.

Rural youths need not come to major towns in search of white collar jobs. scale cottage industries located in the rural areas. Development strides like this are essential for the monetization  and development of the rural economy.

Furthermore, if farmers form themselves into Production Cooperatives, they can easily access loans to enhance their production and incomes.


Author Bio


Mrs. Yemisi Akibu ( nee Awokoya) is the Chief Executive Officer of Belvyna Global, an agricultural consultancy service firm based in Lagos, Nigeria She is a former Team Member of the Agricultural Department of Union Bank of Nigeria Plc, one of Nigeria's first generation banks. She holds a B.Sc degree in Agricultural Economics from the University of Ibadan, Nigeria and a Masters degree in National Development and Project Planning from the University of Bradford, West Yorkshire, United Kingdom. She is passionate about the role agriculture plays in the social, economic, political development of a nation. She holds the view that one of the pillars of stability of a nation food security and this can only be achieved through the holistic development of the agricultural sector. She can be contacted via: or Remember, The Farmer Is King Enjoy my blog

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