A major policy omission in Nigeria is the absence of policies deliberately targeted at fostering rural-urban linkage with a view to improving the income earning potentials of the rural areas through increased output to satisfy the urban market. This study thus examined the impact of rural-urban linkage on the incomes of rural farming households in Ile-Ife area of Osun State, Nigeria. Descriptive statistics and regression analytical techniques were used to analyse data collected from a sample of 200 farmers. The study revealed that 95% of the respondents lived within 20 km of the city while 85% of the respondents were linked to the city mainly by untarred roads. The regression analyses revealed that although farm sizes increased away from the city, there is negative relationship between distance and net income. A kilometer increase in distance away from the city will depress net income by 3%. The study also revealed that while the older farmers tended to locate farther away from the city, age of the farmer also tended to be negatively correlated with income. The study again revealed that a unit increase in farm expenditure will lead to 75% increase in net farm income. Although household size normally affected farm sizes positively, in the study area, it had a negative correlation. The only viable alternative to increasing farm sizes and hence net income is through investment in new technologies and inputs. These are opportunities which the city offers the rural areas when properly linked.
Key words: Rural-urban linkage, productivity, interaction, diffuse, settlements, integrated.
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