Peasant households in the semi-arid region of northern Nigeria have to contend with the problems of low rainfall and desertification in their agricultural practices. They have also to contend with the problem of bioproductivity loss and inadequate capital. This research investigates the livelihoods negotiations of peasant households in the semi-arid region. The findings of the research show that peasant households have evolved livelihoods strategies in the face of their precarious environment. They do not rely solely on farming for their livelihoods because farming alone is increasingly becoming incapable of providing adequate livelihoods for households in the Sahel. Hence, they are engaged in an array of livelihoods activities to enable them realize their livelihoods. They grow different crops and livestock, and engage in off-farm and on farm livelihoods engagements. More so, they integrated crop and livestock, and have devised indigenous soil management techniques to tackle the problem of soil decline as a result of land degradation. Lastly they rely on migrant remittances, and favour rearing small ruminants because of their advantages over large ruminants. The research uses a case study of Gursulu village, and was undertaken through review of existing literature, personal observations and interviews with peasants in Gursulu village, Yobe State.
Key words: Desertification, land degradation, livelihoods, Northern Nigeria, peasant households, semi-arid region.
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