The poverty status of fishers and fisher communities in the major fisheries of North East Nigeria (Upper Benue River, Lake Chad and the Nguru-Gashua Wetlands) is investigated. A range of study approaches were used including a large-scale sample survey of fishing income, and also various participatory techniques including occupation and wealth ranking, and analysis of expenditure patterns. Overall, it was found that the average income of fishers in North East Nigeria (based on one year's data) was below the poverty line income set by the World Bank of US$300/year. However, on average fishers had sufficient food available to meet minimum subsistence needs, which suggested some inconsistency in the calculation of a poverty line which is set at a level to allow the purchase of sufficient food. The participatory techniques also revealed that communities consisted of different socio-economic strata, ranging from "very poor" to "very rich". The "very poor" were undoubtedly impoverished and were characterised by inadequate food security, and limited access to productive resources (farmland and fisheries). By contrast, the "very rich" had food security and owned or controlled access to productive resources. The paper concludes with an examination of poverty alleviation strategies, and emphasises that the solution to poverty in fishing communities often lies outside the sector through the creation of alternative employment opportunities.
|Place of Publication||Portsmouth|
|Publisher||University of Portsmouth|
|Publication status||Published - 1997|