Constraints to livelihood diversification among rural households in Southwestern Nigeria
Low farm productivity due to environmental degradation had made rural dwellers in Nigeria to diversify into other business besides agricultural production so as to liberate them from poverty. However, there are various challenges to livelihood diversification among the rural dwellers. This study therefore, identifies constraints to livelihood diversification among rural households in southwestern Nigeria with a view of improving their livelihood activities.
Following data collection through structured interview schedule and Focus Group Discussion on respondents’ socio-economic characteristics, livelihood activities, reasons for diversification, and constraints to diversification and data analysis by using frequency counts, percentage, means, Pearson’s Product Moment Correlation, and binomial regression at p = 0.05.
Constraints to livelihood diversification were lack of infrastructural facilities (91.9%), inadequate livelihood assets (82.0%) and poor transportation system (66.9%). Respondents’ level of livelihood diversification was significantly increased by primary occupation (β=0.64), income from farming (β = 0.16), length of stay (β = 0.28) and income from non-farm activities (β = 0.13). Significant relationship existed between constraints (r=-0.130) and level of livelihood diversification. However, frequency of visits to urban centres (β = -0.25) significantly reduced respondents’ level of livelihood diversification.
Level of constraints to livelihood diversification of rural households was high, hence, for achieving sustainable rural livelihood, Government and NGOs should give more support to the development of formal and informal capacity building at the local level to enhance human assets of rural households and make them adopt more non-farm activities.
Keywords: Constraints; Livelihood Diversification; Rural Households.