Livelihood Diversification Sources of Female Household Heads in Rural Communities of Osun State
The study investigated the livelihood of female household heads (FHH) in rural communities of Osun State. Specifically, it described the personal and socio-economic characteristics of female household heads, identified their livelihood sources and investigated the problems faced their sources of external assistance/support. Multi-stage sampling procedure was employed to select 120 respondents to whom structured questionnaires were administered to elicit requisite information. Frequency counts, percentage, means and standard deviation were used for data analysis. The results showed that the female household heads were mainly widows (55%) and the mean age and household size were 50.46±13.07 and 5.46±2.09, respectively. The major livelihood sources were petty trading (97.5%), crop processing (57.5%), farming (48.3%) and reselling of farm produce (22.2%). Financial difficulty was a paramount problem identified, followed by lack of contact with extension agents (71.7%) and gender discrimination in obtaining land on lease for farming (39.2). Majority (65.8%) of FHH did not have external sources of financial assistance while 21.7% were supported by their children. The study concluded that livelihoods of FHH were diversified mainly within agriculture and trading enterprises.
Key words: Livelihood diversification, Female household heads, Rural communities.