Effect of social capital on food security among rural farming households in Abia state, Nigeria
The study analyzed the effect of social capital on food security of rural farming households in Abia State, Nigeria with specific focus on measuring social capital dimensions among the rural farming households; determining the food security status of the households; analyzing the influence of socioeconomic characteristics of the respondents on food security and estimating the effect of social capital on food security. Multi-stage sampling technique was adopted in the selection of 120 households as respondents from whom information and data were elicited using structured and pretested questionnaire. Analysis of data was done using multiplicative index, food security index, Probit model and Pearson Product Moment Correlation Co-efficient. The result of the multiplicative index of core social capital dimensions posted an average aggregate social capital index of 45.14, indicating a slightly below average performance. This aggregate index was decomposed into cash contribution (83.94), meeting attendance index (76.26), decision making index (31.42), labour contribution index (21.83) and density of membership (16.40). The distribution of food security indices showed that the majority of the rural households which accounted for 89.17% of the sampled population posted food security of index of less than two. The analysis of factors that influenced food security using probit model showed that coefficients of age, sex, marital status, household size and income were statistically significant at different probability levels. However, the effect of social capital on food security using correlation analysis recorded a correlation coefficient of 0.101 that was not statistically significant, implying absence of any significant relationship between social capital and food security in the study area. It is therefore recommended that the rural farming households should be encouraged to form and participate in cooperatives where opportunities for the access to social capital abound.
Keywords: Social capital, food security index, rural, farming households