Socio-Economic Determinants of Participation in Non-Farm Income Generating Activities among Households in Abia State, Nigeria
Recently, there is an upsurge in the involvement of rural households in non-farm income generating activities. While several literatures have reported the role of non-farm income generating activities in improving livelihood of rural households, there seems to be very few studies on determinants of non-farm income. Hence, the study assessed the socio-economic determinants of participation in non-farm income generating activities among households in Abia State Nigeria. Specifically, the study described the socio-economic characteristics of rural households, ascertained the factors motivating households’ involvement in non-farm activities; and analyse the socio-economic factors influencing non-farm income. A multi-stage sampling procedure was used to select 160 respondents. Data were collected using questionnaire and analyzed using descriptive (such as frequency, percentages and mean) and inferential (ordinary least square regression analysis) statistics. The study showed that majority of the respondents (71.25%) was married. The mean years in school and mean age of the respondents were approximately 41years and 11 years respectively. The foremost perceived factors motivating involvement in non-farm income generating activities were inadequate land to practice farming as a main occupation (2.93), higher income in non-farm activities (2.91), and less fatigue in non-farm activity relative to farming (2.71). Education (0.376**), household size (0.205**), membership to cooperatives (0.277***), and years of experience (0.188**) were the significant factors influencing non-farm income generating activities. The study recommends the need for policies aimed at free and affordable education, encourage the formation of cooperatives to enhance non-farm income earning activities. Extension massages should integrate the promotion of diversification into non-farm income activities as an alternative and support to farming and basic infrastructure such as electricity, good access roads, portable drinking water, and health facilities should be provided.
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