Socio-demographic Characteristics Associated with Livelihood Strategies of Rural Households in Southeast Nigeria
The study examined the socio-demographic characteristics associated with livelihood strategies of rural households in Southeast Nigeria. In specific terms, the study examined the socio-demographic characteristics of rural households in southeast Nigeria; identified the predominant livelihood strategies adopted by rural households in southeast Nigeria; and determined the relationship between socio-demographic characteristics and livelihood strategies of rural households in the study area. A five (5)–stage random sampling procedure was used in the selection of a sample size of 180 respondents from a population of 754,702 rural household heads in the study area. For data collection, a structured and validated interview schedule designed in three parts by the researchers was used. Variables in the instrument were measured on a likert-type 4-point summated rating scale of agreement. Descriptive and inferential statistical tools used in data analysis included mean, frequencies, percentages and regression analysis. The regression model was subjected to four functional analysis (exponential log, double log, semi-log, linear log). Exponential model was used to interpret the result because it had the highest R-square ratio of 57.9%. The predominant livelihood strategies found among rural households in southeast Nigeria includes petty trading, remittances from relatives, civil service, crop farming, livestock farming, farm labour, farm product processing, among others among others. The result also revealed that the socio-demographic characteristics that have significant relationship with livelihood strategies of rural households in study area are household size (t = 4.032), occupation (t = 2.756), farm size (t = -2.404) and age (t = -1.768). It was therefore recommended that human capacity development targeted on rural households should emphasize on the acquisition of occupational skills of the household members.