Non-farm Income Generating Activities of Rural Households in Abia State, Nigeria
The study analysed the non-farm activities of rural households in Abia State, Nigeria. Specifically, the study described the socio-economic characteristics of rural households, ascertained the various forms of non-farm income generating activities engaged by rural households, estimated the income earned from the non-farm activities and identified the constraints to participation in non-farm income generating activities among rural households. A multi-stage sampling procedure was used in selecting 160 respondents. Primary data used for the study were obtained through the use of a structured questionnaire and interview schedule. Descriptive statistics such as frequency, percentage and means were used in analyzing the data. Findings reveal that majority of the respondents (71.25%) were married and their mean years of schooling and mean age were approximately 11 years and 41 years respectively. Most of the respondents (55.0%) were engaged in non-farm activities under service category. Trade and commerce non-farm category gave the highest income with the mean estimated annual income of N482,891.89. The major constraints to participation in non-farm income generating activities in the study area include increasing cost of fuel and other needed materials, lack or inadequate fund, bad state of the roads, and lack of credit facilities. The study recommended improvement of access to credit by rural households intending to venture into non-farm income generating activities, establishment of skills acquisition and entrepreneurial centres, encouraging of rural dwellers to venture into the more productive and lucrative non-farm activities, provision or improvement of basic infrastructures.
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