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Abstract

Negative social values have hampered the various rural development efforts for sustainable livelihoods in rural Nigeria over the years. This study analyzed the social factors affecting livelihood strategies of rural households in Southeast Nigeria. The specific objectives of the study were to identify the predominant livelihood strategies of rural households and analyses the social factors affecting livelihood strategies of rural households in the study area. With the aid of a structured and validated interview schedule, data were collected from a sample size of 180 household-heads selected from a population of 754,702 households in the study area using a multistage sampling procedure. The statistical tools used in data analysis included mean, frequency, percentage and factor analysis. The result indicated that the predominant agricultural livelihood strategies found among rural households in southeast Nigeria include crop farming (mean = 3.47), livestock farming (mean = 3.13) while the predominant non-agricultural livelihood strategies includes petty trading (mean =3.13) and remittances from relatives (mean = 2.70). The social factors affecting livelihood strategies of farm-families in the study area include lack of trust and dependability among members of the community (mean = 3.02), misappropriation of resources by corrupt political appointees at both state and local levels (mean = 3.27. Factor analysis result showed 2 major social factor loadings affecting livelihood strategies of households in the study area as corrupt social order and insecurity. It is concluded that social factors affected the livelihood strategies of households in Southeast Nigeria. It is therefore recommended that sustainable programmes on social reformation, transformation and re-orientation of national values should be designed and mounted by government at all tiers, groups and organisations.

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