Factors influencing social capital in rural communities in Nigeria

Authors: N. A. Sofoluwe, PhD (Agricultural Economics), Lecturer, ORCID ID 0000-0003-2566-4340, Olabisi Onabanjo University, Ago-Iwoye, Ogun State, Nigeria, L. O. Oyelami, PhD (Economics), Lecturer, ORCID ID 0000-0002-9958-1815, University of Lagos, Akoka, Lagos, Nigeria, O. Adisa, PhD (Agricultural Economics), ORCID ID 0000-0002-9780-8027, Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, Osun State, Nigeria

Annotation: Social capital has become an important aspect of most rural communities in developing nations. But, the dimensions of social capital vary across rural regions while little is known about the factors influencing it in rural areas. This study aimed to identify the prevalent social capital dimensions in rural areas and examine the factors determining rural people involved in those dimensions. A field survey which consists of structured and self-administered questionnaire was carried out with rural households. The information of the survey was obtained from 220 rural households in the study area between August and October, 2019. The descriptive analysis identified social networks (3.875), norms (societal values) (3.390), trust and solidarity (4.115), and cooperation and group action (4.139) as the prevailing social capital dimensions in the rural communities. The results further suggest that cooperation, trust and solidarity, and networks are respectively the dominating social capital dimensions in the rural areas. The results from probit model estimates show that the factors that are more likely to be associated with social capital in rural areas include education, access to credit and ownership of farm (cash crop). Since social capital is becoming a prerequisite for rural development, our findings lead to the suggestion that cooperation, build-up of networks should be facilitated for people in the rural areas. Furthermore, policy direction towards access to education, credit provision and development of primary occupation in the rural areas should also be enhanced. Economic policy makers and rural development agencies are invited to continuously work on the identified factors to promote the individual, community and national development on equitable basis.

Keywords: cooperation, social networks, norms, rural development.

Received: 03/02/2021
1st Revision: 10/02/2021
Accepted: 03/03/2021

DOI: https://doi.org/10.17721/1728-2667.2021/214-1/5


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