Socio-Economic Contributions of Cottage Industries to Rural Livelihood in Nigeria

I A Adeoye


The importance of cottage industries to growth in national economies and the world at large cannot be overemphasized, as they are in most cases considered as one of many panaceas to poverty alleviation with respect to substantial growth evidently in most countries, perhaps because they do not require large premises, huge machines and great investment and are not labour intensive. However, most rural communities in Nigeria lack essential amenities such as electricity, pipe born water, good road networks, access to good hospitals, etc., which could partly be responsible for their socio-economic retrogression in comparison to urban communities. It takes a lot of economic considerations to set up large industries, regrettably large industries in Nigeria are located where the necessary infrastructure already exists with less consideration to rural development. Contrary to this, cottage industries can be established even in the most remote areas. While there are other notable benefits of cottage industries as it ensures a more equitable distribution of national income; enhance balanced regional industrial development; act as a nursery for entrepreneurship and facilitate mobilization of local resources and skills which might otherwise remain underutilized. Cottage industry does not only increase income of the rural households but also reduce unemployment and thus raise the standard of living and socio-economic status of rural dwellers. This paper reviews the socio-economic contributions of cottage industries to rural livelihood in Nigeria with a view to draw lessons from the potentials of cottage industries in addressing problems of poverty and unemployment in rural communities in Nigeria and promoting cottage industries for sustainable livelihood and rural development.

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