|JAFE Vol. 6 (4): 61-75, 2019|
|Simonyan, J.B., Akpan, A.J. and Amusa, T.A.|
The study examined factors influencing access to credit among smallholder farmers of selected agricultural commodities in Akwa Ibom State, Nigeria. Through a multistage random sampling technique, 120 smallholder farmers were selected and used as respondents for the study. A structured close-ended questionnaire was used to collect data from the selected 120 farmers. Data collected were analyzed using descriptive statistics and ordinary least square (OLS) multiple regression analysis. The results of the study showed that 16.7% of the sampled small scale farmers were into maize production, 29.1% into vegetable farming, 20.8% were into cassava production while farmers that were into poultry and piggery farming were 16.7% and 16.7% respectively. On gender basis, the result of the regression analysis showed that surety/collateral, age, education, experience and nature of enterprise significantly affected male farmers’ access to credit, while the same factors except age significantly influenced female farmers’ access to credit. For the pooled data, variables that significantly affected farmers’ access to credit included: gender, surety, age of entrepreneurs, education and nature of enterprises. Some of the challenges facing farmers in accessing agricultural credit to boost food production in the area included: lack of collateral security, guarantor, high interest rate and lack of information on where to source for credit among others. Based on the findings, the study recommended that farmers, most especially women, should be more economically empowered by Micro Finance Banks (MFBs), Nigerian Agricultural Cooperative and Rural Development Bank (NACRDB) and Agricultural Credit Guarantee Scheme Fund (ACGSF) to cater for credit needs of farmers for improved agricultural production.
|Keywords:||Credit access, gender, agricultural commodities, small holder farmers|