The central bank of Nigeria recently introduced a cashless policy which impacted various facets of life in the country. This however motivated this study to examine the extent to which access to credit and financial services policies have impacted the marketing of agricultural products in an agro-based economy of Benue State, -a sub-national state with limited access to credits and financial services among farmers. The limiting factors against smallholder farmers’ financial inclusion were also examined in relation to smallholder farmers’ agricultural productivity in the state. The study adopted the World Bank micro data on financial Inclusion 2021 known as the Global Findex database and three major analytical methodologies, namely: descriptive statistics, correlation coefficients index, principal component analysis, and Logit estimation techniques were used. Findings showed how financial inclusion of smallholder farmers’ agricultural productivity in Benue State was constrained through access to financial products and services, marital status, gender, own business, and trade, the use of mobile phone or tablets to manage financial activities, and households use of mobile money operators’ services among others were socioeconomic factors affecting smallholder farmers. The strategic policy of the financial inclusion plan needs to be more inclusive across rural areas as the cash crunch exposed the failure of deposit money banks in Nigeria. There is a need to create more mobile agents across rural areas so as to encourage employment generation, crime reduction, and better living standards in the state.
Key words: Financial inclusion, farmers, access to credit, financial products.
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