Zimbabwe’s economic progress is hinged on the performance of the agricultural sector, which supports the majority of the population. Bank credit empowers farmers to adopt inputs and technologies that are key for enhancing productivity and income. This study sought to establish the bank credit access trends among farmers in the Hurungwe District of Mashonaland West Province in Zimbabwe, comparing the current (2019-2015) and past (2014-2000) periods. A questionnaire was administered on a sample of 354 farmers. SPSS was used for data analysis. Credit access was significantly (p<0.05) influenced by the type of farmers, farmers’ education, age, farm size and alternative employment. Credit access was higher (p < 0.05) among Model A2 than Model A1 farmers, farmers with higher educational qualifications, aged between 46-55 years, with more than 35 hectares of farmland, and with alternative occupation. Failure to access bank loans by Model A1 farmers was ascribed to their lack of collateral assets, human capital and weather resilience infrastructure. Government should invest in irrigation infrastructure and create a conducive investment climate to stimulate financial capital inflows. Farmers should invest in physical and human capital to enhance their access to bank credit. Banks should devise collateral substitution models to avoid segregating poor farmers with productivity potential.
Key words: Bank credit, capital formation, credit access, Model A1 farmer, Model A2 farmer.
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