Full Length Research Paper
Agricultural finance is needed for sustainable agricultural production and improved farm income. The study analysed the accessibility of institutional credit among poultry farmers in Rivers State. Specifically, it described the socio-economic features of the farmers, identified the institutionally-based agricultural credit sources and credit amount requested by farmers. Data was analysed using descriptive statistics and logit regression. Results showed that majority of the farmers (71.85%) were male, averagely 40 years old. The average household size of the farmers was 4 persons. Majority (66.67%) indicated they had tertiary education. Most (60%) of the farmers had access to credit through institutional sources of which 40.74% of them got the credit through cooperatives. On the other hand, less number of farmers (40%) accessed credit from non-institutional sources. The variables: Sex, credit awareness, education, and credit demand were significant influencers of credit accessibility. Major constraints limiting farmers’ access to credit included lack of understanding of existing agricultural credit programs, loan transaction costs, granted credit amounts that were too little, and excessive interest rates. The study suggests that relevant agencies should engage in creating greater awareness and enlightenment on available agricultural credits and how to obtain the agricultural loans and more so, the farmers should be encouraged to participate in cooperative groups.
Key words: Agriculture, credit access, financial institutions, poultry, smallholder farmers.
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