IMPACT OF THE COMMERCIAL AGRICULTURE CREDIT SCHEME ON THE PERFORMANCE OF BENEFICIARIES IN ANAMBRA STATE NIGERIA
The study examined the impact of Commercial Agriculture credit scheme on the performance of beneficiaries in Anambra State, Nigeria. Simple random sampling technique was applied in selection of respondents for the study. The sample was drawn from members of All Farmers Association of Nigeria (AFAN). AFAN has a total of 548 members, out of this member 200 of them have so far benefited from the scheme while 348 are yet to benefit. Thus from 200 beneficiaries, 150 were randomly selected. 150 farmers were also selected from those that have not benefited and this gave a total of 300 farmers for the study. The data were analyzed using descriptive statistics, propensity score matching and probit model. Results of the data analysis showed that the average age of farmers was 47 years, majority (67.2%) were male while 32.8% were females. Majority (66.8%) of the farmers were married. The farmers spent 11 years in school on the average. Average household size was 5 persons while 10 years was their average farming experience. The farmers have average farm size of 525.03 ha. 99.2% of them own bank account and majority of them agreed they needed credit in their farming business. The result further showed that personal saving and cooperatives were their major source of credit. The mean capital base of the farmers was N 1,500,000. 66% of the farmers that accessed the loan engaged in crop production while 30% and 4% of the farmers that accessed the loan engaged in livestock and agro-marketing respectively. The t-cal (2.19) was greater than the t-tab (1.96). This result implies that the Commercial Agriculture Credit Scheme (CACS) has had a significant positive impact on the output of the beneficiaries. For the regression result, increase in the profit of the farmers after accessing trohe CACS, amount received from CACS, capital base of the farmers , farm size of their farms, years of experience, education level of the farmers and output of the farmers increased farmers ability to repay the loan borrowed. The result of the analysis further shows that the farmers accepted the lack of awareness and access to the scheme due to delays as well as stringent measures by participating banks, collateral requirements and farmers education levels were the major problems encountered by the farmers but agreed weakly to lack of awareness as a problem encountered by farmers in accessing the scheme.
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