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AN ASSESSMENT OF CREDIT ACCESSIBILITY OF RURAL FARMERS IN BENUE STATE: A CASE STUDY OF BANK OF AGRICULTURE (BOA)
The study assessed credit accessibility of rural farmers in Benue State using Bank of Agriculture (BOA) as a case study. A sample size of 724 respondents was selected through a proportionate random sampling technique. The sample is made up of 362 beneficiaries and non-beneficiaries each. The study used both descriptive and legit regression. Findings from the study showed that the rural farmers (that is, even beneficiaries) have moderate level of accessibility to the BOA loan with high level of inadequacy in terms of the volume of the loan granted to the farmers, while most of the non-beneficiaries have informal financial institutions as their main source of income. The study also showed that gender, age, marital status, household size, main occupation of the respondents, the status of off-farm activity, membership of farmers’ group, years of farming experience, crop yield of farmers, land area cultivated, years of education and lending interest rate are the socio-economic factors that have significant influence on the farmers’ access to BOA loan in the study area. The study therefore recommends that government should establish more formal credit institutions in the rural areas, generally; and revive the moribund branches of BOA in the state, create more awareness about the existence of formal agricultural credits for agricultural production among the farmers, and enlightenment campaign on how to access these credit facilities especially in the rural areas and ensure enough disbursement of funds through BOA to enhance the level of credit facilities.
Keywords: Accessibility, Bank of Agriculture (BOA) and Credit