Smallholder food crop farmers’ participation in Bank of Agriculture (BOA) loan scheme in Ogun State, Nigeria
Low participation of smallholder farmers in agricultural loans, despite efforts by governments and NGOs to make funds available for agricultural growth and development, has remained a matter of concern in Nigeria. The study analysed smallholder food crop farmers’ participation in Bank of Agriculture loan (BOA) scheme in Ogun State, Nigeria. Data were analysed for 224 smallholder food crop farmers using simple percentages, means and Probit regression. Results revealed that the mean age, years of education and household size of farmers participating in the premier financial institution’s loan scheme were 42 years, 13 years and 5 persons, respectively. Non-participants had mean age of 43 years, 9 years of education and household size of 7 persons, on average. Male farmers dominated on-farm food crop farming activities as 80% and 88% of participants and non-participants of the loan scheme, respectively were men. The study further showed the determinants of BOA loan scheme participation as: education level (p < 0.01), farm size (p < 0.01) extension visits (p < 0.05) and farmers’ households distance to nearest BOA office (p < 0.01). Contrary to expectation, membership of farmers association had negative but no significant effect on loan participation. The study concluded that intensifying adult education programmes, increasing the number of branches of BOA and promoting frequency of extension visits are crucial to achieving an increased probability of smallholder farmers’ participation in BOA loan scheme.
Keywords: Bank of Agriculture, smallholder farmers, loan participation, Probit regression, Nigeria