Access to rural banking credit by agribusiness investors in Ahiazu Mbaise local government area of Imo state: Issues for extension and empowerment policies
This paper examines access to rural banking credit by agribusiness investors and issues for policies in Ahiazu Mbaise local government area of Imo state. The work is important because the existence of limited access of agribusiness investors to formal rural banking credit and extension services is provided by extension agents is a problem and needs solution. Random samples of 80 agribusiness investors were chosen for the study. A set of structured questionnaire and unstructured interview was used in collecting data from the respondents. Data were analyzed using simple statistical tools such as frequency distribution and percentages. Result shows that majority of agribusiness investors were married and had at least primary education. 68 percent had at least 11 years of agribusiness experience and are within the age range of 41-50 years.About 49 percent had personal income as a major source of agribusiness finance. 51 percent had savings and 58.75 percent had income between N5000-N3400 per annum. Sixty percent had household size of 4-6 persons. Twenty six percent had access to formal rural banking credit. Thirty eight percent of the respondents with access to formal rural banking credit were assisted by extension agents during credit processes. This paper therefore recommended that there be greater level of collaboration between formal rural financial sources of credit and extension agents. Extension policies that will facilitate the funding and training of extension agents should be intensified so as to redirect extension back to its traditional role of educating these investors for optimal agribusiness investment performance.
Keywords: Access, Rural banking, Agribusiness Investor, Empowerment