Farmers income and savings pattern in Benue State, Nigeria
AbstractThe study analysed farmers’ income and savings pattern in Benue State. Both multi-stage random and purposive sampling procedures were employed to select 140 respondents for the study. The study employed primary data which were collected through the use of the structured questionnaire. The result showed that farm size, level of access to credit, diversification of income sources, types of investment and risks inherent in the business are the major determinants of the income level of the small scale farmers. The farmers engaged in the following farm activities, crop production, hunting, fishing, gathering of forest products, marketing of agricultural products and livestock production. Meanwhile, trading, teaching, and non-farm wage labour were the main non-farm activities they engaged in. The result equally showed that farmers adopted both formal and informal savings methods but have higher preference for the informal method as indicated by their preference for savings in rotational savings and credit Association (ESUSU) and daily contribution schemes. Educational attainment, annual income, farming experience, and farm size had positive influence on the farmers’ savings pattern. The test of the hypothesis indicated that the socio-economic characteristics of the small scale farmers have significant effects on the savings pattern adopted in the area. Consequently, the study recommended the establishment of banks in the rural area so as to increase farmers’ savings capacity in formal sector; establishment of enlightenment programme to create awareness among the rural farmers, and introduction of risk reduction policy to minimize risks associated with farming, thereby encouraging farmers to remain in farming business.
Keywords: Farm activities, non-farm activities, farmers, formal and informal savings
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