Assessment of the Outreach Performance of Special Programme on Food Security in Abia State, Nigeria
This study assessed the performance of Special Programme on Food Security with respect to outreach of micro-credit service. The study covered the first phase of the programme in Abia State, the study area. One hundred and twenty participants of the programme were purposively selected from the three programme sites of SPFS. The respondents were made up of 60 micro-credit beneficiaries and 60 non-beneficiaries. Two sets of structured questionnaire were used for data collection. The data collected were analysed with simple statistical tools such as percentages, frequency distribution and means. Multiple regression analysis and outreach indicators were used in data analysis. The results indicate that SPFS operators used laid down criteria in selecting loan beneficiaries. Four variables namely level of education, skill acquisition in off farm activities, farm size, and loan transaction costs produced significant influence on the amount of loan demanded. R2 value of 0.529 indicates that the explanatory variables in the model explain 52.9% of the total variation in the amount of loan demanded. The outreach level of the programme in the State in the first phase was 0.052% of the target population. Similarly, women loan beneficiaries constituted 30% of the total number of beneficiaries in the programme. The number of loan beneficiaries across the State is evenly spread indicating fairness in the allocation of financial resource. Constraints encountered by the programme are limited amount of funding and some administrative bottlenecks. It is therefore recommended that more funds should be made available for more people to benefit from the programme.
Key Word: Outreach, Performance, Micro finance, SPFS