Socio-economic characteristics of small-holder farmers influencing their utilisation of microcredit in the central agricultural zone of Cross River state
This study was carried out to analyse the socio-economic characteristics of small-holder farmers influencing utilisation of micro-credit in the central agricultural zone of Cross River State. With the aid of two sets of structured questionnaires, data on socio-economic characteristics were collected from 240 food crop farmers in Obubra and Yakurr LGAs and 120 livestock farmers in Abi LGA. The findings revealed that about thirty – four percent (33.6%) of the crop farmers fell between 41-50 years while about 51% of the livestock farmers fell between 31-40 years. Also, the bulk of the respondents was literate and had both secondary and tertiary education (crop farmers 70% and livestock farmers 90.4%). Most of the crop farmers (52.4%) and livestock farmers (52%) engaged in farming as their primary occupation and the bulk of the crop farmers (83.4%) and livestock farmers (39%) earned over N 90, 000.00 ($677.40) as their average farm income. Farmers should be encouraged through extension education to cultivate more hectares of farmland and increase their innovation adoption rate in order to step up their farm profit. This will further influence their accessibility to and utilisation of micro-credit.
Keywords: Small-holder farmers, socio-economic characteristics, utilisation, micro-credit.
(US $1=132.86 as at July 24, 2005).