Dairying is viable for smallholders but suffers from high transaction costs hence the need for cooperatives that aid farmers to access various services. Agricultural extension disseminates knowledge, physical inputs, credit and builds farmer’ capacity for collecting bargaining and marketing their produce. A descriptive study design was adopted, 200 participants were selected using multi stratified random sampling. Secondary and primary data were collected using a semis-structured checklist and structured questionnaire respectively. Mean productivities for farmers who used or didn’t use extension services were compared using an independent samples t-test statistics. Dairy farmers who accessed business training, artificial insemination, improved fodder and concentrates increased milk production. Access to extension services explained 25.5% of the variations in milk production per cow per day. Dairy farmers are operating profitably with average monthly revenue ($215) versus expenditure ($58).interventions aimed at supporting dairy farmers to increase milk production should prioritize cooperatives and extension services.
Keywords: Cooperatives, Inputs, Production, extension, services
Assessment of Agricultural Revolving Fund Performance in Rural Uganda (Published)
Access to agricultural credit in rural areas in developing countries is limited and it undermines growth of rural agriculture based economies. The study assessed an agricultural revolving fund performance in terms of access to inputs, repayment for inputs and access to cash loans from farmers’ groups in rural Uganda. Two hundred farmers were interviewed. A structured questionnaire was used to collect quantitative data which was analysed using bivariate and linear regression analyses. The cost of inputs (p = 0.0001, R2 = 0.437), grace period (p = 0.0001, p = 0.0001, R2 = 0.423) and repayment knowledge (p = 0.0001, R2 = 0.406) influenced access to inputs. Location (p = 0.0001, R2 = 0.209), grace period (p = 0.0001, R2 = 0.209) and farmer group experience in savings and credit (R2 = 0.187) influenced repayment for inputs. Interest rate (p = 0.0001, R2 = 0.503) and farmer group experience in saving and credit management (p = 0.0001, R2 = 0.395) influenced access to cash loans. Majority of farmers were likely to access inputs if their cost was lower, the grace period was sufficient and farmers were well sensitized. Repayment for inputs was more successful for longer grace periods, and where the group had savings and credit management experience. Access to cash loans was influenced by interest rate and farmers’ group experience in savings and credit management. Cost of inputs, grace period, knowledge about the revolving fund, interest rate and farmers’ group experience of saving and credit management influenced the performance of the revolving fund significantly. Agricultural inputs given to farmers should be customized to their income levels to improve repayment, the grace period should be at least one year, highest interest rate should be 10% or lower. Beneficiary farmers’ groups should have five years’ experience in savings and credit management.
Keywords: Access, Credit, Farmer Group, Inputs, Repayment