Examination of Acquisition and Utilization of Credits by Maize Farmers in Delta State, Nigeria (Published)
The study examined the acquisition and utilization of credits by maize farmers in Delta State, Nigeria. A simple random selection technique, on the whole, 210 respondents were selected and utilized for the study. The results indicate that male and female farmers were all actively involved in the production of maize in the study area, with male and female farmers accounting for 58.1% and 41.9 % respectively. It was further observed that that all the maize farmers practiced one type of cropping system or the other, with the respondents distributed as follows; sole cropping (33.3%), mixed cropping (62.9 %) and other cropping systems (3.8%). Majority of farmers engaged in mixed cropping because it reduces risk of revenue loss in the event of crop failure. Different varieties of maize were grown by the farmers, with 44.8% planting local varieties, 47.1% improved variety and only 8.1% mixed variety. The study found that only 43.81% of all respondents had access to credits associations mostly from Isusu/Esusu. In term of total volume of credit sourced, cooperative societies ranked highest contributions. On the determinants of farmers’ decision to access and utilize production credit, five of the eight parameters included in the model were significant, these being age, farm size, farming experience, membership of farmers association and distance to nearest credit center. The percentage loan repayment rate was a mean of 80%. The t – test statistics revealed that maize farmers that utilized credit produced significantly higher output per hectare (1.740 tonnes/ha) (p < 0.01) than farmers that had no access to credit (0.914 tonnes/ha). The findings also indicate that the farmer encountered number of problems, with the major constraint being high cost of production (55.2%). The main costs of production that really contributed to this high costs were labour, fertilizers and transportation. Next in weight of the constraints was non availability of improved maize seed (23.8%). It was recommended that formal credit outlets should be established within close distance to farmers, to encourage credit and acquisition utilization and time repayment.