Perceived impact of rural credit on the Cereal farmers in the Koulikoro Region of Mali

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University of Cape Coast
xvi, 107p.:ill.
Lack of credit, especially among small-scale farmers, has been one of the factors that impede the adoption of numerous innovations recommended by Agricultural Extension services in MALI. The situation has been mainly attributed to inadequate establishment of services in areas where poor and marginalized farmers (especially women) live. An unfortunate assumption has been that poor farmers do not save and, therefore, constitute a high credit risk. To address this state of affairs, Sasakawa Global2000, in collaboration with Ministry of Agriculture, has established fourteen farmers' rural savings and loan banks in Mali since 1997. The study was conducted to determine perceived impact of rural credit on the cereal farmers in the Koulikoro region of Mali. A descriptive correlation survey research design was used for the study. The target population was farmers who are associated with the CREPs sited in two districts, namely: Niamabougou, and Soundougouba. Fifty-eight male and twenty-nine female respondents out of 385 members of the two CREPs were selected through stratified random sampling for the study. The results indicated that the majority of CREPs members were small-scale farmers cultivating land areas ranging between 0.5 ha and 20 ha. Most of them (74.0%) were males with 26.0% being females. The proportion of young members (representing 31.2%) fall within the ages of 21 and 40 years. The study showed that majority of CREP credit recipients where farmers who used their credit for agricultural production, animal farming and trading. The result also revealed that small-scale farmers could be financially sound savers and borrowers and that farmers' rural savings and loan banks have demonstrated simplicity and flexibility in organising savings and credit services that could fill the gap left by formal banks. They have reached small-scale farmers and increased their income. Indeed, women perceived their financial situation to be better than before CREP . However, like men, they found the level of their savings mobilisation to be poor. The perceived impact of the CREP was found to be significantly and positively associated with land size, production, level of saving and credit services and also with the level of social condition standards. Regression analysis indicated that about eighty-five percent (85.2%) of the variance in the level of CREPs impact was explained by the level of social condition standards, level of production, and level of savings mobilisation and level of credit and services. Among the recommendations offered are that the impact of the CREP can be improved by: * Strengthening cereal's bank policy. * Giving general attention and care to women in terms of: membership of CREP, and access to credit. * Having effective relationship and collaboration with other credit institutions and * Mounting effective monitoring and training programmes for CREPs members .
credit, small-scale farmers, Agricultural Extension services