ACCESS TO FINANCE FACILITIES FOR IMPROVING AGRICULTURAL PRODUCTION BY WOMEN IN AGRICULTURE IN AKWA IBOM STATE
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Women in agriculture do not have easy access to finance sources for obtaining credit facilities for agricultural production. This study therefore focused on determining the measures that can help improve the women access to finance facilities for improved production. For this purpose, seven research questions and three hypotheses were developed. The area of coverage was Akwa Ibom State of Nigeria. A purposive sampling technique was considered appropriate and used for this study. The technique yielded a total sample of 543 used as respondents. It comprised 400 women farmers; 50 women cooperators; 62 extension officers; 21 bank staff and 10 agricultural loan officers of Agricultural Loans Board. Ninety-one items- structured questionnaire divided into seven sections (A- G) was used for data collection. Five hundred and forty three (543) copies of the instrument were administered on the respondents out of, which 425 were completed and returned. Data were analyzed using percentage, mean, Analysis of Variance (ANOVA) and t-test. The hypotheses were tested at 0.05 level of significance. The finding revealed that thirteen finance sources were easily accessible to women farmers while seven were not. Ten finance sources were preferred, while women did not prefer eleven. Eleven reasons were adduced for preferring some finance sources. Seven conditions were necessary to be fulfilled for accessibility of finance facilities to women while three were not. The groups associated with lending agencies agreed closely on five conditions, disagreed on three and varied in two. Fifteen causes of inaccessibility of finance facilities to women farmers were identified. Fourteen measures that could help improve accessibility of finance facilities to women farmers were also identified. The ANOVA and t-test results revealed no significant difference in the mean rati.ng of the responses of respondents (women farmers, bank staff, AKADEP Staff, Agricultural loans Officers of the State Agricultural Loans Board and members of cooperative societies) regarding the conditions to be fulfilled for finance accessibility, causes of finance inaccessibility to women farmers and the measures that could help improve finance accessibility to women farmers. Recommendations made include organization of women farmer education, flexibility of lending policies by finance sources, establishment of marketing units by commercial banks and so on.
TABLE OF CONTENTS
TITLE PAGE .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. i
APPROVAL PAGE .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. ii
CERTIFICATION .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. iii
DEDICATION .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. iv
ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. v
TABLE OF CONTENTS.. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. vii
LIST OF TABLES .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. xi
LIST OF FIGURES .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. xiii
ABSTRACT .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. xiv
CHAPTER ONE: INTRODUCTION 1
Background to the Study .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. 1
Statement of the Problem .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. 8
Purpose of the Study .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. 11
Significance of the Study.. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. 12
Research Questions.. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. 17
Hypotheses.. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. 18
Delimitations of the Study.. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. 19
CHAPTER TWO: REVIEW OF LITERATURE 20
Theoretical Framework of the Study.. .. .. .. .. .. .. 21
Women involvement in Agriculture .. .. .. .. .. .. .. 25
Historical Antecedents of Women in Agriculture Programme
in Nigeria .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. 27
Women in Agriculture Programme in Akwa Ibom State .. .. .. 29
Administration and Activity Process of the Programme in the State .. 30
The Role of Women Farmers in the Programme .. .. .. .. .. 41
Some Studies on Women in Agriculture .. .. .. .. .. .. 44
Agricultural Project Financing .. .. .. .. .. .. 46
Sources of Finance for Agricultural Projects .. .. .. .. .. .. 49
Formal Sources .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. 49
Informal Sources .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. 59
Special Governmental Financing Programmes .. .. .. .. 72
Family Economic Advancement Programme .. .. .. .. 72
Agricultural Credit Guarantee Scheme .. .. .. .. .. 76
Accessibility of Agricultural Finance Facilities to Women .. .. .. 81
Conditions for granting agricultural finance facilities
by formal source .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. 86
Problems of accessibility of agricultural finance.. .. .. .. 87
Agricultural Projects that could attract Financing.. .. .. .. 88
Summary of Review of Literature .. .. .. .. .. .. .. 102
CHAPTER THREE: METHODOLOGY 106
Research Design .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. 106
Area of the Study .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. 106
Population of the Study .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. 107
Sample and Sampling Technique .. .. .. .. .. .. .. 107
Pilot Study .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. 108
Instrument for Data Collection .. .. .. .. .. .. .. 111
Validation of the Instrument .. .. .. .. .. .. .. 112
Reliability of the Instrument .. .. .. .. .. .. .. 113
Data Collection.. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. 114
Data Analysis .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. 115
CHAPTER FOUR: PRESENTATION AND ANALYSIS OF DATA 119
Result of Research Question 1 .. .. .. .. .. .. 119
Result of Research Question 2 .. .. .. .. .. .. .. 121
Result of Research Question 3 .. .. .. .. .. .. .. 122
Result of Research Question 4.. .. .. .. .. .. .. 124
Result of Research Question 5.. .. .. .. .. .. .. 125
Result of Research Question 6 .. .. .. .. .. .. .. 128
Result of Research Question 7 .. .. .. .. .. .. .. 130
Test of Hypothesis 1 .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. 132
Test of Hypothesis 2.. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. 133
Test of Hypothesis 3.. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. 134
Findings .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. 138
Discussion of Findings .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. 147
CHAPTER FIVE: SUMMARY 163
Restatement of the Problem .. .. .. .. .. .. .. 163
Description of Procedures Utilized .. .. .. .. .. .. 165
Major Findings of the Study .. .. .. .. .. .. .. 166
Conclusion .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. 173
Implications of the Study .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. 174
Recommendations .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. 176
Suggestions for Further Research .. .. .. .. .. .. 178
References .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. 180
Appendices .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. 186
Background of the study
Food production has traditionally been the major occupation of the citizens of Akwa Ibom State especially women. This is so because the geographical and ecological conditions of the state are favourable for agricultural production. The state has a land area of approximately 8412km2 and the soils are light textured and acidic, formed mainly on the coastal plain sands (Udo 1991). Two major seasons are identified namely, the rainy season (April-October) and the dry season (November-March) which supports the development of the predominant rainforest vegetation, classified by Nwa (1991) into the mangrove and freshwater swamp, oil palm forests and the immature forests.
The dominant tribes in the state are the lbibios, Anangs, and Oron. The state has 628,418 farm families whose activities are purely agrarian in nature, with over 80 percent of the population residing in the rural areas, effectively engaged In one farming activity or the other (Okpongete 1991). He further stated that ecologically, the state is divided into two main areas namely; the upland area covering about 630,900 hectares and the lowland area with about 310,300 hectares. The major agricultural activities include food production, food processing and marketing, fishing and keeping of livestock in domestic and commercial quantities.
Women in the State form a very large labour force to the farming enterprises. This agrees with Kisekka (1980) who recorded that women constitute about 60-80 percent of the agricultural labour force particularly in rural Nigeria. Traditionally, in the communities, the status, wealth and authority of the men were determined by the extent of farmlands cultivated, the barns of yams owned after harvest, the number of oil palm plots owned as well as the number of wives married for effective performance of farm work. Therefore, these situations seem to have marginalised the efforts of the women as major contributors to agriculture.
Evidence available and women struggles agriculturally tend to refute the men’s domineering status in agricultural production, though not as heads of the families. Sigot, Thrupp and Green (1995) asserted that women provide 60-80 percent food for the family, assist the men in weeding the farm, harvesting and processing of farm produce for the market and br for storage. World Bank Report (1994) indicated that more women are involved in farming and many of them would want to switch over into commercial food production in Nigeria, given the relevant support.
The roles of women in agriculture could perhaps be regarded as one of the reasons that informed the introduction of organized women farmers’ programmes by the government, with a vision of encouraging their sustained involvement in agricultural endeavours. To realize the above vision, World Bank Report (1994) stated that consultations went on between the Federal Government of Nigeria, the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the World Bank on the strategies to promote women participation in agriculture. The outcome of the consultations is the present day Women in Agriculture Programme (WIA) as a unit in the Extension Services of Agricultural Development Projects (ADPS) in each state of the federation.
Women in agriculture programme in the state is designed to provide the women farmers with a broad spectrum of supports to boost their participation in agricultural development (Saito, Mokennen and Spurling, 1994). The ultimate mission of the programme is to ensure the transmission of agricultural information to women farmers, help them learn how to use the information to build better lives for themselves, their families and their communities. It may not be out of place to stress that one major emphasis of the women in agriculture programme In the state is to Increase food production through mobilization of women, as they constitute significant group of participants.
Initially, the women in Akwa Ibom State were mobilized through the Family Support Programme (FSP) that initiated and implemented various agricultural projects particularly food production, processing and distribution. Agricultural extension officers assigned to reach the farm families in the communities provided the extension services. Agricultural projects engaged in by women farmers in the state can be compared to the one defined by Gittinger (1982) as the whole complex of activities in the undertaking that uses local or community resources to gain benefits. The women are involved in production activities such as those classified by Olayide and Bell-Osagie (1980) into cultivation, harvesting, distribution and alimentation. Alimentation is explained by Uwadie and Ochu (1993) as the processing of the produce, packaging and preparing the processed produce into various forms of food materials or any other form ready for consumption.
Recognizing the involvement of women in agriculture, Saito, Mokennen and Spurling (1994) stressed the fact that women do outnumber men in agricultural labour force and work more hours than the men. The average daily working hours of women compared between countries — Burkina Faso, Kenya, Zambia and Nigeria are presented in Table 1.
Average daily working hours in agricultural activities by women in four countries.
Source: Saito, Mokennen & Spurling 1994
The table indicates that the Nigerian women spend an average of 9 hours on agricultural work compared to women in Burkina Faso 8.3, Kenya 5.2 and Zambia 7.6 hours. The length of time in agricultural activities and the number of activities the women get involved in might have been the justification for Boserup (1970) to describe Nigeria and other West African countries as the region of female farming system. The farming system practiced by Nigerian women farmers (Akwa Ibom women farmers inclusive) does not differ from that described by Shanner, Philip and Schmeh (1982). They saw it as the complex arrangement of soil, water sources, crops, livestock, labour and other resources and characteristics within the environmental setting, managed by the farm families based on their preferences, capabilities and available technologies.
Statement of the problem
The geographical and ecological conditions of Akwa Ibom State favour agricultural production and the women farmers have been exploiting this situation to improve upon their scope of production though not without constraints. Improved production is primarily a function of sustainable financial supports to allow for effective utilization of other production resources. The federal and state governments, the non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and individuals have made efforts directed at making finances available to women in agriculture in the state through different sources ranging from institutional to informal. Despite the favourable geographical and ecological conditions of Akwa Ibom State, the attempts by women farmers to improve upon their production capacities, and the elforts uf various groups in making available agricultural finance through various sources, women farmers have the problem of restricted access to the ldcllitIes. Commenting on the restricted access to finance facilities by women farmers, Chikwendu (1980) and Onwubuya (1987) similarly remarked that women have been kept out of access to credit facilities by certain cultuial and social factors coupled with women responsibilities in the family. The resultant effect is a low financial base that has been supporting only peasantry level production. Akubuilo (1976), Johnson (1982) and Okonjo (1991) observed differently that low capital base was responsible for low agricultural productivity among women farmers nationwide.
The researcher has observed that women inaccessibility to finance facilities hinges on certain conditionalities that prevent them from competing effectively with men for available finance facilities. Traditionally, in Akwa Ibom State, men are the custodians of landed property that could be used as collateral for attracting credit facilities from some sources of finance. The women find it less comfortable than men to bear risks under uncertainty. They are therefore not easily motivated to mortgage some of their personal properties to serve as collateral for credit facilities to finance their agricultural production on a man’s land that could be taken away from them at any little provocation.
The social norms in Akwa Ibom abhor women participation at community elders’ forums where farming issues and investments are discussed on the premise that their husbands have represented them. This limits the awareness and understanding of the women’s special farming problems and financial support requirements. The exclusion of women from such a forum keeps them away from obtaining information on sources of finance and their conditionalities. The women are therefore deprived of whatever finance opportunities that may be available for agricultural improvement as evidenced by their peasantry level production. The all-men affairs of approving or representing wives in matters of agricultural finance negotiations also restrict the women access to finance facilities directly from available sources.
Most of the women farmers in the state are not literate enough to the extent of boldly sensitizing the government or other agencies for financial assistance. Women farmers have been observed to have less exposure to agricultural training of any kind in agricultural financing and this contribute to their limited involvement in finance intensive agriculture. The effects of low level or no training of women on agriculture was put forward by Uwadie (1993) that women seem to be satisfied with receiving little education and becoming the backbone of subsistence agriculture. With the above constraints, it is evident that it would be difficult for women farmers to change the trend of their production beyond its present peasantry level if there is no intervention. It therefore becomes justified that efforts should be made to remove most of the constraints that limit women progressive farming especially inaccessibility to finance which is a major negative factor in agricultural production which has other tangential problems as stated above.
Purpose of the study
The overall purpose of this study was to determine the measures that can be adopted to improve finance accessibility to women in agriculture in Akwa lbom State. It is with a view to opening up opportunities of overcoming constraints limiting their access to finance facilities for improved production. Specifically, the study sought to find out:
- the sources of finance that are easily accessible to women farmers;
- the sources of finance preferred by women farmers for obtaining of finance facilities;
- the reasons for preferring some of the sources of finance by women farmers;
- the conditions necessary to be fulfilled before making finance facilities accessible to women farmers;
- the independent views of the groups associated with lending agencies on the conditions necessary to be fulfilled before making finance facilities accessible to women farmers;
- the causes of inaccessibility of finance facilities to women farmers;
- the measures that could be adopted to improve finance accessibility to women farmers;
Significance of the study
In Nigeria and Akwa Ibom state in particular, the issue of great concern has been the growth and sustainability of agricultural production with the women as principal participants. But the realization of this goal is yet to be met due to women’s inaccessibility to finance facilities. It is hoped that a study on access to finance facilities for improving agricultural production by women will be of great significance and would be received with enthusiasm by women farmers, staff of AKADEP and agricultural loans Board, Bank officials as well as the co-operative societies members in the communities. It is also believed that the individuals or groups that serve as targets for this study will benefit in a number of ways. Primarily, if the findings are implemented, the women will become aware of, and get familiar with where to borrow money for improving agricultural production. Awareness would also be created in them about the conditions to be fulfilled before making finance facilities accessible to women farmers. The women farmers would have a better understanding of the sources of agricultural finance that have less stringent conditions for them. This is believed, would help them in taking decision on which of the sources of finance facilities they could easily make use of. The limitations of receiving finance supports would be highlighted which would enable the women farmers to appreciate the need to make use of relevant measures to reduce the constraints. The measures that could be employed to make finance accessible to women farmers would be highlighted through educational programmes and would help them appreciate the availability of varying means of making women have access to agricultural finance facilities.
The findings of the study hopefully will make the staff of Akwa lbom State Agricultural Development Programme (AKADEP) to determine the type of advice to give to women farmers based on the source of agricultural finance facilities accessible to farmers and particularly women. It would also help the staff guiding the women to better advice them on how to go about obtaining finance facilities from the sources they may wish to. These staff would also be better equipped on the sources of finance that have less stringent conditions that could favour the women farmers so as to advise them effectively. It is also hoped that the findings of the study would provide an understanding of the constraints of the women to receiving finances for agriculture and would as well help the staff in devising ways of helping women farmers overcome the constraints.
The results on the measures that could help in improving finance accessibility to women farmers would be useful to AKADEP staff since it would make them aware of alternative means that could be used in improving finance accessibility to women farmers to be able to advise them better. On the educational programmes as a measure of improving finance accessibility to women, the result would be of significance to AKADEP staff. It would help them in planning, designing and implementing educational programmes for women farmers that would help improve and sustain their acess to finance facilities.
The Agricultural Loans Board in Akwa Ibom State would use the results on the sources of finance preferred by women farmers due to favourable conditions in adjusting their own lending conditions to accommodate the women. It is believed too that a full knowledge of the constraints to women access to finance facilities would contribute to government’s formulation of policies to bridge the gap of existing constraints between finance sources and the women. They would also be in a position to adopt various approaches that would be highlighted by the study, to make finance accessible to women farmers for improved agricultural production. The results on the educational programmes to improve women access to agricultural finance facilities would go a long way to help the government agents devising various programmes for improving the knowledge awareness of the women farmers on sources of finance facilities and their conditions for obtaining the facilities.
The co-operative societies would find the findings of the study useful in it will help them identify the sources that would be easily accessible to women farmers. They would also be aware of the conditions to be fulfilled before making finance facilities accessible to women farmers. Results on the reasons for preferring some finance sources by women farmers would help the co-operative societies to identify and decide on the ones to seek for facilities for their women members. Members of the co-operative societies too, who may want to serve as guarantors to other members would be in a better position to act as such, based on their understanding of the guidelines.
The findings on the causes of inaccessibility of finance facilities to women farmers would also help the cooperative societies find ways of educing the constraints women farmers have in obtaining facilities. This organization would also be aware of some educational programmes that could help. in improving women access to agricultural finance facilities.
The Banks, through the results on the conditions for granting finance facilities would be able to adjust their conditions to cater for the interest of women farmers. This hopefully would ensure sustained accessibility of finance facilities for women farmers.
The financial institutions would find the results on the constraints to women access to finance facilities useful in guiding them to put in place some mechanisms to reduce the limitations of women patronage of their facilities. They would also be able to develop some more practicable procedures of extending finance facilities to women farmers.
The findings on some educational programmes to improve women access to finance facilities would help in sensitizing government agents to develop women farmer’s Credit Facilities Education programme in Akwa Ibom State for educating women farmers on finance accessibility and utilization for agricultural production. It is also felt that this study would 1ruvide the basis for initiating further studies on women in agriculture programme. It would as well provide an additional source of reference for related studies on women in agriculture and agricultural finance related studies that may come up in future. Hopefully the results of this study would also help in bridging information gap that may have existed between the women in agriculture programme, policy makers, implementers, supervisors and the programme monitoring and evaluation teams.
Finally, although this study focuses on women in agriculture in Akwa Ibom State, the findings would serve as source of inputs for planning and implementing programmes on women access to finance facilities in other states of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. It is believed that the findings of this study if considered and acted upon, the crises of peasantry level agricultural production by the women shall have been a thing of the past.
This study sought answers to the following research questions.
- Which sources of finance are easily accessible to women farmers?
- Which of the sources of finance are preferred by women farmers for obtaining finance facilities?
- What are the reasons for preferring some sources of finance by women farmers?
- What are the conditions necessary to be fulfilled before making finance facilities accessible to women farmers?
- How do the groups associated with lending agencies view the conditions to be fulfilled before making finance facilities accessible to women farmers?
- What are the causes of inaccessibility of finance facilities to women farmers?
- What measures could be adopted to improie finance accessibility to women farmers?
The study tested the following hypotheses at 0.05 level of significance:
- There is no significant difference in the mean rating of responses of women farmers, bank staff, AKADEP staff, Agricultural loans officers of the State Agricultural Loans Board and members of co-operative societies on the conditions to be fulfilled before making finance facilities accessible to women farmers.
- There is no significant difference in the mean rating of responses of women farmers, bank staff, AKADE P staff, Agricultural loans officers of the State Agricultural Loans Board and members of co-operative societies on the causes of inaccessibility of finance facilities to women farmers.
- There is no significant difference in the mean rating of responses of women farmers and AKADEP staff on the measures that can be adopted to improve finance accessibility to women farmers.
Scope of the study
The study was restricted to women involved in agriculture in Akwa Ibom State with the main focus on women access to finance facilities for improving agricultural production. It covered the determination of the sources of finance that are easily accessible to women farmers for obtaining facilities for improving agricultural production. It was also concerned with the finance sources preferred by women farmers; the reasons for their preference; the conditions to be fulfilled before making finance facilities accessible to them. The study also determined the independent views of groups associated with ending agencies on the conditions for making finance accessible to women farmers; the causes of finance inaccessibility to women farmers; as well as the measures that could be adopted to improve finance accessibility to them.
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