Effect of the hunger project credit programme on productivity of smallholder maize farmers in the Kwahu West Municipality

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August, 2015
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This study examined the effect of the Hunger Project Credit Programme on the productivity of smallholder maize farmers in the Kwahu West Municipality of the Eastern Region of Ghana, using the endogenous switching regression model. Cross sectional data was collected for the 2014 cropping season from 170 maize farmers, 85 beneficiaries and 85 non-beneficiaries. The study further sought to find evidence on whether programme participation had effect on farm input utilization using the propensity score matching method. Special attention was also given to the efficient use of resources by beneficiary farmers. The constraints maize farmers faced in accessing credit from the Hunger Project was analysed using the Kendall’s coefficient of concordance to test the degree of agreement between the ranked constraints. The results of the study showed that gender, age, years of formal education, number of livestock owned by the farmer in tropical livestock unit, maize farming experience, previous year’s maize income, farmers’ perception of the lending procedures of the Hunger Project and farmers’ perception of the distance between residence and the epicenter (loan center) were the factors influencing farmers participation (access to credit) in the Hunger Project Credit Programme. The study also revealed that participation (access to credit) had a significant effect on farm input usage and farm productivity. However, both beneficiary and non-beneficiary farmers were not efficient in the use of resources. Time of loan delivery, not being given the full amount applied for and proximity to the epicenter (loan center) are the most critical problems farmers are facing in accessing credit from the Hunger Project. The study therefore recommends that the hunger project should design policies to encourage more Non-beneficiary maize farmers to take advantage of the credit programme to expand their input use and maximize their productivity. Extension education and training should be intensified to train maize farmers in the kwahu west municipality on the application of recommended rate of farm input to improve their resource use efficiency. Project implementers should as much as practicable address the constraints farmers face in participating or accessing credit from The Hunger Project through timely delivery of credit, increased access to credit and an increase in the amount of credit available to meet borrowers’ demand
A thesis submitted to the Department of Agricultural Economics, Agribusiness and Extension, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, Kumasi in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Philosophy in Agricultural Economics, 2015