Women farmers' access to credit from rural banks in Ghana
Purpose - The purpose of this paper is to examine women farmers' access to credit from rural banks (RBs) in the Upper East region of Ghana. The paper examines the nature of credit supply by the RBs to their customers and the proportion that goes to women over a ten year period. It proposes the modelling of socio-economic, technical and institutional factors influencing women farmers' access to credit from financial institutions in general and rural banks (RBs) in particular. The paper aims to expand the frontiers of rural and agricultural financing as well as the integration of gender interest in the financial sectors of developing countries. Design/methodology/approach - In total, 200 women farmers were randomly selected and information on socio-economic, technical and institutional issues solicited from them. Ratio analyses were carried out and the logistic regression used to model the socio-economic, technical and institutional factors that have influence on access to credit from RBs by women farmers. Findings - The paper provides empirical evidence of close gender parity in terms of credit supply by RBs in Ghana. About 44 per cent of the credit portfolios of RBs in Ghana go to women and the remaining 56 per cent goes to men. Education, application procedures, access to land, income level, farm size, membership to economic associations, savings, type of crop grown, interest rate and distance to RBs are the socio-economic, technical and institutional factors that influence women farmers' access to credit. Research limitations/implications - The paper is limited to only women farmers. There is the need for further research that considers men and women so as to establish whether or not there is gender insensitivity by financial institutions in Ghana and other developing countries. Practical implications - This paper provides empirical implications for the development of a vibrant financial sector in developing countries that provide equal access to men and women, rural and urban dwellers as well as actors in the formal and informal sectors. Originality/value - This paper brings to light the issues of access to productive resources such as production credit by women in developing countries, particularly Ghana.
Volume (Year): 69 (2009)
Issue (Month): 3 (November)
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