CHARACTERISATION OF SMALLHOLDER RESETTLED SUGARCANE FARMERS AND THEIR PERCEPTIONS TOWARDS MICROFINANCE IN ZIMBABWE (CHIREDZI)
The study sought to characterize smallholder A2 resettled sugarcane farmers and evaluate their perceptions towards microfinance. Data was collected using a questionnaire. Descriptive statistics were used. Results revealed that the majority of farmers solely depend on sugarcane farming. More than 80% of farmers (non-participants) were risk averse while, 90% of the beneficiaries indicated to be risk neutral. More than 90% of the sample farmers subscribe to Sugarcane Farmers Associations. Farmers perceived interest rates, processing and administration charges to be very high. Male farmers dominated their female counterpart and primary education being the highest education level attained by the majority of farmers. Farmers perceived the Estate to be offering better support than the government, MFIs and Farmers Associations in their areas of advocacy. Policy suggestions include gender balance on land allocation; government to be proactive after allocating land. Further recommendations include that MFIs should supplement the disbursed funds with other non-financial services; reduce interest rates, payback period, application procedures and time and increasing grace period.
smallholder resettled farmers; microfinance; farmer perceptions
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