This paper assesses the impact of access to agricultural credit on the agricultural productivity of 422 smallholder farmers that cultivate maize or rice in the Western and Eastern province of Rwanda. Stratified, simple random and convenience sampling techniques were used to sample districts, sectors, cells and households. Data were collected using structured interviews and analyzed using propensity score matching techniques. Results indicated that productivity was higher by 44% among the farmers who accessed credit implying that they harvested on average an extra 440 kilograms of maize or rice. According to a crop-specific analysis, agricultural credit access had a more significant impact on maize productivity, with a difference in proportion of 68% (p = 0.000) but had no impact on rice productivity (p = 0.149). The study concludes that agricultural credit was important for Rwanda’s agricultural productivity. Thus policy measures should aim at improving smallholder farmers’ access to agricultural credit and promoting the use of modern agricultural inputs, particularly among rice farmers in Rwanda


rice; maize; smallholder farmers; agricultural productivity; credit access; Rwanda

Abednego, K.., David, K., Rebbie, H., Bashir, J., Gudeta, W., Sileshi. B. (2019). Sustainable intensification with cereal-legume intercropping in Eastern and Southern Africa. Sustainability, 11(10), 2891; doi: 10.3390/su11102891
Access to Finance Rwanda. (2017). Annual report summary. Kigali Rwanda
Access to Finance Rwanda. (2019). National financial inclusion strategy for Rwanda 2019- 2024. Kigali Rwanda
AGRA. (2017). Doubling productivity and incomes of smallholder farmers in Africa. Accessed on 26/4/2020 from
Akoété, E. A., Ablamba, A. J. (2019). Agricultural credit and its impact on the productivity of certain cereals in Togo. Emerging Markets Finance and Trade, 1-17. DOI: 10.1080/1540496X.2019.1602038
Akudugu, M. (2016). Agricultural productivity, credit and farm size nexus in Africa: A case study of Ghana. Agricultural Finance Review, 76(2): 288-308.;
Ali, D. A., Deininger, K., Duponchel, M. (2014). Credit constraints and agricultural productivity: Evidence from rural Rwanda, The Journal of Development Studies, 50(5): 649-665.
Andae, G. (2020). Maize production shortfall sets the stage for imports. Accessed on 28/4/2020 from
Beaman, L., Beaman, D., Karlan, B., Thuysbaert. (2014). Saving for a (not so) rainy day: A randomized evaluation of savings groups in Mali. Working Paper No. 20600, National Bureau of Economic Research
Bidzakin, J., K., Simon, C., Fialor, D., Awunyo, V., Iddrisu, Y., Goodness Aye (Reviewing editor) (2019). Impact of contract farming on rice farm performance: Endogenous switching regression, Cogent Economics & Finance, 7:1, 1618229. DOI: 10.1080/23322039.2019.1618229
Chandio, A. A., Jiang, Y. (2018). Determinants of credit constraints: Evidence from Sindh, Pakistan. Emerging Markets, Finance and Trade, 54(15): 3401–3410.
Chandio, A.A., Yuansheng, J., Koondher, M.A. (2015). Raising maize productivity through agricultural credit A: Case Study of Commercial Banks in Pakistan. European Journal of Business and Management. 7(32): 159-165.
Devotha, G., Nyambo, E.T., Luhanga, Z.Q.Y (2019). A review of characterization approaches for smallholder farmers: Towards predictive farm typologies, The Scientific World Journal, vol. 2019, Article ID 6121467, 9 pages.
Duy, V. Q. (2015). Access to credit and rice production efficiency of rural households in the Mekong Delta. Sociology and Anthropology, 3(9):425–433.
FAO (2018). Rice market monitor. Volume xxi, issue no.1: Accessed from
FAO. (2017). The future of food and agriculture – Trends and challenges. Rome. Available from
FAO. (2018). Credit to agriculture. Accessed from
Friedlander, D., Robins, P. K. (1995). Evaluating program evaluations: Evidence on commonly used non-experimental methods. American Economic Review, 85 (4): 923-937
Gonzalez, L., Moser Barbosa, R. (2015). Green microfinance in Southern Brazil: The case of the cresol system. doi:
Lawal, A. I., Olayanju, A. T., Ayeni, J, Olaniru, O.S. (2019). Impact of bank credit on agricultural productivity: Empirical evidence from Nigeria (1981-2015), International Journal of Civil Engineering and Technology, 10(2): 113-123.
Lowder S. K., Skoet J., Raney, T. (2016). The number, size, and distribution of farms, smallholder farms, and family farms worldwide, World Development 87: 16–29.
Mita, B., Sanzidur, R., Shunbo. Y. (2019). Growth in agricultural productivity and its components in Bangladeshi regions (1987–2009): An application of bootstrapped data envelopment analysis (DEA), Economies 7(2):37. doi:10.3390/economies7020037
Musinguzi, I. (2017). The impact of access to agricultural services on maize productivity in Uganda. Dissertation
Muvunyi, L. (2019). Maize shortage looms despite bumper harvest. Accessed on 28/4/2020 from
NISR. (2019). Seasonal agricultural survey-2019. Annual report. Available from
Nuhu, E., Inusah, A.H., Ama, G.R., Sano, Z.M. (2014). Impact analysis of microfinance on crop production in Ghana. International Journal of Academic Research in Accounting, Finance and Management Sciences, 4 (3): 97–108. doi:10.6007/ IJARAFMS/v4-i3/1025
Ojo, T. O., Baiyegunhi, L.J. S., Salami, A. O. (2019). Impact of credit demand on the productivity of rice farmers in South West Nigeria, Journal of Economics and Behavioral Studies, AMH International, 11(1):166-180.
Owusu S. (2017). Effect of access to credit on agricultural productivity: Evidence from cassava farmers in the Afigya-Kwabre District of Ghana. International Journal of Innovative Research in Social Sciences & Strategic Management Techniques, 4(2).
Rizwan, M., Q. Ping, S. Iram, A. Nazir, Q. Wang. (2019). Why and for what? An evidence of agriculture credit demand among rice farmers in Pakistan. ADBI Working Paper 995. Tokyo: Asian Development Bank Institute. Available from
Sihlobo, W. (2019). Africa: After floods, Zimbabwe and Mozambique face huge maize shortfalls. Accessed on10/23/2019 from
Sossou, C. H., Noma, F., Yabi, J.A. (2014). Rural credit and farms efficiency: Modelling farmers credit allocation decisions, evidences from Benin. Economics Research International, vol. 2014, Article ID 309352: 8 pages.
Teka L., (2019). The impact of agricultural package programs on farm productivity in Tigray-Ethiopia: Panel data estimation. 7: 1631987
Temitope, O., Baiyegunhi, L., Salami, O. (2019). Impact of credit demand on the productivity of rice farmers in South West Nigeria. Journal of Economics and Behavioral Studies. 11(10): 166-180. 10.22610/jebs. v11i1(J).2757.
World Bank. (2019). Agriculture finance & agriculture insurance. Accessed on 28/4/2020 from
USAID. (2019). Agriculture and food security. Accessed on 28/4/2020 from
World Economic Forum (2016). Five ways to reduce poverty among smallholder farmers. Accessed on 27/4/ 2020 from
Yousaf, M., Li, J., Lu, J. (2017). Effects of fertilization on crop production and nutrient-supplying capacity under rice-oilseed rape rotation system. Scientific Reports, 7, 1270.
Zakaria, M., Jun, W., Khan, M.F. (2019): Impact of financial development on agricultural productivity in South Asia. Agricultural Economics – Czech, 65: 232–239.
Zenawi, G., Mizan, A. (2019). Effect of nitrogen fertilization on the growth and seed yield of sesame (Sesamum indicum L.) International Journal of Agronomy, Vol. 2019, Article ID 5027254, 7 pages.

Published : 2021-04-02

Taremwa, N., Macharia, I., Bett, E., & Majiwa, E. (2021). IMPACT OF AGRICULTURAL CREDIT ACCESS ON AGRICULTURAL PRODUCTIVITY AMONG MAIZE AND RICE SMALLHOLDER FARMERS IN RWANDA. Journal of Agribusiness and Rural Development, 59(1), 39-58.

Nathan Kanuma Taremwa
University of Rwanda (UR)  Rwanda

Mr., Lecturer, Department of Rural Development and Agricultural Economics, University of Rwanda, P.O. Box 4285, Kigali, Rwanda 

Ibrahim Macharia 
Kenyatta University (KU) Nairobi, Kenya  Kenya

dr, Senior Lecturer, Department of Agricultural Economics, Kenyatta University, P.O. Box 43844-00100, Nairobi, Kenya


Eric Bett 
Kenyatta University (KU) Nairobi, Kenya  Kenya

dr, Senior Lecturer, Department of Agricultural Economics, Kenyatta University, P.O. Box 43844-00100. Nairobi, Kenya

Eucabeth Majiwa 
Jomo Kenyatta University (JKUAT)  Kenya

Senior Lecturer, Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics, Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology, P.O. Box 62000-00200 Nairobi, Kenya                

CitedBy Crossref

CitedBy Scopus

HTML tutorial

Creative Commons License

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License.

This journal permits and encourages authors to post items submitted to the journal on personal websites or institutional repositories both prior to and after publication, while providing bibliographic details that credit, if applicable, its publication in this journal.