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Flexible loans and access to agricultural credit for smallholder farmers in Kenya

Fredrick Onyango Odhiambo (ResearchPro Solutions, Nairobi, Kenya) (Institute for Development Studies, University of Nairobi, Nairobi, Kenya)
Radha Upadhyaya (Institute for Development Studies, University of Nairobi, Nairobi, Kenya)

Agricultural Finance Review

ISSN: 0002-1466

Article publication date: 17 November 2020

Issue publication date: 1 June 2021

160

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to determine the level of flexibility in loan products offered to smallholder farmers in Siaya County in Kenya and to examine the effect of flexibility on access to credit.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper uses primary survey data from a sample of smallholder farmers in Siaya County in Kenya who had borrowed from various lending institutions within the study area. The paper develops an index variable of loan flexibility using multiple correspondence analysis (MCA) technique. The model is estimated using both OLS and truncated regression analyses. Access to credit is measured as the amount of loan borrowed by each farmer.

Findings

The authors find that the level of flexibility of loans offered to farmers is low. Furthermore, the authors find that the level of flexibility is not significantly correlated to access to credit. Further analysis using individual components of flexible loans show that refinancing and lines of credit are more likely to improve access to credit when farmers are more educated and wealthier, respectively. The age of a farmer, the type of lender, the type of loan, education and household wealth are the main determinants of access to credit.

Originality/value

The paper adds to the debate on access to credit by showing that theoretically, while loan flexibility should lead to higher credit access, this is not a key determinant of access to credit in this context.

Keywords

Citation

Odhiambo, F.O. and Upadhyaya, R. (2021), "Flexible loans and access to agricultural credit for smallholder farmers in Kenya", Agricultural Finance Review, Vol. 81 No. 3, pp. 328-359. https://doi.org/10.1108/AFR-05-2020-0072

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2020, Emerald Publishing Limited

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