Determinants of Smallholder Farmers’ Access to Agricultural Finance in Zambia

  •  Christopher Sebatta    
  •  Mukata Wamulume    
  •  Chibamba Mwansakilwa    


Smallholder farmers in Zambia face many challenges in accessing financial services including limited access to financial markets. Despite the numerous reforms undertaken by the Government and the donor community, including financial sector reforms, many rural farmers have remained in poverty with limited capacity to access safety nets like loans to militate against hunger and disease. This paper set out to find out factors that affect smallholders’ decision to access rural finance and the intensity of their participation in the financial markets.

A household survey was conducted in five provinces from which thirteen districts were purposively selected. Employing both purposive and random sampling techniques, a pre-tested questionnaire was administered on 1,326 households. Data was analysed using a double huddle model. Results indicated that education level of household head, size of household and number of daily meals served significantly influenced decision to access finance while loan payback period, having a phone and personal savings influenced the intensity of participation in the rural financial market.

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