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THE EFFECT OF MICROFINANCE BANKS SERVICES ON AGRICULTURAL PRODUCTION OF MEMBERS OF COOPERATIVE SOCIETIES
Lack of access to credit has negatively affected poor farmers and rural dwellers for many years. Rural people need credit to allow investment in their farms and small businesses, to smooth consumption and to reduce their vulnerability to weather and economic shocks. Because they have little access to formal financing institutions, poor rural people follow sub optimal risk management and consumption strategies and rely on costly informal credit sources (FAO, 2010). To this end, Eluhaiwe (2008) noted that microfinance banks were established in Nigeria in 2005 for the purpose of providing economically active poor and low income earners financial services, to help them engage in income generating activities or expand their businesses. By definition, microfinance refers to the provision of financial services to the poor or low income clients including consumers and the self employed ledgerwood (2010). According to Robert(2009), microfinance refers to movements that envisions a world in which as many poor or near poor households as possible have permanent. Access to an appropriate range of high quality financial services including not just credit but also savings, insurance and fund transfers. In addition, Eluhaiwe (2008) stated that microfinance is about providing financial services to the poor who are traditionally not served by the conventional financial institution.
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